Yesterday my team played in the semi-final. Going up against a team we've beat in the past, we knew that we had a chance to win. It's better than previous years where we went in expecting a loss but hoping for the best.
The game was very similar to the last one we played against this team with lots of hard battles and some very similar styles of play. Only last time we walked away 1-0 winners.
This time we couldn't seem to get through their defense. Maybe my 3 weeks without playing added to the lack of opportunities. Maybe it was our lack of control in the midfield. Maybe it was that the other guys wanted it worse than us.
Whatever the case, we tried. After 90 minutes we were even. We head into two 15 minute extra time halves. And 3 minutes into the first half, they spring one of their strikers on an apparently offside run. He scores. We're left looking at the ref AND the linesman wondering where the call was. Nothing.
And we never recovered. I ran out of gas, cramped up and spent the final 15 on the bench. That was hard to take. Those are the moments that you want to be out there. But I just didn't have it in me. Maybe I should get in shape for next season?
Most of us feel like we were robbed. A few of their players will admit that they got lucky on the goal. But if we're all honest I think we'd admit that we just didn't deserve it. Although, if it had gone to penalty shots I'm almost certain that we would have won. Our keeper is likely the best in the league and their keeper was a replacement who went in after their original keeper was injured in the second half.
All in all, a decent season for our team. We improved from last year. And I like playing with these guys, but I'm beginning to wonder if we'll be able to keep the nucleus together for next season.
I guess we'll wait and see.