So it’s the weekend after the weekend before. It’s been a hectic week trying to catch up on everything I haven’t had time to catch up on but I need to get this down before details are forgotten….
The weekend was magical, plain and simple. The football gods smiled down on Joshua and his team mates once again.
They romped their way through the first day of ‘group stage’ matches winning every match comprehensively 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 etc. There was one 0-0 but the rest were all big margin victories. Eden and I didn’t go to watch the first day. Two days would have been too much for Eden so we went and had fun in the shopping mall next to our hotel whilst Dan kept me updated from pitch-side. I was so happy for the boys and especially that Joshua was scoring a good chunk of the goals and seemed to be a really key part of the team.
On the second day, having checked out of the hotel at 7am since the matches started at 8am before the weather got too hot, the boys picked up where they left off. They had 2 more group matches which they won as convincingly as they had won their matches the day before. They finished top of their group by a long way and were through to the knock out stages to play for the Cup. The top half of each group went forward to play for the Cup and the bottom half of each group went forward to play for the Plate so every team still moved forward for at least one more match.
The B team also went forward to play for the Cup having finished top of the other group. But unfortunately they fell at the next hurdle and went out in the quarter finals but went on to win the 5th/6th place play off.
Joshua and his team won their quarter-final with ease. The semi-final final was a lot tougher and finished 0-0. This year, instead of the knock-out matches going to penalties, they went to sudden death, next goal wins. Apparently this is less stressful for the boys. I wasn’t so sure! It is not easy to get knocked out, no matter how it happens and there were tears everywhere as teams fell by the wayside. But Josh and the gang got that first goal and were in the final!!!
The final was nail-biting, tense, every minute seemed to last an hour, it was hot, the sun was beating down and Eden had lost patience with everything by then so I think we just neglected her for a bit!!
Joshua’s team took the lead but the other team soon equalised to make it 1-1. Then the smiling gods gave Joshua’s team a 2-1 lead and a few long minutes later the whistle finally blew – the boys had done it! They’d won the Cup! Again!!! Two years in a row!
Last year when they won the Cup it was magical because they were total underdogs, they were one of the youngest teams in their age category and weren’t expected to do anything but gain experience.
This year, in the same age category as one of the oldest ones, they were expected to do well but in football there’s never any guarantees and all the teams play to win. But to see them play so well as a team, to keep their cool (when their parents couldn’t!) and to win just about every match with such dominance was just amazing to witness. We couldn’t be prouder.
Oh, did I mention who scored that winning goal in the final? Into the top right hand corner …. Joshuuuuuuuua Solowayyyyyyy!!!
Joshua will never forget his Bangkok experiences. If he gets to go again next year it will be a different story as they will be the young boys once again, this time in the Under 10’s age group. Bigger pitches, bigger goals, longer matches, they would surely just go to gain the experience. Wouldn’t they….?