”The ball comes in from Seb and Mo volleys it innnnnn, that has GOTTT to be the winning goal!” That would have been ‘commentator of the year’ Michael Owen’s analysis on the game winning moment, in what felt like the 98th minute of play for the fans. What a sensational game it was too, converted penalties, a missed penalty, goals, a red card, Crawford in the opposition area, Boca leading, then falling behind, then leading again, late drama and best of all, a Boca win. I’ll try my best to give you the best insight on the game but not sure it will do the cracking match justice. The early news from the morning of the game was all about a potential new signing. After his controversial exit from a Premier team – for stubbing out a cigar in a youth player’s eyes – Julian Sheriff was being whisked from place to place as the authorities tried to get him signed up in time for the game in the evening. And at approximately 3:35pm, the news we had all been waiting for had broken, Sheriff had signed from St Joseph for an undisclosed fee. The gaffer has maintained that Sheriff’s ill-discipline is a thing of the past, I guess we shall see.
The game itself was delayed by 9 minutes due to the referee finishing off his cheeseburger in the changing rooms, once it did though, Phil, Sam, Ely, Crawford, Nali, Sean, Bosh, Rick, Karlo, Paul and Mo were the chosen men for this big game. The game kicked off and Sporting had the ball in the net early on, it was a let off for Boca though as the off-side flag was raised. Paul and Karlos were linking up well and managed to win a corner. The resulting corner led to one of the most historic occasions in Boca’s short history, Stuart, who famously stated ‘I don’t like heading the ball’ rose up and beautifully headed the ball goalward before a stray arm from an outfield player denied him. The referee was quick to react and gave Boca the penalty and sent the culprit off for an early shower. Crawford was denied his first ever Boca goal but his header did give us the chance to take the lead.
Karlos stepped up and confidently slotted home the penalty to the keeper’s left. The old adage of teams being at their weakest when they have just scored was abundant here as Sporting were straight up the other end and they won a penalty of their own, Crawford, this time was the culprit as the ball struck his arm and the referee pointed to the spot a mere 2 minutes after he had given Boca a pen. Their player (Jim) calmly slotted home as Phil was rooted to the spot. Rick began to grab control of the game and ‘Rick with a great ball in from the right’ was a regular tweet from the man on the phone. He was passing the ball around well and had a few wayward shots at goal to try and regain the lead for Boca.
As Rick’s good efforts didn’t change the game, 10 man Sporting gained a glimmer of hope and created a few chances themselves. They began to control possession and their efforts resulted in 3 corners in quick succession, the last of which led to a header being cleared off the line, with the rebound hitting the bar, the ball finally fell to a striker who tapped into the open goal to take the lead just before half-time. The goal didn’t deter Boca who went straight on the attack and played some good football on the right and crossed into Borge on the left side of the box, he miscontrolled the ball and while chasing back, he conceded a free kick after a bundle foul, a bit like this cracker:
The half-time whistle blew and Sporting led 2-1, the gaffer, who had returned to the dug-out after his tax evasion court case, had a huge team-talk to give.
The teams reappeared for the 2nd half and Boca were straight on the attack from the off, they played some neat football and Mo who was having a superb game played a cheeky one-two in the box and got fouled as he ran towards goal. The ref pointed to the spot once again and a third penalty of the game went to Boca, Karlos stepped up and struck it hard but down the middle, the keeper’s trailing leg got in the way of it and it was saved!!! The fans were in disbelief and the game began to open up much more, Boca were not making use of the extra man and Sporting almost made them pay with a good cross from the right and shot from inside the area which forced Pippo into a world class save. Berllaque’s reaction to trailing was to bring on an in-form Seb who came on to replace Borge, whose reliable passing and distribution was limited due to the lack of time on the ball as a result of good midfield pressure in the middle of the park from Sporting. The tactical change immediately reaped rewards as Rick played a superb ball in behind the defensive line and the substitute calmly ran down on goal and slotted the ball under the onrushing keeper to level the scores.
As the scores were level, Berllaque was keen on freshening up the defence and brought on Nyall to replace Nali, who had a solid game yet again, at left back. As the game went on, Sean played an inch perfect ball for Mo to latch on to, he did just that and turned the defender who blatantly swiped his feet inside the area, could it have been a fourth penalty of the game??
No! The ref was hesitant in giving us another penalty even though it looked more of a foul that our second penalty. Mo was wreaking havoc in the final third. While Mo was doing his bit up top, Crofo and Eliy were solid as ever at the back now as Sporting caught Boca on the break, Crofo recovering well and conceding a corner, Sam was also required moments later to make a last ditch tackle to deny the opposition who were adamant on getting a result despite being a man down. The game was very even but in Rick (the Gibraltarian Christian Eriksen), we had our very own game changer, he played ANOTHER great ball from the right which Seb headed against the post, with Mo going to ground as he chased down the rebound, the referee booked him due to his apparent play acting. The ref’s decision left everyone baffled, not as much as this guy though….
Karlos was also enjoying a very good game and he was very unlucky to not give Boca the lead, after a Messi-like twist and turn outside the area led to a left-footed strike which thundered against the crossbar, the reverberations of that strike are still being felt in South Korea. The score-line remained 2-2 and Sporting sprung a counter to try and change that. The offside flag stayed down after a hopeful ball over our defence was latched onto by Jim who struck well only for Phil to make a great save and keep the scores level.
Boca then went up the other end and Christian (I’m going to call him Christian now as I’ve said Rick faaaar too many times) cut a great ball back to Kow who controlled first time and slotted into the net through the narrowest of angles via a touch off the keeper. The fans initially thought it wasn’t a goal but as yellow arms went up, the fans followed suit and went into delirium.
Emotional celebrations from the lad the critics thought should be playing futsal only! Great work on shutting them up Kowwwww! Almost seconds after this goal, Seb played Christian in for a one on one which he could only strike against the post. A goal was the only thing missing from his stellar performance.
It seems almost as if the lads were already celebrating winning the game, and Sporting punished them by responding in the only way they know best, another ball over the top beat the offside trap and their striker cut across Sam – who couldn’t touch him as he risked giving away a penalty and getting sent off – and fired the ball past Phil. Boca pegged back once again. This emotional rollercoaster of a game still had one more twist left in it though. Boca played on with purpose and supersub Seb found himself on the right, he crossed into the six yard area and Mo who ran himself into the ground volleyed in from close range! Boca led again! The fans reaction in the stands was similar to my reaction when this goal went in a year and a bit ago:
What a game, what a win! Only Boca could provide us with such highs and lows in 2 hours. A sensational win for us which at one stage looked so so different. This game had everything in it, maybe the only thing missing were these wonderful characters…
Any female Boca fans fancy doing it for the next game? I’ll teach you the moves if needed!
The Man of the Match sponsored by the iPhone 5C (sorry mate) went to Rick for his outstanding performance in the middle of the park, he used the ball beautifully and when not in possession, he hounded the opposition to try and get it back, special mentions have to go Mo who of course scored the winner and ran his heart out, he also won a penalty and could have easily had a second. Seb also deserves a mention, he had a major part to play in 3 of the goals that Boca scored by scoring one and creating the 2 latter goals. A game played in a great spirit and credit must be given to Sporting who played their part in an absolute thriller. We hope the lads build on from this and challenge the teams ahead of them for the top spots of the division.
Many thanks as always go to the Boca fans who turn up in their numbers regardless of the weather or what other commitments they have, and as well to Mrs Gaffer whose pictures make these blogs look a whole lot better! We are not just a football club, we are a way of life.