Diary of a Girl Engaged to Football : Match Day One.April 7, 2015
I figure I should be telling you more about the matches we take part in. after all, that is the reason we have the training sessions.
I’ll give a brief background into what a typical match day is like. For the home games, we all meet at the field. Everyone, well almost everyone, comes from within a 15 minute walking distance to the field. However, we don’t have many home matches because of the quality of the pitch and also because of the hooliganism of our fans. For most games we have a 30 minute or so ride. We usually meet at the stage a hour or two later than the said time. It is mostly about waiting for all the players to arrive because when we take one bus it is cheaper and faster (and usually dangerous due to overloading). I am usually satisfied when I see all the defenders present and a total number of eight players. With that I believe the team can get a result. The matches are almost always on Sunday which may be a big problem because the best parties and raves happen on Saturday night. We usually get to the match venue at just about the same time as the referees (despite being an hour or so late) which means we hardly ever play a full game. The matches are usually two halves of somewhere between 35 minutes and 40 minutes. Sometimes we arrive late and there’s hardly any time for a team talk or for warm-up.
As this is the first of the match day diaries, I’ll give a brief history of the cup we are in. The tournament pitted teams from two wards. The top two teams in each pool (each pool has two wards) qualified to the quarter finals which have the top two teams from 3 other pools. We topped our pool by winning 8 (one was a walkover), drawing one and losing one. The boys scored 20 (22 if you add the two walk-over goals) and conceded 3 goals. The first match day covers the quarterfinal.
We had the early kickoff game (10 a.m.) and after a heavy downpour this was worrying. However, the pitch was in good condition and we actually arrived on time to the match venue. The team we were playing against looked disorganized and this helped boost the confidence of the boys. I told you that we got a new striker (we were to pay KShs.1100 for him but ended up paying KShs. 300) and a new goalkeeper (top one too) who we only acquired for Sh300. They were both making their legal debuts for the team. I say legal because they featured for us before when they weren’t supposed to. (Don’t tell anyone). They were both starting the match.
The game kicked off an hour late. As always we created chance after chance right from the 5th second but could not capitalize on the chances. However, after 25 minutes, the new signing made his mark on the team with a looping header over the advancing goalie before doubling the lead 10 minutes later with a powerful header at the far post. Half time arrived when we were 2-0 up. The second half started with the opponents trying to cut the deficit but they couldn’t get past the defence. Their first and only chance came in the 70th. We did our first substitution. The player who came on is our Luis Suarez. He is the sort of player who gets the silliest yellow cards. Brilliant player with immense potential but a real menace. He is the sort to score after the whistle for offside, the player who tries to control the ball with his hands (he actually did this after realizing he couldn’t head the ball on for himself and somehow escaped without a warning). Anyway, after the crazy handball, he capitalized on an error from the opponent’s goalie to calmly slot in a third and put the game to bed. We won that 3-0. Man of the Match: the new signing with the brace. He is now joint 2nd top scorer with his two goals in the tournament. The top scorer in the tournament has 7 goals. We march on to the semi-finals.
See you at training folks. Have a lovely week.