By R. Biolchini
The varsity futsal team had already secured the home final in SPHSL, so we went very hopeful to Inter 6. However, because of the IB and IGCSE exams, we went to NR without any of the F5s and Upper 6s, so we knew that we had a very tough challenge ahead of us. Inter 6 is a tournament where six international schools play against each other, and by the end of the tournament, whoever has more points wins. The schools are St. Paul’s, EAC, PACA, Sant’anna, OLM and British.
The first day already started with a big challenge for us: British. We had to wake up very early since it was the first game of the day. Maybe because of this, we weren’t so well prepared for the game. It had been the first time our players had played together without any F5s or U6s, so we were still trying to find chemistry between us. This led to a disappointing first half, where we came to losing by 5X1. The second half was more satisfying, as we played an even match, and ended up only conceding one more goal, meaning that the game ended 6X1. This was not a good way to start off the tournament.
In the afternoon, however, we knew we needed to win if we wanted to leave Rancho with at least a spot on the podium. It was against PACA, and the previous Friday we had beaten them in SPHSL 10x3. We were still upset about our defeat in the morning, but we had a good rest between the games and were ready to do the best we could. As it turned out, we won the game 3x0. It wasn’t as easy as we imagined, but our attack was critical up front, converting many of our shots into goals, and the defence was more solid. This victory definitely lifted our spirits up and gave us strength and motivation for our next game.
On the second match day, yet again we had the first game, this time against Sant’anna. We had already watched them play, and we knew that they had a more experienced and older team than ours; they were obvious candidates for the title. This only gave us more incentive to do the best we could to ruin their party and give us a shot at the podium. The game started, and we scored a goal right off the bat in the 2nd minute, 1x0. The next 30 game minutes (the game has only 36), consisted only of them with the ball in our half of the court. They passed the ball, shot at the goal, pressured us for half an hour, but our defence didn't allow them to score. 4 minutes to the end of the game, and they decide to use ‘goleiro linha’, meaning they didn’t have anyone at their goal. After a rebound, we kicked the ball from our box into their goal. 2x0. They became desperate, which only made it easier for us to increase our goals scored. The game ended 3x0 for the St Paul's Lions, and despite only having about 20% possession and 3 shots at the goal, the Lions proved their strength against one of the most experienced teams of the championship.
That afternoon, if we had won our game against OLM, we would have played our next game in the morning with chances of being the champions. Most of the game was 2x0 for us, but with only 2 minutes remaining they managed to score one goal, increasing the adrenaline during the game. By this time, we were only defending and they were only attacking. Just as the game was about to end, we lost the ball, and they scored to tie the game: 2x2. Even though it was not possible to win the title now, we could still hope for a silver medal depending on the results of British and Sant’anna.
The last morning was our final game against EAC. They had already won their title at night, so this game was only useful for them if they wanted to leave as undefeated champions. The game before ours, British X Sant’anna, would decide what we needed to win against EAC. If that game tied, or Sant’anna beat British, we would need to beat EAC to get a silver medal, but if we lost or tied, we would come 4th. If British beat Sant’anna, we would automatically be in 3rd place, regardless of our score against EAC. This is what happened, so without any pressure on both teams, the game ended 5X2 to them. We had many injured players, which definitely impacted on this disappointing result. Nevertheless, we were happy with what we had achieved.
Overall, we came 3rd and got a Bronze medal. Even though it could have gone better, it is still really satisfying, since we were the only school which did not have any F5s or U6s; we had by far the youngest team. There were other advantages from Inter 6, such as the fact that we were the only school to have clean sheets. The only two games in the entire tournament which had one team which did not concede a goal belonged to us. Also, we had a player, Pedro Arantes, who earned a spot in the All-Stars. Now, all we can do is train really hard and prepare for the Football Rancho, ISSL, in August 2018.