November 20th, 2012 | Match reports
“Our expedition to the town by valley has been a huge success. We robbed them of all the valuables and are bringing back the loot to the city in the sun. Please prepare for our grand entrance.”
Had we been in the time where kingdoms were still conquering each other in a quest to rule the world or otherwise this would have been the wazalendo’s king’s message back to his kingdom Yet another match day where nothing was ordinary. This was a game where the odds were quite obvious and with the event being a mere formality. But talk about surprises coupled with disappointments. Wazalendo Youth felt that this was the beginning of the second half of the season and hence need to change the way they were handling their business in the field. Strategies must have been formulated with more emphasis on adhering to them for they were on a 4 game winless streak and for sure something needed to be done about that.
On the other hand Nakuru had never lost a single game in the season plus the fact that they were playing at home. What more could they ask for. And so the game got underway with Nakuru looking the more sharper and confident. Wazalendo looked simply cautious and hungry at the same time. They started with Elly as the lone striker upfront with a completely packed midfield of Peter and Evans on both with wings. At the core of the team were Davies, Collins and Matthew acting as the bottom tip of the diamond. At the back were Omosh partnering with Charles in central defense while Bernard and Steve were on the flanks. As I caught up with the coach shortly after kick off he said that this was the strongest team yet. Uh we were in for a game of our lives.
Did I talk about the field? It deserved the term a park than a hockey pitch. The grass was uneven and potholed in some patches. The first half saw Wazalendo struggle to settle down since they were having problems adjusting to the field conditions. This saw Nakuru get numerous chances especially in penalty corners which they squandered a feeling I had they would regret later. Wazalendo absorbed the pressure while adapting and the first half ended in a stale mate.
After undergoing some changes in the striking options, the second half saw wazalendo revert to their starting 4-5-1 formation. Nakuru came on strongly driving most of their ball to the right wind and driving them hard towards the goal. However their strategy was clearly noted and quelled with the midfield pack leaning to the right to offer support to Steve. Midway through the second half some moment of madness happened that changed everything. Davies drove the ball in the same Nakuru were driving; from deep in the midfield toward the right, then he started advancing towards the D from the right corner. Just at the egde of the of the box he unleashed a shot from such a tight angle that the final destination of the ball was a dream. In the quest for an equalizer Nakuru pushed forward which saw them get hit on the counter and they conceded a penalty corner which Benard converted coolly.
Picture this , its ten minutes to go, a team is two goals down and they have not lost a game. They resolved to a physical game which saw the injure Elly in the process with Collins picking up a knock in lips. Evans stood up the the savior single handedly confronting Nakuru’s Ali.
Howver hard Nakuru came upon Wazalendo they were countered with an equal and opposite pressure. And so it all became a little bit dirty towards the end . Wazalendo simply destroying all Nakuru’s attempts to move the ball and Nakuru using any means to get it to Wazalendo’s goal. By the time the final whistle was blown anyone could tell what this win meant to Wazalendo youth. Well deserved and well fought for, a win quite metaphorical and similar to the ancient conquests providing the energy for the journey back to Nairobi.
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