April 24, 2006

still a little left in the tank...

(Nope, not a political post about gas prices, how they've risen because of the war, the obscene profits being made by the oil companies, or how gas prices should have risen further but Bush decided to open the national oil reserves to keep prices lower before the election... no, this is a post about soccer.)

Yesterday morning my over-30 soccer team trotted onto the field with our third-string goalkeeper between the sticks and just seven field players, one of which was at about 50% due to a mysterious injury in his hamstring. Our opponent had a full squad and three subs. We figured we were in for a very long and tiring 90 minutes. (Or, this being a Cup game, possibly 120 minutes plus penalty shots.)

We looked over our numbers and decided to play a 3-3-1, which turned into a 3-4-0 after a bit, which sort of devolved into a 2-5-0, with all seven of us trying to cover large sections of the field. 25 minutes into the first half, the injured guy got hurt more and essentially wandered around trying to get in the other team's way until halftime. Then he dropped out. So we switched to a 3-3-0. Our opponent managed only about four decent chances in the first half, and we managed three of our own and even a couple corner kicks. Our goalkeeper, being a tall guy, actually went all the way forward for the corners, but we failed to score. Just before halftime, the opponent managed a good corner kick and scored off a header. After all, it's not easy to mark all 10 men with just 7.

The second half saw more of the same despite being four men down. It took about 35 of the 45 minutes for the opponent to salt away their second goal (which was a weak bouncer that just eluded the keeper's hands), and we had some very good defending in the box. Again, we had a couple decent chances ourselves, and it was hard not to be proud of the final 2:0 score.

I'm a little sore today, but with my 39th birthday coming up I think I can feel pretty good about my fitness. It really was a good game on our part, though it helped that the opponent is simply not a very good team.

No comments: