Sete a Um (quase)
(No sorry, no match report in Portuguese/Brazilian, but who knows the meaning, knows what this is all about. If you do not understand right away, see at the bottom of this report.)
Sometimes football is a game of 11 players passing the ball around and another 11 players chasing the ball. If there are no turnovers, it's always the same 11 players passing and the same 11 chasing. And after a while this game starts to get boring. This Monday night the Pufendorfer Kickers visited the still swamped with endorphins Greens a day after their historical victory in Europe. Unfortunately, this did not help at all on the pitch, where the Kickers were all over them from minute 1 on.
The Tulip could hardly get two passes in a row to their own players, let alone build up an attack and carry it into the opponent's half. And so, it happened after only 10 minutes. A long corner sails into the Green box, cleared by a header, but the Kickers regain it immediately, driving back into the box, where one man went out to mow a meadow and bowls the striker over. Penalty! 1:0
Only briefly after, a long ball into the green half, four strikers against three defenders. Sebastian is a split second late and 'Z' chips the ball past him, sending the striker onto his way to 2:0. The Tulip kept chasing the ball or the strikers, mainly in their own half. A crossing from inside the box, just high and long enough to find one of the free midfielders - this could be embarrassing - who heads the ball with the destructive energy of a wrecking ball perfectly into the back of the net. 3:0.
The Tulip has fallen apart inside 25 minutes. And now, the Tulip had a mountain to climb in their own backyard. A rather funny goal follows next. The Kickers' strikers are all on their own with the ball inside the Tulip box, and still hit only the post. However, the deflected ball hobbles right in front of the feet of one striker who then manages to poke it over the goal line. 4:0.
The Tulip has been humiliated, humbled and taken apart. The only thing that worked in the Tulip's defense was the offside trap - almost. One long ball gets through, a last chance sliding tackle does not break the attack, and the striker puts the ball past the goalie into the net. 5:0. There has never been a team as beaten as this at halftime. An unforgiveable performance by the Tulip, an unforgettable performance by the Kickers.
And this is the moment when a football match turns into a question of honor. We might not win the game but we might still play a little (more decent) football. And so the Tulip started to fight. 45 minutes of chasing the ball and the opponent but never let them finish. Sliding tackles of Stonewall Thilo drove the Kickers to desperation. And if Toffi's long attempt from the half right to the upper left angle of the goal or Sebastian's pass into Toffi's spring would have been a little more on target, the Tulip would have even scored a goal. They did not. The Kickers finally got one play right, beautifully combined speed, stamina, and accuracy over the left side and passed the ball finally into the open center and scored into the empty goal. 6:0.
However, pride comes from effort not necessarily from success - success comes later as you can see looking back at what the Greens have fought for for years. And pride the Tulip can enjoy after this good fight.