Four Scores and 88 Minutes Ago: Barbarians 4-1 France 2011-10-23

Published on October 24, 2011

After a comprehensive victory against King World in the previous week the Barbarians were looking to continue their winning ways against the French B team on Sunday, October 23 at Si De Park. The starting line up was Shaw as goalkeeper, with Ryan, Paul, Mark and Tomasz in defence; David, Marcio, Henry George and Henry Manuel in midfield and Chris and Dirk in attack. A lot of quality was on the bench, with Greg and Nathan, as well as newcomers Juerg, Karime Bennaoui and (another) Henry (Henry Cammell that is).

The Barbarians started off brightly when a beautiful thru-pass from Ryan was met by Chris, who calmly lobbed the keeper with a well-timed header to put the Barbarians into the lead, 1-0. A few minutes later another rampaging Ryan run and another precision pass to Chris almost increased the lead, but the ball bounced past the goal for a corner. After 15 minutes Henry George threatened with a powerful shot over the top of the bar, followed by another chance by Dirk, who rushed his shot and blasted it past the goal.

The first half was dominated by the Barbarians, and except for a free-kick for the French team outside the penalty area, this game was one-way traffic. Just before the half, the Barbarians had a shout for a penalty turned down by the ref when Chris had his shirt pulled in the penalty box. 1-0 at halftime.

The second half began with the French team testing goalkeeper Shaw, who made several quality saves to protect the slim lead. In the 60th minute the Barbarians had a free kick opportunity outside the penalty area. Newcomer Karime blasted a shot at the goal; the French goalkeeper made a fine save but could not hold on to the powerful shot, which was headed into the back of the net by the alert midfield substitute Nathan for a two-goal Barbarian lead

Almost immediately the French team got a goal back after a free kick was flicked with a back-heel into the Barbarians goal. Unstoppable and breathtaking, if not a complete fluke -- if the striker actually meant to do that, he would probably be playing professional football somewhere in Europe. Suddenly the French were back in it, but in the 65th minute some unrelenting pressure from Henry Cammell and Chris on the French defence lead to Henry winning the ball and scoring his first goal for the Barbarians with a well placed shot into the lower left corner. The two-goal lead was restored and the Barbarians switched onto cruise control, shoring up their defence and controlling the ball while occasionally threatening the French goal. A few corners and a few close headers by Greg almost increased the lead, but it wasn't until the 88th minute that the game saw its last goal, when Nathan scored to put the Barbarians up 4-1. Naturally, Nathan had just a few minutes earlier collected his customary yellow card. Somebody needs to tell him that the club gets charged for each yellow, though if he keeps scoring two goals a game, it would appear to be a good investment.

The final score was 4-1 for the Barbarians, putting the team into second place of the league. Man of the Match went to Henry George (also now known as ‘H’), with special mentions to Karime for creating loads of chances and some amazing crosses, as well as to Shaw for some great saves. The Buggery F**ker went to Nathan for the ridiculous face he made every time he committed a foul.

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