Saturday, 19 July 2014

Golden Goal

The Golden Goal

Football and hockey were played and competed amongst the squadron alternatively every term. The price of hockey sticks ranges from Rupees 100 to 5000. And during the hockey playing term it is compulsory to have hockey sticks for every cadet. We go for the cheapest sticks as it is required for only one term, this leads to hitting the ball with care because the cheap sticks break easily, leading to purchasing of a another new one.

I was in second string hockey team of my squadron and we were doing very well. We reached the knock out round.

The match between our squadron and other squadron was so competitive; both the teams were equally good leading to draw at the end of the game even after the extra time. Therefore to decide the winner, as in football the penalty shots were required. Five best players from both the team was chosen to shoot the penalty shot. I was not included in that first five because I was told that one cannot hit the ball in the penalty shot but just scoop it or push the ball hard keeping the hooked part of the stick touching the ball, I was not so good in doing that during the practice session.

We began the first shot and it went in. Their first player scored the goal too. There was tension building up not because of anything but if we win this game our midterm mood will be extended for another week. And if we lose all our effort will go in vain and on top of that there will be some more physical activities waiting for us in the odd hours. The second shooter of ours was saved by the goal keeper so did our goal keeper for their shot. The rest of the players and the cheering party did not look at the shots thereafter but cheering our lungs out with our back to the activities going on in the field. All five shots were complete but again it was draw. 

penalty shoot

As I have been thinking, amongst the players left after taking out the first five, I was the best option left to take the shot. I wanted to deny but if I did not do it, me and as well as others knew that there was no much hope from the others.

It was told to us by the referee that it would be a golden goal penalty i.e who ever scores the first goal will be the winner and there will be no further attempts. As we have taken the shot first in the five to five penalty they got chance to shoot first, we were not happy with that but the only solace was that they too have fielded the best five in the earlier penalty.

The penalty shooter took the position, he looked tensed and we could almost see him shivering. He took the shot which hit the keeper directly and all my friends burst out shouting, except me. Now it is my turn to cool myself down, and be composed to take the shot. I almost felt like complaining about the goal post being too small. As I was approaching the post the goal keeper looked so huge that when he extended his arms it covered the post completely, leaving little space between his legs and at the corners of the post. I have decided to put the ball through, between his legs because attempting at the corners would be too risky as the margin of error there is quite less. I put the hooked portion of the stick on the ball. I tried to look formidable to the keeper, stretched my arms and scooped the ball, hard. To my utter dismay the ball was rolling towards the keeper very slowly like in slow motion. I knew that even a child could stop a penalty like that. But the keeper thinking, that just like other penalty shots, it must be coming fast so he did the kicking motion in the expected direction of the ball; as he lifted the leg my ball was half way in the same direction, rolling slowly. His team mates shouted instruction to the keeper about where the ball is approaching. Due to the cumbersome attire of the keeper in hockey, it took time for him to react giving just enough time for the snail paced ball to cross the line below his lifted legs. Had the ball been scooped bit faster, it would have been saved by the keeper. The keeper did comprehend the direction of the ball accurately but failed to comprehend the speed. He must have the judged the speed from the looks of the player and Bhutanese were considered strong.
cumbersome attire of the keeper

I was lifted on the shoulders by my team mates and carried around, there were endless kisses, hugs and handshakes. I knew that I was not a best player but I was just lucky that day, for not knowing how to scoop - hard. But opponent thought that I did that shot on purpose to trick the keeper. Whatever maybe we won that match with that golden goal.