Maestros vs Blue Lightning
It was a battle for first place. Metinho and Ivan, once champions together were now rivals. The Venezuelans, once a happy group now fighting for bragging rights. Lightning vs Maestros, game on!
Lightning struck early for the second consecutive week as Derek Chan scored in the first minute. Everyone knows that DC can’t score just one goal, so this did not bode well for Maestros. For their part, the Vivas cousins showed up late and when they did arrive, took their sweet time to get dressed. There was some conversation, a few jokes, it was smiles all around. Metinho had taken a hard hit on the ankle and needed to sub off and this was enough to get the Vivas cousins to speed things up. Ivan tried to get under the skin of Newman with a little trash talk. Newman was either not going for the bait or he was scared. He was probably scared. The game went back and forth and both keepers made some great saves. DC scored his inevitable second goal to make it 2-0 and that’s how the half ended. As the two sides retreated to their benches, Metinho accused the Lighting of being lucky to be up 2-0.
Shortly after the restart, the Maestros cut the lead in half. Victor was first to the ball in midfield and found Haddi with a nicely weighted pass and the leading goal scorer buried it past Kevin Bonner. His rival for top goal scorer then netted his hat trick as DC restored the 2 goal lead. The game was hard fought with both sides giving it their all. Cesar Vivas made his season debut and reminded everyone of who he is. If you run into Cesar, you can better believe your next stop is the ground and he won’t even notice that you ran into him. A Lightning player learned that the hard way. Speaking of big hits, Metinho took a shot from close range right into his manhood. Two players needed to help him off the field and when he got to the sideline, he crumpled into a ball and lay in the fetal position. He was still there five minutes later without having moved.
The Lightning were struggling to contain Haddi and Newman. They were passing the ball to each other, the Bolts didn’t expect that. Victor was pushing up to support the attack and scored to bring the Maestros to within 1. With ten minutes left, Haddi scored his second to tie the game. Both of these teams wanted to win and neither was settling for a draw. Gabriel found some room in behind Frank Alimena but his shot was stopped by Murat. There were spectacular saves and goalposts being hit on both sides. The game winner came when DC did some good work on the left side and was able to sneak a shot past Murat. Maestros kept fighting hard but there just wasn’t enough time left on the clock. It finished 4-3 to the Lightning and first place is theirs.
Whitewalkers vs OTPP Utd (Bouchardgate)
This game started with controversy. OTPP United, still winless in their first three games, signed Alexis Bouchard and Bernard Grzinic to one-day contracts. Fernando “The Mouth from the South” Ayala was particularly outraged with the backroom dealings, and was quoted as calling the OTPP United squad “dirty cheaters”. Coach David “Bill Belichick Jr” Ashton, speaking at his pre-game press conference stated, “These signings are in accordance with league laws. Both the opposing captain, and two league commissioners agreed to these signings, so we’ve done nothing wrong. If the league wants to revisit the rules next season they can do so. In the meantime, our team is here to win soccer games.”
With Bouchardgate already casting a black cloud over the field Whitewalkers FC kicked off. Immediately, JJ “Half Man Half Amazing” rushed into the Whitewalkers defensive end, stripped the ball from the unexpected Whitewalkers midfield and blasted the ball past Charles “Make it Rain” Yang. 1-0 United early on. Whitewalkers, now ready for action, kicked off again. With both sides now finding their attack, the defences on either side refused to break. The breakthrough finally came when Mily “Wrecking Ball” Chen stripped the ball from the Whitewalkers captain, cut to her right around him, back to her left, back right, here’s the shot. GOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!!! 2-0 United.
Theo “The Body” Blachard had seen enough. Making another highlight reel run, he blew past several United players and wound up for the shot. The United defence bit on his feint, and he passed the ball across the field to Chaitanya “The Cannon” Khanna. With all the time in the world, Khanna picked his spot, wound up, and fired a ball into the top corner past a helpless United keeper. 2-1 United. Unhappy with conceding a goal, JJ once again took matters into his own hands as he carried the ball into the Whitewalkers zone, easily brushing off the undersized Ayala, as he helplessly tried to defend against the juggernaut. Carrying the ball down the sidelines, he fired a shot from a tight angle that somehow found its way past the Whitewalkers keeper. 3-1 United. Following the pattern of the game, Blanchard then carried the ball into the United zone. He outbattled Ted “Big Train” Guo but lost his handle on the ball. Falling, he threw a ball on net which found its way through. The celebration was shortlived however as Blanchard was ruled to have been sliding during the play. 3-1 United at half time!
Whitewalkers expectedly came out firing in the second half but a rotation of JJ, “Pistol” Paul Callahan, and Big Train on defence kept the score at 3-1. A late goal by JJ surely sealed the game for United at 4-1. But the Whitewalkers were not ready to concede as both teams battled until the end. Daniel “Pornstache” McNiece led the Whitewalkers on a late-game charge but Big Train fought off the Whitewalker attack with his Valyrian steel defence. The seconds ticked down, and the final whistle blew. 4-1 United!
Bad Apples vs The Black Team
When the Bad Apples took the field against the Black Team, it was a battle of two seriously depleted sides. The Apples looked to Charles Yang to deputize in place of Alex Arkanov. Also, Neon Leon Perelman joined them on loan.
Sean Kinsella confirmed his status as an elite goal scorer by drawing first blood. TBT shook it off though and pushed for an equalizer. Jeff McCabe found Ash Connor on the left side and he absolutely buried a shot past the Apples’ keeper. Charlito’s response was “Woah, nobody told me I’d have to face that.” Within a few minutes the Apples had retaken the lead through some nice link up play between Kinsella and Romain. It was the latter who placed a curling ball to the left of the keeper. Just before the half ended, Nicholas took a kick-in and found Brian Lyons in front of the net who calmly put the ball past Charlito. It was a great example of how a kick-in should be taken – fast to the open man.
The story of the first half was Raghav’s insistence on taking the kick-ins. Usually nothing good comes of the keeper doing this and nothing good came this time either. Romain thought to himself, “why don’t I just go and block the kick-in so that if it hits me, I might score into an open net.” To the surprise of nobody, this actually happened, well almost. Romain blocked the kick-in and in the ensuing chaos, the Apples just narrowly missed scoring. This did not deter Raghav one bit and he stuck to the plan for the rest of the game.
Jeff McCabe opened the second half with a vengeance. His talented left foot forced two very good saves out of Charlito. Midway through the second, Kinsella shot from just inside half and Raghav tried to save with his feet instead of his hands. It didn’t work out as well as he had hoped and the ball got past him and into the net. Not to be outdone, Charlito tried the same goalkeeping tactic on a long shot from Nico. He suffered the same fate as Raghav and the game was tied 3-3.
The Apples came to win though and led by Kinsella they took the lead with 10 minutes left. Much like Kurt Russell playing Wyatt Earp, walking forward into gun fire at the OK Corral and saying “noooooo” in slow motion, Kinsella beat three players and finally the goalkeeper to score the winning goal. Isabel had a great chance to make it five in the dying minutes as she beat a defender but couldn’t beat Raghav in TBT’s goal. The referee blew the final whistle. He also gave Leon a ride home, which was awful nice of him.