Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sudan 3, Laos 2 - Recap 2012 Final

Late is better than never (according to the lunar charts) and this recap isn't even a year old yet. I kept good notes and the only things standing in the way of accuracy are time and alcohol.

This was an exciting final obviously. There were good goals, crazy fans, a crazy bench and an outstanding finish. Laos got things going early with great pressure on Sudan. Sudan's keeper, Noor (who is also the only player on the team that I know), made a great save in the first minute when Chad Anthony vollied a cross in the box from Scotty Myrah. Five minutes later Laos went to its favourite play of the tournament. Bryan Murrell hammered a free kick from just over half that came in low and Noor barely saved. I believe it was Jaden Kwon who tapped in the rebound to make it 1-0 for Laos. The lead was short-lived though. One minute later Sudan tied it up when a shot to the back post found two Sudanese players running in. It was an easy tap-in to make the score 1-1. For the remainder of the first half Sudan controlled the play and kept pressure on Laos. No more goals though.

Laos started the second half strong. Murrell once again came close to scoring when he ripped a shot from midfield that went through everyone only to be denied by the post. Both teams traded close chances until seven minutes remaining. Murrell blasted his free kick at the Sudanese wall and a small scramble ensued. After a couple cracks the ball flew up and hit a Sudanese player in the arm. A questionable penalty kick was awarded for Laos. Adam Ailsby came up and calmly converted to make it 2-1 for Laos.

Needless to say, things heated up as soon as the tie was broken. Right after the kick-off a Sudanese player committed a dirty foul right in front of the Laos bench. The Laos player (not even sure who it was) took exception and shoved the Sudan guy. Boom! Instantly there were numerous players pushing and half of the Sudan bench seemed to come into it. We're talking multiple players on the field who definitely weren't supposed to be there. Any disciplinary action taken? Nope. Not a single card. But we digress.

With three minutes remaining and Sudan applying a ton of pressure the Sudanese were given a corner kick. The ball came in and the Laos keeper, Evan Campbell, spilled it. There was a small scramble and then a Sudanese guy put it into the bottom corner. Tie game 2-2. Everyone was pretty sure it was going to OT at this point, but that was far from what actually occurred. With less that two minutes left, a Sudanese midfielder beat two Laos players on the wing. He crossed in a blooper of a pass that Campbell misjudeged and a Sudan striker finished with style, taking a half-bicycle kick to put the ball in the net. 3-2 for Sudan. Game over right? Still not quite. With 30 seconds remaining Laos was awarded a free kick from the top of the Sudan penalty area. Adam Ailsby took the kick and rang it off the crossbar. Now game over and Laos are bridesmaids two years in a row.

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