Elite 4 - 3 VUW
Never Say Die
To say that conditions were great for this game would be an understatement. Arriving at the Newtown park home field the sun was shining, the air was warm and not a breath of wind was to be found. It was a great day for football.
While we were conducting the pre-game warm up it was evident that the university students were still trying to wake themselves up from the night before. Starting with 10 men, or was it 11? It seemed that this was going to be an easy win for the Elite! Straight from kick-off we had two near goals originating from the left side. A nice through ball to myself on the wing, the defender was still reminiscing about neckin’ a cold one with the boys and barely registered he was on the field. I was through! a cross to the center was looking prime for the Elite to take an early lead! The ball met Shane’s head but glanced off to the right of the goal, no worries we’ll get the next one! The next one came not two minutes later, unfortunately the defenders managed to cause enough of a nuisance that this was also thwarted.
With a few more attempts to score and for no lack of trying, we were still yet to find the back of the net by the 25-minute mark. It was about this time that the reinforcements arrived for the university team. By sheer luck and against the run of play the uni students managed shake-off the stupor and score. What became very evident at this stage was that there were two key players that the Elite needed to shutdown if we were going to win this. Too late! A long through ball was sailing towards our last defender Tim. The Elite could only watch in disbelief as the charging university student managed to rattle Tim enough to cause a fumble. The Elite were scrambling back - it was futile. The uni student was already likening the back of the net to the mystery girl from last night, but this time he was going to score! The Elites recent signing of a new keeper, Kengo, meant he was going to have earn his keep! The ball was blasted with all the power a man seeking redemption can muster. Two to Nil.
The Elite had mission impossible ahead of them. The University students were now fully awake and here to play. An absolute cracker of a through-ball from Isaac gave us the first opening. The Uni goalie was running to intercept, the ball was received on my left foot and re-directed to the right. “Fuck!” the Goalie realised his mistake but it was too late. The second touch off my right foot slid the ball easily into the goal, 2-1, we were back in this! The uni students were livid. Unbeknown to the Elite, one of the students took to the challenge. A series of passes meant he had the ball just outside of the Elite box. With a little too much room he rocketed the ball in the top left corner, 3-1. Devastated. Play continued with some unreal challenges from Rolf and even a pirouette that had two uni players seeing stars! Levi was consistently creating chances in the mid and giving some hope to the Elite. It was from one of these chances that a cross into the box was carried into the goal by Saji and an assortment of uni players. 3-2, the Elite knew they could draw from here!
It was on that note that none other than Chris comes flying in from the right. Breaking ankles with an assortment of turns, Chris was leaving a wake of destruction. The Uni students started seeing the danger and closed in. Knowing that the he had run out of time, a wild stallion of a toe-poke was his only option. The goalie, still in shock at this primitive technique, was unable to scramble in time - 3-3! We had done it! We had managed to claw our way back to a tie! While the Uni students were throwing a tantrum to our referee Dave, Isaac came up with a plan. How about we score again? The ball was passed around the back, out to the right, and back into the center to Isaac. The Uni students were about to realise that class was still in session. With a snap of his boot Isaac was sending the boys home to nurse their sadness with a pack of diesels. Four to three.
Rolf wasn’t satisfied. He needed something more tangible. A rugby league challenge which would have left Sonny Bill-Williams proud did just that! A few last-ditch attempts by the students to grab the tie were dashed with excellent goal keeping by Kengo and brilliant work in the back. The final whistle blew, the Elite had done it.
2 – Isaac - Providing the defensive support whilst also sending crucial through balls meant that he was putting in 110%
2 – Levi – Creating an abundance of chances in the midfield and making good challenges on advancing attacking moves
1 – Rolf - Was in every challenge and winning. Installed fear in the opposition with pirouettes and shoulder charges.
1 – Shane – Causing mayhem up the front and constantly ready to run for every ball.