Is there a more satisfying symmetry in this world? Sunday afternoon, the air a column of stillness; wide expanse of grass and land, the very picture of idleness. And in perfect tandem, football, tension, machismo; the chaotic dance of soil and stud.
A motley collection this was: two Law Club Presidents, past and present; seasoned veterans, wide-eyed Year 1s. We could philosophise further on this: perhaps in spite of our common academic interests, it is only with the primal impulse of competitive sporting play that we feel truly united. Perhaps we should get senior judges to go for a kickaround every now and then.
But enough intellectual nose-picking.
Our team was matched against School of Design & Environment (SDE), Engineering, FASS and USP, and match them we did.
We started out slowly in the competition, losing our first match to SDE. This was in spite of the fact that we probably played better than them on the whole. SDE created very little going forward, while we constantly offered an attacking threat. The single goal was conceded in unusual circumstances: their forward managed to work the ball into the penalty box from the left, which fortuitously ended up at the feet of an unmarked player.
Engineering, the heavyweights in the group, were quite comprehensively contained for the entirety of the second match. They say good teams are built on strong foundations, and in this match our midfield and defence fared exceedingly well against some skilled attacking play. The quartet of James Kwong (Year 2), Koo Zheng Xuan (Year 3), Lennart Poelmans (on exchange) and Zenzel Chew (Year 4) in particular turned in an imperious display to shut out forward progress by the opposition through the centre. Going forward, Hari Veluri (Year 4) made many penetrating runs down the right flank, and he almost stole a last-gasp victory when his free kick from near the corner flag hit the crossbar.
The match against FASS was arguably the most memorable of the lot, the product of a well-thought out and executed game plan on our part. Once again, the steadiness of our midfield and defensive players allowed for our attacking players to better express themselves. The two goals we scored were things of beauty. The first started out from a corner kick, which led to a scramble in their penalty box before Ian Loke (Year 2), after muscling off his defender, did his best impression of Dimitar Berbatov (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BqMIXg1PQs&feature=youtu.be&t=7s) to score with an overhead kick.
The next goal came just when we were having to withstand some defensive pressure. Lennart picked the ball up from outside our penalty box, skipped past some defenders, shrugged others off, ran with the ball, by himself, all the way to just outside their box, and fired a half volley into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. It was the sort of goal that occupies the fantasies of football-obsessed schoolboys.
Alas, progression into the Semi-Finals did not materialise. SDE managed to draw against Engineering and FASS, and so they went through ahead of us. Nevertheless, I genuinely think we played well enough to be worthy of a spot in the Semis. We can consider ourselves quite unlucky that the circumstances did not turn out in our favour.
Article by: Wah Jiang (Year 1)
Photography by: Wah Jiang (Year 1)