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Saturday, March 27, 2010

CSB 2, Semliki 1

Today's first quarterfinal match was a replay of last year's finals, Christ School vs. Semliki. Last year we had a heart-breaking defeat, and then Semliki, who qualified to represent the district, never even ended up playing any games in the national tournament because too many of their player were disqualified (too old, no longer in school, repeating grades, that kind of thing) for them to field a team. Our last two games of the regular tournament group-stage play last week were ugly victories, the kind where we win but the play is erratic and uncontrolled. So it was a bit nerve-wracking to go into today. However the CSB team came out strong, trapping, passing, dominating, showing team work, keeping cool. Both of our goals were scored by our own "son" Mutegheki Joshua, and were textbook. I am so proud of him, and so happy for him. He gave me a big hug after the game, which is not culturally typical at all, and a measure that this is a BIG deal. He almost didn't get to come back to CSB, but God had other plans for him. This moment of success will carry him through a lot of the inevitable grief to come in his life, which has already known plenty (both parents dying, for starters). Jack managed to get both goals on film, one above and one below.
The victory was even more remarkable in light of the fact that we played more than half the game one man down. A Semliki player blatantly fouled one of ours late in the first half, and the ref called it, but as he was whipping out his yellow card to book Semliki our CSB victim struggled to his feet and slapped the Semliki player. Red card. Out of the game. Foolish temper. And remarkable for the fact that CSB actually SCORED all three goals . . . the only one against us was a flubbed pass by our own player back to the keeper.
Weds will be semi-finals, and finals next Saturday. Only the winners progress, there are no second chances, so we are pulling for the best! OK I try to think that every boy out there wants a chance, and every parent longs for their kids' success. But really deep in my heart I believe our team has worked ten times as hard as any of the others, and I'm unabashedly rooting for victory.

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