Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Walking the Talk

If you're going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Isnt that how that saying goes? Something like that. Well all this season, my buddy Gregg who plays on another team in the Tuesday "A" Division, has been counting down the weeks until his team, Menace FC, plays my team, U Wish. Finally, seven weeks into the season it was time for our match up. The past weeks have been filled with taunts, trash talk and score predictions from Gregg. Despite his team having a "not-so-hot" season, he saw no way they could lose to us. He had two predictions. First, his team would win the match. Secondly, I would not score a goal or be effective in the game because he would be covering me. Well, 8:15pm on April 26th arrived and it was time to walk the talk.

Immediatly from kick off, it was clear his team had their hands full. With all six Menace FC players back defending, left little for any attack. Several of our shots just missed hitting the back of the net. A bit later, they were able to get the ball down to our end of the field. In a scramble, their striker got off a quick sharp angled shot that beat our keeper, scoring the first goal of the match. That sparked us to up the pressure. Minutes later, a Menace FC defender scrambles to clear a bouncing ball away from me in their penalty box. But he mis-times his approach to the ball and his arms knock it to the ground. The ref calls the foul and awards us a free kick at the top of the penalty box. In our league, this isnt a penalty shot like in normal outdoor soccer. We get a direct free kick, but they can make a defensive wall to stop the shot. They set up their wall, but only put 2 players in it! Sahal takes the free kick and easily bends the shot around the 2-man wall and into the back of the net! 1-1!

As the game wore on, Menace FC was playing a better match than I thought they would. At one point we took a 3-1 lead, but late in the first half they fought back to tie it up. The half time whistle blew with the score 4-4. We weren't worried. We pressed the attack in the early 2nd half and scored another goal putting us up 5-4. I thought that might hold, but they later scored a goal I couldn't believe got by our keeper, 5-5. Its ok, plenty of time left!

Mid-second half I was back on the field and their keeper had collected the ball. He rolled it out to their defender so he could bring it up the field. As I ran towards him to try to steal the ball, I happen to look up at his eyes. Right then he looks over at the other defender and then sends a pass over towards him. But, exactly the moment he looked in that direction, I jumped into the open passing lane. The ball was at my feet and I was off the the races, a break away!! I left the 2 defenders in my dust and charged forwards towards the lonely goal keeper. One quick fake and I pushed the ball to my left. I can see the goalie lunging at an open space where I once was as I ran by him. I fire a left foot shot which hits the far lower corner of the net. Goal! 6-5. This was the back breaker for Menace FC. We kept the pressure up and scored 2 more goals before the final whistle. Winning the match 8-5. Gregg was humble in a post game ribbing. It was all in fun though.

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