The Championship Play-Off
We went to Freadmunde knowing we were up against the other best side of the National Championship. Despite already being promoted the stakes were still very high.
The chance to be crowned champions
of all eight divisions is a title worth playing for, so we weren't going to sit on our laurels and have a bit of fun. I elected for a strong starting lineup, the regulars all retaining their places on the pitch.
The game was a tight one. We soaked pressure and made chances while Freamunde
did the same. It was a close fought battle and each side knew that one goal could be all it took to get the win. Both Freadmunde
and us possessed water tight defences and we both had trouble breaking down each other.
As the game wore on more space became available. We scored through Figo
but we were pegged back soon after and after 90 minutes the scoreline remained even. The game was sent into extra time and we had to use every last ounce of energy.
But those thirty extra minutes could still not separate the sides and it was to the dreaded penalty shoot-out we went. Our usual takers stood up to the plate and it was a very nervy affair for both teams.
put us on the front foot, and Balack
and several others scored... but so did all of Freamunde
's penalty takers. Each team was so prolific from the spot that it was up to sudden death to decide a winner.
, our goalkeeper
even managed to fire one home but he was powerless to stop his opposite number from the spot. Grilo cooly converted his second, and our twelfth, and the cycle was about to begin again.
But it was Mota's heroics which kept the game from dragging on any further. Using his last remains of energy, the Portuguese stopper jumped high to his left to palm away the penalty, and ensure we added our first trophy to the collection!!!