Bangkok Veterans League Season #2, Month #9 08/Oct/2006 • Patana School
Cosmos repeats the feat in Oct/2006 Vets League
Oct/8th was another day of great football and fun for the Vets. Although Vikings had to slide out in the last minute, we managed to have 7 teams again to compete for the Top Trophy.
• LeCoq French
• Sunbelt United
• Bangkok Cosmos
• BU Japan
• British Club
• Winking Frog
As Patana's management wasn't able to lend us 2 pairs of full-size goals due to their commitments to the Casual League, it was going to be an uphill battle for the strikers in front of the goalmouth with the small-goals throughout the day, and, the overall results reveal that easily. Most games ending goalless, or with 1 or 2 goals (in contrast to 4-and-more goal games in the previous months).
The day started slow, with mediocre quality of football and low scoring games in the Group Stage, until Cosmos shifted into the high gear, thumping BU Japan 4-0. LeCoq French were slow to warm up, but chugging along nicely, beating the Germans and the Winking Frog along the way. Both Sunbelt and Winking Frog showed their random sparks of brilliance after a few months of absence. Germans had the numbers, but quality was scarce, however, still shut out last month's strong British Club side both at the Group Stage, as well as in the 5th place game. BU Japan were truly struggling without any substitutes — an unprecedented occasion in and of itself. British Club showed great attacking spirit, but could never get on the scoreboard until their play-off game against BU Japan late in the day. Which beg the question "Is it going to be another easy Cosmos victory?"
Sure enough, Cosmos finished the group competition at the top, with 3 wins and a draw against the resurgent LeCoq French (their eventual opponent later in the Grand Final). LeCoq French took the 2nd spot with 2 wins and 2 draws (and no loss). 3rd came the Sunbelt with only one loss to Cosmos. And, long-time Top Trophy hungry Winking Frog finished 4th to round up the top 4.
Bottom half of the group rankings saw Germans, British Club and BU Japan pulling the end. At this point, everyone was wondering whether BU Japan have the will NOT to pick up the BadCup! for a 7th time (albeit not consecutive anymore!). And, in the play-off match, they put all their might but lost the fight to the British Club who were themself hoping to place a little better than the last place. Not having any substitutes, and especially without the leadership and services of Mori San, led BU Japan be the runaway winners of the BadCup!, after a minor blip of last month.
Consequently, the 5th place game between the British Club and the Germans was an end-to-end show throughout, both teams getting chances but not being able to convert (aagghhhh, those small-size goals!!). The feisty German defence with Fabian and Roland threw in their bodies AND the kitchens sink, and especially Fahri in the goal, slapping balls away left-&-right to keep them from crossing the line, so it went to the dreadful penalty-shootouts. Now, both of these teams are used to lengthy shoot-outs over the last 2 years, but, after a full rotation of both teams, noone could imagine it could end 12-11 in favour of the Germans, with a brilliant diving save by the replacement penalty specialist keeper, Matthias, a.k.a. Matze-the-Katze. Tellingly, the British Club, relinquished their 7th penalty-shootout loss in 10 tries in 2 years.
Semi Finals between the Cosmos -vs- Winking Frog and LeCoq French -vs-Sunbelt were tough battles, especially the former. It was bound to be, as Cosmos was determined to keep their championship title for a 2nd month in-a-row, and the Winking Frog were after that top Vets trophy which still evades them to this day. Although, Winking Frog went ahead early, Cosmos were able to equalize off of a corner close to the end. At one point, adrenaline rush took control, and there was a rough challenge which the referee overlooked in penalizing, which kicked up the temper a bit more. However, in the anti-climax penalty-shootout, Cosmos managed to bury all their 3 penalties, and advance to the Grand Final. In the end, it was pleasant to see Kenny and Anders shake hands frankly and close the matter.
The Grand Final of this month pitted Cosmos and the LeCoq French against each other, just like last month. And, although not as lopsided as last month, Cosmos (a.k.a. Woodstock, depending on which player you ask!) brought home the Top Trophy with a single-goal victory. Congratulations to Cosmos, as well as to the LeCoq French who grabbed the 2nd place again, a repeat of their success of last month, as well as the recent World Cup.!
One last note. As the French say, it's a "déjà vu" feeling (from a few months ago) that I have to remind this Vets thing is intended for a totally friendly and casual, and with a non-competitive spirit. That's why we have the "yellow-card-is-a-red-card" rule. It's to keep the tempers down (and it has), and prevent unwanted injuries that we can't bear having at this older age in our lives. As I said at the end of the day, I would like to ask everyone to please keep that in mind, and not bring their differences and competitive juices from other leagues into our enjoyable monthly event. I believe we can continue keeping it as a mature, adult, and enjoyable get-together, and good, clean, friendly fun day of football. I hope all of you join me in this endeavour.
Thanks once again to all the teams who showed up and made the day enjoyable. It appears that Cosmos will maintain their stranglehold on the championship, and challenge Vikings's 4-in-a-row winning record earlier in the year.
Here's the complete scores of the day ==>
Last, but not the least by any means, a huge thanks to Bruce for helping out with the logistics on the beer and the soft-drinks. Although he decided not to play this month, he still made the trip to out there, as promised, to keep all of us fully hydrated and well oiled.
Next Vets day is planned for Nov/5th — venue to be advised. The latest news will be posted at this new website for the Vets.
See you soon in November.
Picture 1 — Getting ready to kick the day off.
Picture 2 — British Club never looked ready though.!
Picture 3 — Sunbelt had it tough going against the Cosmos.
Picture 4 — LeCoq French keeper had a lot in his hands (and feet) against the Cosmos, and still kept a clean sheet.
Picture 5 — Is that another kickoff? Winking Frog were too strong for BU Japan.
Picture 6 — (Multiple) coaches on the sidelines for the LeCoq French and the Winking Frog.
Picture 7 — Fancy Japanese footwork may not work against Tommy.!
Picture 8 — Winking Frog is not just a football team, it's an institution.! (Sorry, the Vikings contingent had to be censored!)
Picture 9 — The great French team — of the '80s.! (Love those red boots.!)
Picture 10 — LeCoq French found a way to pull the right levers to take down the Winking Frog .
Picture 11 — Is that Vikings captain, Keld, running the ball in Winking Frog green?
Picture 12 — British Club keeper also had a lot in his hands (and feet) against the Cosmos, and let slip 2 in (not his fault at all, of course).
Picture 13 — Cosmos are precise when it comes to penalties.
Picture 14 — So are the LeCoq!
Picture 15 — Sunbelt returned to the Vets after a few months of absence, and snatched their customary 3rd place. Yamine was spotted double-timing the LeCoq and the Sunbelt as the coach of both.
Picture 16 — British Club's Martin against Germans's goalkeeper Fahri — a match made in heaven, with a combined age of 100+.!
Picture 17 — British Club and the Germans in their traditional red (which one is which?).
Picture 18 — Victorious Cosmos share a photo-op with the resurgent LeCoq French after their Grand Final.
Picture 19 — Trophies up-for-grabs (including the much revered BadCup!).
From: Yamine Team: Sunbelt United + LeCoq French Date: 09/Oct/2006
Thanks again for the great tournament last sunday. Everything was there to make it entertaining, we even got a fight at the end, world cup style... You're the best !