The day was August 14th 2002, At around 10:30 the Physical Education Instructor at school entered our class with an announcement “Students interested in Football can attend the practice session this 15th after the flag hoisting session is over” he said, What an apt time I thought: – The 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan And South Korea had just come to an end Brazil winning it in style against a very Compact Germany and I liked the way Rivaldo played throughout the competition.
With Rivaldo in mind, I attended the selection in 15th and was selected to play for the team. I always wanted to be a central attacking midfielder but my coach wanted me to be a Left Winger which is considered a more versatile position (Of course, some may not agree, not that I care), So I Half heartedly agreed to be a Left Winger. The team had a couple of classmates in Ashwin and SlavemanG who are on Twitter.
We had to play in an Inter-school event and the team played really well in the group stages and we reached Quarter Finals without any difficulty. We were drawn against a Superior and well-organized school team “BGS International Residency School” We saw them play pre-Quarters against a much weaker team than themselves and played it as a practice match with a score-line of 4-0 and they one leg in semi-finals, considering the fact that we had only scored just 5-6 goals in previous 3 matches.
This for us, at that time was the biggest match of our life, maybe bigger than our exams in March. We started playing well considering that we hadn’t let them score a goal even after 10 minutes into the first half, most annoying thing was the defender and the goalkeeper of the opponent team relaxing while all the 11 of our team players were in our half of the field, the dead lock was broken by them of course, just before halftime.
Second half started with us going all guns blazing, some how we managed to take the ball into their half and a friend floated the ball into the open defense where I went charging breaking the “OFFSIDE” trap and passed the ball to SlavemanG, I was already (well almost) celebrating as I knew this guy had to just tap the anyway past the goalkeeper Mr. Lingaraj (How can I forget his name) But I was wrong, the missed the target by a whisker! Both Me and “G” shocked as both of us didn’t know what happened or how the ball missed going inside the goal!
After this they had many attempt on goal which were easily dealt by our goalkeeper, and we had another opportunity at scoring but I couldn’t convert the Free-kick.
The match ended with the score-line 1-0, and this was an achievement considering the fact that this was the first match in which they (BGS International Residency School) had not scored more than 2 goals. We may have not won the match but we certainly did win the hearts of other teams!
Thus ended my first and best Football experience in a competition!
A big Thank You and *Hat Tip* to SlavemanG for all his help