Tuesday, February 3, 2009
300 G1: Veni, Vidi, Vici
Caesar came, Caesar saw, Caesar conquered.
Frontliners came, Frontliners saw, Frontliners nearly conquered.
Big difference, that; still for one moment it looked like the wished-for miracle would actually happen.
Held on Saturday, Frontliners 300 came all pumped-up and ready to face the giants, from big Sachin who looked good and... big? in his kit and tiny Olga who appeared to be drowning in hers. Warm-up seemed to take forever, and just fifteen minutes before eleven did Dalat Falcons appear, in drips of two and three, apparently enjoying themselves and not caring too much about their opposition.
There was a slight delay before the game started, as Tristan was ordered off to change and remove his tights. Well, well, so the referees do read the rules from cover to cover.
The game started, and surprisingly, it was Frontliners who had the first meaningful attack. A slick exchange between Megan and Captain Michael saw Megan free on goal but he was forced wide, and so couldn't shoot.
This really got the crowd going, with nearly all of them rooting for the underdogs, 300.
But defensive inexperience really showed, and Falcons opened the scoring with a simple tap in. The second goal was quite similar to the first one, and so far, everything was going Logic's way: 300 were pushed extremely deep and struggled to get out of their own half while Falcons were extremely comfortable.
Then out of nowhere popped Megan, racing his way into the Falcons' half and scoring a splendid goal. The entire bench jumped up and ran to him, celebrating; and the spectators erupted into cheers.
Fired up, 300 pressed on in search of the equalizer as Falcons seemed to be rather shocked at conceding. The second goal seemed rather inevitable, but what a screamer it was! Captain Michael Cheah, having the ball on the halfway line and allowed space, heard the cries to shoot, and the ball flew past the keeper and banged into the goal.
The court went crazy, and Falcons seemed thankful to hear the referee's whistle for half-time soon after. Half-time score: An almost-impossible-to-believe 2-2.
After half-time, 300 was still high on confidence, and were comfortable defending and letting the Falcons run the show. They could not press their advantage, however, when Falcons were reduced to four, and this proved to be their undoing.
The third goal was quite dubious; a pass-shot that crossed the face of the goal and was pushed in by a Falcon. Half the crowd saw it as an illegal goal, as it appeared that he had used his body to score, but the referees thought otherwise and gave the goal.
Having said that, Dalat's fourth goal was a nicely-wrapped gift from 300: a rebound off a freehit where the wall was totally nonexistant.
Spurred on, Falcons went on to add three more to the scoreline as 300 succumbed mentally and physically. Final score, 7-2 to Dalat Falcons.
FINAL WORD: It was supposed to be 300's baptism of fire: their first match up against a side that had the ball in the net 62 times last year; and to neutrals, it seemed like another lopsided match in Dalat's favour. 300, however, proved them wrong and took them for a rollercoaster ride, but it was disappointing in the end as it was defensive frailty, and not brilliant skill that made the difference. On the bright side: Nothing could possibly be worse than 17-0.