”Its a disgrace! Its a f***ing disgrace!” This was the cry from some of the fans in the stands after Boca’s Wembley dreams were shattered by a poor performance and some VERY questionable refereeing. The less I talk about it, the better I reckon, even though the game itself saw 5 goals and 3 red cards, it was one of those thrilling games that the ‘Bocarones’ would like to forget in quick time! The eleven men chosen for this crucial Cup Semi-Final were Eliy, Sam, Xemi, Crofo, Nyall, Bear, Rick, Sene, Kow, Mo and Seb! A free-kick gave the Imps the lead till Seb who later saw red equalised with a header. The 2nd half changed the game and they grabbed 2 quick goals with the man advantage and all but clinched the tie. Boca did get a goal back which made for a nervy finish but the final whistle confirmed our worst nightmare.
The game started quickly for both sides, Rick almost made a defender pay after he miscontrolled a pass, but Rick could only shoot wide after a good, positive run. An almost identical effort from the Imps after a miss-kick from Xemi resulted in one of them shooting wide with Eliy beaten. Boca conceded 2 corners in quick succession which came to nothing, before Nyall conceded a very debatable free-kick 30 yards out. A sublime strike floated past the wall and past Eliy’s dive. 1-0 Imps. Nyall looked like a man on a mission after conceding that free-kick, he retained the ball brilliantly under pressure and crossed beautifully towards Seb who carefully headed past their keeper. Their keeper wasn’t the tallest and got beaten to the ball easily by Seb but we didn’t care, we were level!!!!! Another corner followed and the turning point of the game was imminent. The corner was taken and play was stopped just after as it was unclear to see what had actually happened, there was all sorts of shouting, pushing, shoving and surrounding the referee from both sets of players. The incapable official aided by his linesman took Seb and an Imp aside and decided to show Seb a red card for god knows what. A harsh decision but it was the final one, and Boca were down to 10 at half-time.
The teams reappeared and an injured Bear was replaced by Hamza. No sooner had the game restarted, Boca found themselves behind once again, some guy did something and it was in. 2-1 down! Boca were chasing the game but were looking lazy in the final third, Hamza was upto his old tricks and was causing chaos in the penalty area, the ball was cleared and eventually fell to Mo who had 1 defender on the line to beat, but he scuffed his shot and it was cleared. The gaffer was endlessly attempting to try and save the game and brought on Bosh for Rick and Paul for Kow. These 2 were slowly settling into the pace of the game till Imps caught Boca on the counter and scored their third and what would be the decisive goal. That was the clincher and the fans were already debating what their dinner plans would consist of. La Linea or Champs were the 2 options. Sene wasn’t keen on going down without a fight and thundered a right-footed shot against the foot of the post after the kick-off.
The game turned very scrappy and Boca’s desperation for a goal was clear to see. They had several attacks and corners which came to nothing. Hamza again was involved in an attack in the box once again and this time hit a shot which the keeper saved only for it to hit a defender and trickle into the net. We’re gonna give Hamza the goal as the dubious goals committee was out having a coffee at Sacarello. Game on!!! As some in the stands were suggesting.
In the build up to the goal, there was a coming together between Sene and one of the Imps, in the delirium of celebration, everyone missed what had happened but it seemed that Sene had been given his marching orders for an off the ball incident. That was the 2nd red of the game. After this decision, the red mist descended and Kow lost his temper with the officials.
(much like this c**t getting sent off, scroll to 30 seconds in, that’s when it gets proper funny) Kow was fairly loud and in the linesman’s face, the referee ran over and gave Kow his marching orders too. It seemed the self-destruct button had been pressed by Boca. Even with 9 men, we managed to win a free-kick for an Imp being offside, ironic cheers greeted the decision as the anger grew amongst the Bocarones. A player not in the match-day squad was even quoted as saying ”killo I was close to zumbing my pint” while he was watching the Kow incident. We won a couple of corners and had Eliy charging up for them but all the efforts came to nothing and the referee blew the full-time whistle amid a chorus of boo’s by the Boca faithful.
Our Wembley dreams and hopes for silverware had been dashed. Boca will have to look at improving their league position and aim to finish as high as possible in the weeks that remain. A bitter pill for all to swallow but that’s football, we now look to Sunday 6th April at 16:00 for our chance at revenge against the same opponents in the league.