Despite a comfortable start for Africa F.C, this match was far from a usual walk in the park for the skillful team. With an understrength squad the Celtics showed that’s it’s not always about the size of the dog in the fight as they pushed their opponents all the way in this tense battle.
Arguably if there’s any time of the year to face the mighty Africa F.C it’s on a cold, windy and damp winters afternoon which is exactly the weather the pasty Celtics were granted for this mighty class. This would have given the pasty Celtics some hopeful confidence however upon this confidence began to fade as some players suspiciously never regained consciousness from the Saturday night resulting in abrupt tactical changes and no off pitch support.
Africa started the game casually knocking the ball around getting everyone’s touched warmed up in their usual fashion. However James Mc Sweeney, being fed up with chasing shadows after about 20 seconds, reminded the Africans they were in for a tough match by leveling an arrogant playmaker in the midfield resulting in an early yellow card.
After 20 minutes the Africans began to outclass their opponents which gave David Mahon no choice but to wisely put in the ball in back of his on net to give everyone on his team a breather. Soon after, 1-0 became 2-0 as the African striker was concisely put through one on one with the keeper before being taken down (with the slightest of touches) for a penalty.
The second half was a different story as the Celtics decided they had nothing to lose and really began to threaten. At the 60 minute mark Herman skillfully picked up the ball in midfield before releasing Simon Holland in to space who drilled the ball across the keeper into the left side of the goal. At 2-1 nerves began to show as many half chances, which may have been converted on another day, went begging for the Celtics.
With 10 minutes to go, a long through ball for the Celtics resulted in a foot race to the ball between the Africa keeper and Richie Lenehan. After 10 meters the Africa keeper realized he was not going to win the sprint and decided he had no option but to take him out and with no the effort to play the ball outside of his area kicked the player back to Nigeria. The red card was brandished and Africa would finish the game with their center back in nets.
Relentless pressure ensued from the Celtics to no avail and as legs began to tire they were hit on the counter attack in typical Africa F.C fashion in the dying moments of the game. Africa F.C once again proved they are the team to beat this year but the Celtics will be disappointed not to have salvaged a point from this huge 6 pointer clash.