By E. Grieco
Last week, the boys’ varsity football team kicked off at the ISSL tournament. The expectations were very high, due to the fact that the Lions were crowned champions for the past three years, however, unfortunately, the expectations weren’t met, and the boys left rancho with disappointing results.
The first day, the boys played against the British Falcons from Rio de Janeiro. It was a tough game with few chances created from both sides. However, the Lions were the more efficient side, took their chances, and with two amazing goals from our captains Pedro Arantes and Arthur Schahin, we left the match with a massive 2-0 win against our rivals, to put them in a very comfortable position in the championship. At noon, the boys were up against PASB (Pan American School of Bahia). A win would get them qualified for the semi-finals. The game started off with chances for both sides, but the boys from Bahia scored two early goals to give them the lead. Pedro Arantes scored a penalty, after an incredible run past the entire opposing team, to put one back for us just before half-time. The second half started and the Lions were attacking more as well as exposing themselves to get the equaliser, however, this meant there were spaces left in our defence. In a counter-attack, the Panthers scored another goal, and it finished 3-1 PASB.
In the second game, the Lions were up against PASPOA (Pan American School of Porto Alegre) in a must-win game to qualify for the semi-finals of the ISSL tournament. The Lions didn’t play their best football and were punished by a strong team from Porto Alegre. The game finished 3-1 for the Huskies, which meant that for the first time in seven years, the boys' varsity team weren’t going to play the semi-finals of the ISSL. Devastating.
The boys next game was against Nations, from Brasilia, to decide whether they would play for the 5th and 6th place, or 7th and 8th place. The boys started off with a goal from João Ernnany giving them the lead. The second half started, and the boys conceded a goal at the end of the game – It finished 1-1 and the match was going to be decided on penalty shootouts. Pedro Arantes and Arthur Schahin converted both of their shots, and our goalkeeper, Enzo Grieco, saved the first penalty. The Lions won the match and were going to play once again against PASPOA in order to decide who would finish the tournament in 5th or 6th place. Later on in the evening, the team played once again against PASPOA. Despite not being what they aimed for at the beginning of the competition, the 5th place was the best they could achieve in this tournament and that was what they were trying to achieve. It was a tough match, with few opportunities from both sides. Despite the fact that PASPOA were playing better than the Lions they managed to hold on to the game, but at the last minute, the boys conceded a goal. The game finished 1-0, and the Lions finished the ISSL in 6th place.