The goals flew in from both end in this late afternoon kick off. UIBE struggling to field 11 players before kick-off led to a very open and loose game of football which inevitably ended in a goal bonanza. However, a lack of familiarity and an unfortunate red card made it too much of an uphill battle for the young UIBE student team.
A glorious clear blue skied late afternoon kick off granted plenty of time for both teams to recover from Saturday nights antiques. Evidently the UIBE students needed more time to recover from their questionable 10 RMB mojitos from Wudaokou the night before. This led to a frantic scramble for players before kick-off which gave the Celtics players an optimistic feeling about how the match may go.
The match looked likely to be a whitewash for the Celtics as two soft goals were conceded early on by UIBE but the turning point of the match was clearly the avoidable red card.
With a flick on header destined for the back of the UIBE net a rash hand, in a similar fashion to that of gracious Uruguayan Luis Suarez against Ghana in 2010, flew out to prevent the ball crossing the line. Of course, the noble honest players of the Beijing Celtics pleaded for the vindictive referee to show the poor young left back mercy and to award the goal without any repercussions. This was to no avail as the red card was brandished and captain Dom Lytwyn stepped up to make it 3-1.
Into the second half and goals and penalties were exchanged at both ends with the goal of the game coming from a UIBE substitute who took his chances from 40 yard out and sending the ball into the top left corner. The match was still not put to bed until man of the match Daryl came onto the pitch to settle the nerves and create two goals for the Celtics to make it 6-4.
Despite a lack of organisation UIBE did show glimpses of ability but it was too little too late against the Celtics. Honourable mentions to Frankie for scoring his first goal for the Celtics as well as for Andy McEvoy who’s 20-minute cameo will be remembered for two back heels, the first granting him a yellow card for childishly kicking the ball away and the second granting him even less respect from his teammates as he tripped over himself.