Dying moments…

Alright lads! I wasn’t able to post the match recap from yesterday as promised since I was sooo tired after the game. Plus, I had to sleep early since the game today was played in the morning. But I’m gonna do a double post today, yesterday and today’s game. Let’s start.

The game started earlier than the given schedule. As in 45 minutes too early. So I arrived 10 minutes “late”. Ms. Silva, the team’s manager, saw me arrive at the pitch, approached me right away and said, “Coach, the guys are 2 goals down”. I told her that it’s ok, it’s only the first half, and the lads could pull it back in the second half. I kinda moved away from her a bit since she was flailing her arms around. She gets excited whenever we have the ball, or exasparated when we lose the ball. But hey, I can’t blame her for that. I actually admire her passion, I just don’t wanna get hit.

The referree blew the whistle to signify the end of first half. I was racking my brain on how to pull it back. How to break our silence and have the boys keep the goals flowing. What I did was a very big risk, I changed tactics. I knew, if we wanted to be successful, we had to play aggressive. So I instructed my back three, to start moving up. I told Sam, the primary striker, to play as a false 9 again. I instructed Rubika to poach for goals. Same order I gave to Kim. I told Ryan, and Ralph,to take as many long shots as they could, since we could poach for goals anyway.

The whistle signified the start of the second half. The lads slowly walked up to the pitch. From the sidelines, I took the spot, together with the rest of the team, and started analyzing the game. How the players moved, my team and the opponents. I kinda pride myself as to be overly critical, and tend to analyze every single movement of the players, giving me a full scope and an idea in my head what they’re gonna do next.

I had an excellent vantage post at the sideline, the best seats in the house. As I watch the game unfold, I started my own battle in my head. Call it a chess game of sorts. I started barking orders to my team, not because I wasn’t confident, but because inside the pitch, you wont be able to see the whole game. There will always be something that will obstruct your view, be it a teammate or an opponent.

And the moment I’ve been for has arrived. Our first goal. It was nothing short of magnificent, how it happened. It was a lovely through ball by Kim inside the box. Sam was already there but he was crowded by defenders.So he flicked the ball over to Rubika, who slotted it to the top left of the box. It was the goalkeeper’s weak spot. At this point the floodgate has opened.

Second goal came by a free kick, just outside the box. Goal went in the same side. At the top left corner. Everyone was happy! I even took a little celebratory leap, a Neymar-esque leap. There is a feeling of elation at this point within the team, pulling back 2 goals in quick succession after a very hard first half, against the last year’s champs! It was like champagne was raining from the sky, that kind of feeling.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a game on our hands! We were clearing all the the balls left and right. Playing a magnificent defensive play. And you guys were thinking we were parking the bus? Hell no! We had 2 at the back at this point. We were all out attack, gunning for the win.

Then, something ominous happened. An unintentional foul. Ball in hand to the opposing team. And it was in the penalty spot! Jemar, the goalkeeper and the kick taker from the opponent were sizing up each other. It was like a Battle of Waterloo at that point. You could cut the tension in the air like a knife, like how you would cut butter with a warm butter knife. Then the referee whistled. Kick taker took it to the top left, Jemar went for it on the same direction, only he dove in the bottom left.

The opponents pulled a score for them, 3-2. Deadlock was broken. I told myself, we still had time. I wasn’t watching my watch at this point, just fueled by emotion as well. But then alas. The referee blew the whistle to end the game. We conceded a goal, at the dying moments of a game.

The guys hung their head low, I tried to cheer em up. Told them it was ok. I’m still proud of them, especially after that result. Others would wither at a task that big. These lads, I can’t think of a phrase to properly describe it, so I’m gonna borrow it from the late, great Jimi Hendrix, as it perfectly describes the scenario. Here it goes, these lads “stood up next to a mountain, and chopped it down with the edge of their hands”.

Absolutely perfect. Nicely done Mr. Hendrix, nicely done.

 

Alright that’s it for today lads!! Pictures will be edited in as soon as I get them! And once again, this is Footy, and you guys stay cheeky! Cheers!!

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