SIFL League Game
It was Match day #2 in the SIFL league and it was going to be another showdown, another in house derby, another Classico between the Raiders and the Vikings.
Coach Jonas ordered all Vikings to be at the pitch again the usual 3 hours before and everyone was going to have a quick pop quiz on our playbook. And only if you got at least 75% correct you were able to start. Luckily we take our playbook serious and everyone passed with flying colors. Except of course that one person who left his playbook with the Saints after what was probably a rough night out.
Warm Ups were done in the corner of the pitch, as the green army of Irish lads and ladies were still playing their mix of Football,Handball and Rugby.
The Vikings were focusing on their warm up as Coach Nick came along with yet another legendary pre game motivational speech. “ you guys don’t think Foxy will slide tackle you to the ground” “you don’t think Seb will give you a knock on the ankle” “you don’t think Fola will want to smack you in the face”(that one turned out to be true🤪). I thought for a second Nick was getting ready for UFC Fight Night but he then quickly shifted into a more tactical and football specific team talk.
So there we were, Raiders vs Vikings lining up to the Champions League theme music at midfield with the lovely Ref not wanting us to play with the 700$ adidas ball that MJ personally brought from the factory. But instead gave us a 10,000 VND Ding Dong ball that was luckily quickly dispatched over the fence by Aaron the Wall. He still claims it was just a clearance but we all know the truth…
Raiders had the much better start to the game and were looking to get a quick goal inside the first 5 min. But luckily our honorary member and goalkeeper Craig “aka Friso” managed to move the goal half a meter behind the line so that the Referee had to disallow the goal and scream at his assistant for not checking that the goal is where it’s supposed to be.
Vikings got a little bit better into the game after the early shock but it was yet again the Raiders who stroke first as Mike Owen gave them the 1:0 advantage. But as we emphasized positivity before the game, especially in situations like this, the Vikings kept their heads up and answered through a goal by Hoggie after a beautiful pass from Magnus Maulinho.
With the game tied at 1:1 Vikings were caught on the counter by Folas blistering speed and nice finish, which led to the 2:1 advantage to the Raiders at Halftime.
Vikings had a very positive halftime speech by our coaches and captain Jeremiah and were ready to go for Round two in this heavyweight matchup.
We started much better into this half than we did in the first. Kept it much tighter in the back and tried to get the ball through to Hoggie, which didn’t always work as planned. That’s why Hoggie just decided to get the ball around midfield, run a few meters with it and then just said “fuck it” I’m gonna shoot.
The ball sailed in a rainbow shape straight over Mirkos head into the goal and all of a sudden the game was tied at 2:2.
From here on out it was just a pure battle. It obviously started to rain again which is a usual sight these days whenever Raiders and Vikings play and the game started to become very physical.
Raiders grew impatient and Vikings kept feeding on each other’s positivity and will to fight, led by our skipper Jeremiah’s Man of the Match performance.
A few emotions were boiling over when Fola and James M got into a little scuffle late in the game but overall it all stayed very fair between us and the Raiders.
At the end stood a 2:2 draw in the first competitive Classico of the young season and yet again I get a ridiculous Turkey handed to me.
After the game we remained at the pitch for some celebratory beers and hard lemonades. Jimmy Q tried to leave the pitch around 4 times but always found himself back at the table for another round of beers. He probably treated it as his warm up for the birthday trip to Hanoi.
Both Raiders and Vikings will have 10 day’s rest before playing Hotshots Moi and Japan respectively.
I will then try to avoid another Turkey at all costs.