L.O.B. vs HAZARD US – Keep Playin’

Keep Playin'
The latest third-person account of my weekly attempt to play eight-a-side football – we wear grey… Keep playin’

The Greys lined up against Hazard US with a strong but relatively unfamiliar-looking team. On top of that, dribbly Konstantin was back from a bad back injury and midfield general Manu was nursing a twisted ankle. So the empty subs bench was a bit of a concern – could the Greys hold it all together?

Straight after kick-off, Alex charged a ball down on the left that fell to winger Karim. Taking the ball in his stride Karim exploded into action, smashing his shot in off a Hazard US defender to put the Greys 1-0 up. Karim punched the air triumphantly and for a moment it really felt like our heroes in Grey were all set for a big win and a great end to a long week. But that’s where things all fell apart…

Soon after the restart, a long ball beat all the Greys defenders and keeper Yusuf came out to pick up the pieces. But suddenly, what seemed like a routine clearance became a major threat when Hazard US’ right winger somehow beat Yusuf to the ball and tucked it over him to level the score.

Two minutes later the same winger beat everyone in Grey to a near-post corner, sticking his gangly leg out and putting Hazard US 2-1 up. Then two minutes after that, Hazard US were back at it again. This time their left winger ran through everyone, gave Yusuf the eyes and broke Greys hearts with a neat finish in the bottom right corner; 3-1 Hazard US.

The second half didn’t bring any respite for the Greys. They looked tired, slow and lethargic. Every once in a while someone would slide in and make a bone-crunching tackle that fired everyone up for a bit. But the tempo would die down almost immediately, as Hazard US went straight back to strolling through tackles, beating the Greys to the ball and out-numbering them all over the park.

It also didn’t help that Hazard US were horrible opponents, diving all over the place at the slightest touch, constantly kicking the ball away to waste time and shouting “Barca, Barca” every time they scored – are you kidding me?

For some reason the Greys kept diving in too early and constantly left an attacker unmarked in the box. And soon it was 4-1 – “Barca, Barca.” Then it was 5-1. “Barca, Barca… Rayo Vallecano, Rayo Vallecano.”

At this point the Greys realized the ref wasn’t giving anything, so a few players took their chance to exact some kind of revenge on the annoying antagonists in red. But it was no good. The Greys were already in the pub and midway through their Saturday morning cup of coffee. Hazard US, on the other hand, weren’t quite done.

Just before the final whistle, when the Greys finally managed to stop Hazard US’ left winger – who kept suckering them in with the same dribble over and over again – the ball fell to a midfielder in red, who thumped it in from way out. To be fair, it was the goal of the game. And that’s how it ended; 6-1 to Hazard US. Ouch…

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