By R. Biolchini
For the 4th time in a row, the Lions qualified to play the São Paulo High School League finals. For the three past years, the match up has always been: St. Paul's vs Chapel, with 2 vice-championships coming our way and 1 trophy. This was the last opportunity for 9 of the starting 11 to win a Football final, which meant that the entire team was fully committed to play their best before the match began.
After what seemed an extremely long warm-up, the referee blew his whistle. The first few minutes consisted of both teams passing around the back, studying each other; it wasn't until the 10th minute when there was the first shot on target, a weak ball crossed into our box and caught by our goalkeeper. Overall, the first half wasn't too eventful, with very few opportunities created from both sides and minor trouble for both team’s goalkeepers. The first half ended 0x0.
The tense atmosphere surrounding the Chapel field only grew larger as the second half ticked away with no team showing clear signs of scoring. However, as the game approached the final whistle both teams started exposing themselves and tension rose around the pitch. First, our shot, which couldn't have passed nearer to the post. Then, they were through, their striker one on one with our goalkeeper which fortunately prevented them from opening the score line. With five minutes extra time, everything indicated that the match was going to be decided on penalties. However, our captain, Pedro Arantes, received the ball in the left front of the box, cut to his left foot, and scored an absolute screamer to make it 1x0 to the Lions. The final whistle came shortly, and the St. Pauls Lions were crowned champions of the SPHSL 2018 season!