Gameweek 12 of the IFFC Premiere League 2010-2010 season took place on Sunday March 27, 2011. The game was originally planned to be played late February but was cancelled due to snow. A week after a 2-0 loss to Afrika United, the Barbars were craving some points! Coming into the game, the Strollers were five points above the Barbarians and knew that victory was the only acceptable outcome.
The Barbars lined up as they did in their last two games. Carlos "Magic Hands" Muniz started as goalkeeper, and as usual he did a great job imposing himself in the air and giving his defense confidence. "Kaiser" Keith started as sweeper, doing what he does the best, playing football and arguing with the ref. Dave Carini and "Super Daddy" Phil were right and left fullbacks respectively, and Thomas "Caesar" Santoni started as central defender.
The starting eleven, who we should now call the winning eleven, started the game with an early goal from Kevin "The Dino" Plume (10'). Confident after this good start, the Barbarians did not relax and found a crack for a second goal ten minutes before halftime, when, after toying with the Strollers' defenders, Dary Stone placed a surgical strike behind the keeper (35').
Halftime arrived and it was time for the usual comments, tactical readjustments, and cigarettes. After the break, the Barbarians came back on the pitch determined to win the game. They began the second half at a somewhat slower pace, focusing on holding their lead and not making any defensive mistakes. This strategy worked well, as the opponent saw no open goal for the remainder of the match.
As the defense held solid, the Barbarians' attack continued to get good opportunities. Dary was by no means satisfied with a single goal, so he simply tacked on two more in the final twenty minutes of the game (70', 85') giving the Barbarians the impressive 4-0 win.
This was a strong all-around performance from Barbars, who took three very important points and kept a clean sheet. They are looking forward to next week's fixture against league leader Forbidden City and promise a great battle for points!
The Man of the Match award was awarded to Mo Yasin, who, as the great captain he is, never stopped running, completing passes, tackling, and harrassing every single Strollers player on the field. Special mention to Dary for his hat trick and to Kevin, who not only scored a goal but also delighted us with a wonderful ippon.
Special mentions also go to the bench and supporters, B-Team cheerleaders, Janet, and, last but not least, Jochanan "The Tank", whose support, spirit, and guidance from the sidelines were no doubt the Barbarians' secret "12th Man" in the match.
--Tim Le French.