2013 Taipei Cup - Champions
October 6, 2013
As Ben noted afterwards, this weekend, Sunday in particular, will be a football experience we will remember for a very long time. Playing in conditions that several of you--such as Mat (who's from England, no less!)--said are the most extreme you've ever played football in, Compass battled through heavy rain, wind and mud to bring home the 2013 Red Lions 30th Anniversary Tournament Championship Cup--promptly dubbed the "Typhoon Cup" by our team.
After yesterday's clean sweep of three opponents, Compass managed to pull together 11 guys for Sunday, with most driving up from Taichung with a typhoon already beginning to make itself known. We arrived at the stadium in the rain and found that Compass was by far the most motivated, hungry team present. Despite their successful Saturday, the Hong Kong Mobsters declined to play because they considered the conditions too hazardous (saying a fellow player injured his head badly in the same way a couple years ago). Several of the other teams also looked in bad shape, probably the result of heavy Sat. night partying.
Compass was fortified by first-time appearance by Gary in the net and Lukas, who came up despite a cold that left him feeling under the weather. Wei-An also returned, bringing his friend Sebastian, who played well for us in the midfield (and may join us again in the future). Our first match in the Sunday "Group A" was against hosts Red Lions, with the pitch even more water-logged and muddy than Saturday. In a game that seemed to move in slow motion, both sides slogged it out, but ended up with a 0-0 draw.
What followed was a fair amount of confusion and indecision by the organizers/hosts about how the tournament should proceed. In the end, the two best teams left standing--Red Lions and Compass--were assigned to play the Cup Final in a 2 x 20-minute match. It only took about 5 minutes for Lukas to skip a corner kick across the ground and into the box where it deflected off the defenders and into the net. A few minutes later, the typhoon winds and rain began in earnest and the game turned into a mud bowl with water flying everywhere and people sliding all over the place, wrestling for the ball and desperately trying to move it up the pitch through the swamp-like surface. Red Lions pressed hard and had their best chance when a skipping ball went between Hans' legs and they got off a hard shot that bounced off our post and richocheted out, where Compass desperately fought to clear it out.
In the second half, Compass firmed up its lead when Cesar got control of the ball and put it through to Wei-An, who took a nice strong shot that went right up the middle and into the net. However, things still had a desperate sort of air right up to the final whistle, with Compass winning 2-0.
The following Plate match was played between Jhubei and Carnegies, I think, with Jhubei winning (I think). The Badgers, who lost every single match, got some sort of consolation crappiest-team-but-best-spirit trophy.
After the final, our completely soaked team--covered head-to-toe in brown--joined up and took a running diving slider into the mud to celebrate. I'll send photos later. Our tourney record was 5 wins, 7 goals and a clean sheet.
I want to thank all of you who gave up your Saturday and/or Sunday to travel through a typhoon and play in the muck and water to represent Taichung and bring home The CUP. It is a true credit to you, our team and the Compass Spirit.
Once again, congratulations, Champions!