It was time to go head to head with the unbeatable team. Bombay. No team in the tournament had scored a goal against them, but could that change in this final match with AES going against ASB girls? Both teams lined up on the field to shake hands and wave at the spectators. It was the last match of the tournament and could be one of the most intense matches.
“Beep” officially the game had started. Bombay had started the kickoff and passed it back to defense so they could play keep away and gain possession. The AES crowd began getting into the match, cheering to motivate the nervous players.
AES took the ball, got a shot, but missed. They hoped that this wouldn’t be their last opportunity to score. The teams went back and forth with the ball, getting shots on the goal but missing, and time swept by. The referee blew his whistle, the first half was over.
The teams walked off the field, catching their breath after going through an exhausting first half. The coaches gave a small pep talk to explain what to be doing on the field while players drank water to get ready for the second half. After five minutes, the referee blew his whistle to start the second half.
AES started with the ball but as soon as they passed it, it got intercepted by #24 on Team ASB. She dribbled towards the goal by getting past the defenders and she took a solid shot that went right between the goalie’s legs – a “nutmeg.”
It was one goal to Bombay.
The reaction on the player’s faces was devastating, but they persevered.
Moments later, Bombay struck again. 2-0. The Bombay fans were going nuts on the sidelines. Things were not looking good.
Out of nowhere #17 on Team AES made a complete shot towards the goal and it flew in. The crowd went wild as AES got their first goal. The whistle blew again and Bombay started with a short pass. Suddenly though, the pass was intercepted and taken by a girl on the AES. She dribbled towards the goal but she was knocked over.
It was a free kick.
Everyone got quiet as it was the last few minutes of the final. She walked up towards the ball and observed the goal to look where she would shoot. The whistle blew. She missed.
But when the rebound came she struck it hard and powerful and it zoomed right into the goal. Screaming, crying – that’s all you could see and hear. It was 2-2 but it was not over yet. The final whistle blew. The players walked off exhausted to the chairs, taking a quick break until over time.
The players walked onto the field looking intimidating. They were ready to win. As extra time started each team was passing, keeping possession, and trying to take shots but nothing went in. You could see the cravings the players on both teams had. But then something crazy happened.
A player from Bombay took a solid shot towards the left-center of the goal, but the AES goalkeeper was on the other side and #4 from AES did something. She took her hands and pushed the ball away from the goal and the referee blew his whistle. Not for game over, but for a foul. It is against the rules to use your hands to touch the ball.She was given a red card and had to walk off the field, leaving AES short one player.
The penalty kick. No time left in the match. If this shot went in, Bombay would win.
The AES goalie got ready in the box with her hands out to the side nervously. #9 from Bombay walked to the penalty spot. The whole crowd was in silence, as this could be the moment. The referee blew his whistle. She thought for a second . . . and smashed it right over the goal.
It was over. A penalty shootout would determine the winning team.
The first one was goalie vs goalie. The AES goalie vs Bombay goalie. Both scored.
It was Bombay goalie vs AES and we scored. Then Bombay vs AES goalie and our goalie saved it. Then AES vs Bombay goalie we scored. And Bombay vs AES goalie and it was the same girl during the match who kicked over, she kicked it over again. The last penalty would determine if AES won or had to go on with the penalty’s or not. She shot, it went in. We won.
The whole crowd of AES ran towards the players for a group hug. It was the most intense finals many may have seen before. Each player on both teams worked hard and fought hard for this moment. It was a worthy final match for a wonderful ASIAC tournament.