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  • Writer's pictureYatharth Dey

Game- changing Match

Quarter-final match of the Mumbai District Football Association. My team and I had come a long way for this. I was representing the MSSA Academy. On the basis of our past matches, we were on top of the table. The members of MDFA decided to give us a tier promotion and put us against the tier one teams for quarters. It was against one of the most feared teams of the tournament who had won all matches in a row.

The Reliance team entered the ground with a flair. Their coaches were expats and made them do a very intimidating warm-up. I was waiting as a substitute. It was evident that our left-back player was very tensed. He fumbled in stress and within 11 minutes of the first half, we were 2 goals down. Everyone got cold feet. Our supportive parents cheering from the stands also had to button their mouths. The team lost its morale. Coach substituted me as left-back although my position was as a midfielder. In front of me stood the fastest player of their team who had scored both the goals, but I kept my cool and tried to put my best foot forward. I made it my aim to prevent him from coming anywhere near our goal. Second half I was able to create a clearance for the ball which reached our striker who headed it with accuracy and BOOM! It was 2-1.

Ten minutes more into the game, our right winger cut down the flank and crossed the ball in accordance with our midfielder smashing it in to equalize the score. The loud cheers were back. Last ten minutes to the final whistle. All of us on adrenaline rush tried every opportunity we could, till the opponent player fouled. The referee disregarded it which gave them an opportunity into the penalty area. I took to my heels and rushed back just when the shot was taken at our goal. All eyes were on the ball. I gave it all and slid to make a goal-line clearance by pushing the ball away. Exclamation cries followed by ecstatic screaming of my teammates jumping on me was exhilarating. We were on the rocks just when we made a counter-attack and in the nick of time, our striker pushed the ball in the goal. 3-2 and we all were crying in joy!

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