Match report: Raiders 2 – 3 Japan
I woke up late. I was supposed to meet my team 11am at lobby of Saigon Sky Garden. Last night’s sake was killing me, but I felt so much better having the miso soup for lunch. Today is important to us. We are sitting bottom of the table yet facing the rising Raiders. This is my first time playing against gaijin, I heard they are good.
We arrived an hour before the match. Tanaka still looked nervous, he could not even held the chopsticks properly during lunch, his hands were still shaking. Endo was confident, I can tell he had solid sushi last night. Team with black shirts arrived, I guess they are the Raiders. I saw one of the lads with Ohashi on the back, he must be Japanese, and what a cunt to play against his countrymen.
Captain Nakata gave us a inspiring speech. He made it clear no win, no sushi. Diligence is symbol of our country, so we have to give hundred percent until the final whistle blows.
The game started. Our line up was solid today. Yoshida in the goal line, Nakata Kimura Endo Tanaka in defense, Suzuki Sasaki Saito Ono Watanabe in midfield, Kato striker.
We weren’t able to control the match initially.Those gaijin played with good aggression, dominating the midfield area. A goal was soon conceded in the first half. A Dutch looking guy spinned like our Panasonic washing machine as he received the ball up front, beating our centre back Kimura and calmly slotted into the goal, leaving GK Yoshida shameful. 0-1 Kuso.
Nakata was furious with the sloppy defending and so did I. I already told Kimura not to have kimchi last night but he just never listens. But luckily our midfield reacted quickly. Suzuki and Sasaki, with their pace and skills, started to control the game by moving the ball around. Excellent lob pass was made from Sasaki and our left winger Watanabe drove it like Honda motor, out-pacing their defense and finished it with a chip. 1-1 Banzai.
Second half we continued to dominate the match until another Dutch looking guy created the magic. He was fast like Shinkansen which made our loving Kimura no choice but to take him down at penalty area. I tried to remind the referee how much money our government has put into this country, but I couldn’t recall the words in English nor Vietnamese so I remained silent. As old Asian saying, speech is silver silence is gold. And he fucking gave the penalty.
Our hungry spirit bursted like ancient samurai. If we end the game like this, this will bring forever shame to the entire street of Le Thanh Ton. A free kick was given and I told Tanaka to win the aerial battle in side the box. Now it’s time to prove we can still battle in the air with 6ft tall gaijin. Sasaki provided a great kick to the goal line area and Tanaka really won the header, sending the ball to the empty right hand side where Kato finished it with a sliding kick.
Those gaijin had several key opportunities but the final moment came around 88 minutes when Sasaki flew the high ball into our left hand side. The disloyal Japanese ran into the ball to keep it but Suzuki chased him down from the back. As the non-Japanese tried to take extra touch on the ball, Suzuki quickly stole the ball like a Ninja and shot into the goal. Suzuki always does his job. Match finished with our great victory 3-2. That young man looked helpless but there wasn’t a single person from his team that blamed him. He’s a lucky guy to play in that team.
On my way home to Sky Garden I saw the Japanese from Raiders walking with tears in his eyes. I brought him to the local Ramen shop and asked him why not join our team instead. He said he went to the training the second day he arrived at the city and his ex captain called him kamikaze and sushi bomber so he felt welcomed. No one blamed his mistake today and that really touched his little strawberry mind. The young lad finished the noodle with a big smile on his face. If there will be a day where he has to be the kamikaze, he will do it for the Raiders.