BEFC Lions had previously never lost to King George FC, before being beaten by them in the Cup.
This fact led to some apprehension about facing King George again in the league, especially because the BEFC Lions squad remained severely limited.
With a BEFC game right before on the same pitch, the Lions were able to call upon Tsukasa, Tim and Alo who had just played 80 minutes. In addition, Jeremy had volunteered to play for BEFC as a sub, before being needed to play the full match, even after pulling his hamstring (again). Added to this, the BEFC Lions faced a no-show (from mini-Jaisal), and Marco who had just played for BEFC after months of inaction just wanted to go home, so he left the pitch.
Without a goalkeeper, BEFC Lions were forced to play Jeremy in goal, hoping King George wouldn’t realize he was unable to move at all.
King George did allow us to play Taka Yoshida from BEFC as our 10th man, and he provided some extra much-needed solidity in defence given our goalkeeping situation.
The whistle blew, and King George were straight at us, with their striker from Pumas going straight through resulting in a one-on-one with Jeremy. With the ball still at the striker’s feet, and Jeremy knowing he had to start to move early since he had a pulled hamstring, Jeremy left the goal and moved to the left of the pitch. The striker had not yet shot (or even feinted to shoot). With an open goal, somehow, miraculously, the striker scuffed his shot and the ball went off the outside of the post.
Yet another miracle occurred after Marco had a change of heart and came back to the pitch to give us 11 players physically (if not mentally) on the pitch.
Nevertheless, King George scored their goal very early on, with a decent half-volley strike following a clearance from a corner which Jeremy could do nothing about. He still dived for it though.
However, complacency started to set in for the opposition, and we scored an equalizer after another great Akito assist from a corner was powered emphatically home by Alo’s bullet header.
In the second half, the game was much more balanced, with end to end football being played. BEFC Lions were extremely lucky to get away without conceding again, with King George hitting the woodwork multiple times.
Nevertheless, when BEFC Lions got their chances, they put them away, with both Charles and Tim getting their names on the scoresheet again.
Tsukasa and Viran had a great time against King George’s lack of a left-wing, until Viran was injured with a knock to the inside of his knee. The ratio of injured Lions players increased again.
Marco was extremely unlucky to finish off a great piece of skill, taking the ball around the goalkeeper, before missing the goal with his final touch. Karma.
The defence played excellently, with Masa and Taka providing a solid bedrock against the opposition attack, limiting them to shots from outside the box. Jeremy also, somehow, got his hands on a number of shots.
King George were able to get a scrappy consolation goal right at the end of the game, but somehow, a very battered BEFC Lions squad continued their string of victories against KGFC.
Much credit has to be given to every single player that showed up. With the vast majority of players suffering from fatigue, injury, or both, this was a victory that felt amazing even after hobbling home.
Jeremy was a favourite to receive the MVP award for his heroics in goal, but in hindsight, the woodwork probably saved more shots. Therefore, for a prolonged string of excellent performances recently, the Adecco MVP for this game is Masaaki Suzuki.