Saturday 16th August at Stanley Park – The World Cup!!
The teams assembling, the crowd buzzing and then the news breaks – Colombia haven’t turned up! Some kerfuffle with the drug squad dogs at the border perhaps? Who knows but this means a short delay while the organisers rejig the schedules and make a slight mistake when they delete Costa Rica instead. Hang on – that’s US, Doorway!! You can’t just rub us out – we trained long and hard for this. Much more writing on the fixtures tables and a further delay but eventually we are back on track and the tournament begins.
Match 1 and Doorway are on pitch 1 facing Uruguay. A nervous start and after 4 minutes our defence slips up and Uruguay score. That seems to spark us into action and after pressuring their defence for a couple of minutes a mistake is forced and a defender puts through his own goal and we’re back at 1-1. That’s got us pepped up and a couple of minutes later Kev slots home a goal and we’re 2-1 up! The game moves from end to end for a while and then Uruguay start to apply some pressure and eventually force an equaliser so now it’s 2-2 with 9 minutes left. Once again we respond the right way and after several attacks Jordan bangs in the winning goal! Stout defence keeps Uruguay at bay for the last few minutes and we hold on for a well deserved win.
Costa Rica 3 – 2 Uruguay
Match 2 is our bye round
Match 3 sees us up against Mexico. They are a very good side and press forward a lot. After 6 minutes that pressure tells and we’re 0-1 down. More pressure from Mexico but Doorway are fighting hard and showing great spirit and after 12 minutes Miller pops up in attack and bangs in an equaliser! The rest of the game is tight but determined defending from Mario, Julian and Steve and top-notch goalkeeping from Connor gets us to the whistle still at 1-1 – a cracking result against a good team.
Costa Rica 1 – 1 Mexico
Match 4 and we face the defending champions – Iran. From the beginning we struggle to deal with their power and movement and after 7 minutes we’re down 0-2. Some of the fighting spirit comes up again and on 9 minutes Kev rifles in a goal to make it 1-2 – can we get back on level terms? Sadly, not this time and Iran notch up another couple of goals before the end.
Costa Rica 1 – 4 Iran
Match 5 brings the Netherlands into our sights. For some reason we’re all at sea from the start and find ourselves 0-3 down after just 6 minutes. Now we start playing and putting a lot of effort in – especially Peck who suddenly seems to be everywhere. He gets just rewards for his efforts with goals on 8 and 13 minutes to bring us back to 2-3 but an equaliser eludes us despite all the hard work everyone is putting in. Netherlands manage to slot in another before the end and we end up on the wrong end of a slightly unjust score.
Costa Rica 2 – 4 Netherlands
Match 6 is Portugal. We seem to be tiring and just not clicking in this match and are under pressure all the way through it. They score on 8 minutes and that proves to be the only goal of the game – thanks largely to the efforts of Connor in goal as he produces a string of fine saves to give us some hope.
Costa Rica 0 – 1 Portugal
Match 7 is the last game and it’s England. Another bad start from us and we’re 0-3 down after just 4 minutes! Everyone looks a little tired and dejected but England start to relax a little and a chink of light appears. That great Doorway spirit comes up again and we start to work really hard and begin playing some good football again and England are now on the back foot. After 11 minutes Peck pops the ball in the net and we’re on a roll – 1-3. Efforts are redoubled and on 15 minutes Kev gets on the scoresheet and we’re at 2-3. Can we dig deep and get back on level terms? Yes we can – on 17 minutes Peck is on hand to put away the equaliser and it’s just reward for all his efforts. No more goals despite both teams having chances so it ends all square.
Costa Rica 3 – 3 England
We didn’t make the final which was between Iran and Mexico with Mexico defending very well to take a deserved 1-0 victory and lift the trophy.
Overall we finished 5th which is slightly disappointing but the lads should be proud of their efforts on the day so here’s a big WELL DONE to them:-
Connor Jordan Julian Kev Mario Miller Peck Steve
All the photos can be found on Flickr here
With huge thanks to Roland for writing this article!