Referee blows time on at 11:30AM and the game Immediately takes on a casual feel. Both teams are happy to sit back and watch the other team until they press and present a problem to deal with/fix. Newington start to build by stringing many passes together and are happy to go backwards to keep possession.
5 min in and now the game has changed a gear or two. Both teams are looking to gain the early advantage and they press aggressively straight down the middle. Eren has an opportunity to turn two players and he expertly finds Evan only to have to ball burgled from him. Two opportunities present with Seung Woo and Eren with both shots drilled and requiring all the skill of the keeper to keep them out.
GCS push through and a creative push turns into a chance but taken beautifully by Ryan. NC are looking vulnerable in the backs as they are finding hard to contain the speed of the two CGS boys up front. The NC boys are showing early signs that yesterdays game drained more than physical strength.
A free kick awarded to NC 35m out and sees Seung Woo step up and deliver a dipping shot that required the keeper to use all his skills. The CGS keeper is showing a lot of courage and confidence and may be difficult to beat this game.
The game has travelled these last ten minutes with not much happening, offsides and free kicks were interrupted with Evan getting his second yellow card of the tournament. Mr Burgess quickly takes him off the field as another yellow this game will see the team playing with 10 and the way the boys are currently playing it will be decisive. Two yellows for Evan, so he may miss the next game.
CGS push forward again and some creative play sees them on goal again and without the intervention of Thomas Greely things may well have been different. Thomas is showing an acute awareness in the ability to read the game. With 5 minutes to play until half time the score is still tied at 0-0 but the ball is travelling end to end. Another corner to NC is sent to the far post with real attacking opportunities but no one steps up to take the advantage.
CGS move the ball down the right side and present the NC defenders with some difficulties. The CGS right winger is very fast. Thomas is again stoic and this is making a real difference.
NC are awarded a corner but does not make the field of play, swinging over the by line. NC have won a free kick moments later and the ball is put dangerously into the box but to no avail. The whistle blows and both teams head to their respective coaches with the scoreline 0-0.
The second half starts at 12:20 PM with NC pushing over the advantage line decisively. Some creative play sees Stephen with an opportunity and the ball just slips past the right upright. Stephen again puts himself in a good position and his shot /cross again just narrowly beats the right upright with two NC boys charging towards the back post. The game is slipping back into an end to end game with the keepers picking up then redistributing. Both teams seem to be leaving the midfield for each other. Another throw in sees CGS going backwards to maintain possession. A lapse in concentration gives NC a free kick but ill discipline sees both teams losing possession time and time again. One feels that the team that steps up first to try and control the game will win, otherwise a draw looks the only result.
NC are pushing forward and some creative play from Vangeli wins a throw in deep in CGS territory. Dylans throw hits Seung and he turns poetically and offloads to Muhammad for the shot of the game thus far. A brilliant save from the CGS keeper denies the scoreboard yet again the opportunity to click over.
NC are playing some beautiful football now in this passage of play, many times they are stringing together multiple passes to work the ball through the CGS defenders. CGS have done a lot of defending and NC are finding it hard to break down them down. Again they move the ball backwards to open up CGS to then go downfield as quickly as they can before the defenders compress and shut out the attack.
The game is now being played in the NC half and Mr Burgess is calling out to the boys “Why are we watching” a massive push forward sees NC scrambling. Good luck or good fortune denies CGS a goal. NC recover and push again, a high foot from the CGS defender gives Seung Woo an indirect opportunity inside the D. The ball is pushed into the wall and play continues at 0-0.
CGS win a free kick mid-field and play eventually pushes it out wide for a throw in. NC use the throw to work down the left side and the keeper is forced to come to the edge of his box to clear. NC continue to work and Muhammad sees Eren free on the back post, the cross just goes over his head, this was a well set up movement. CGS now press and the game is opening up again and there is now a feeling of urgency creeping in. Ryan pulls off what will probably be the game changing save. Legends and many stories will be written about his one. CGS are seeing that if they continue to push they are gaining more and more successes, particularly down the left side. With 7 minutes to go it is anyones game. A draw will not hurt NC and they will go top of the table but the boys do not look to be settling for the draw. The BGS boys sitting behind me have just rated that save from Ryan.
A free kick from mid field is kicked high and towards goal, Ryan allows it to go out for the goal kick. The ball moves quickly down field and NC win a corner with 3min remaining. The counter attack from CGS is nullified by Eric and Seb and the ball is push back up the field. I feel that both coaches know how the Wimbleton judges are feeling with their head looking left then right then left again. The game is going through another gear change with both benches being interchanged. Width and possession seem to be the focus at this point. CGS win a corner one minute into extra time. CGS miss the opportunity to snatch the game away, the call from the BGS boys behind me was “hit it you cheeky dingo”. The ball is cleared and the referee blows fulltime at 1:02PM.
As the table sits now:
NC – 4, BGS – 3, SPC – 3 and the hosts 1 point. The tournament is still alive.