‘Pheeeeo,’went the whistle as I collapsed to the ground. It was another exhausting match and another defeat. Four-nil to the Tigers. On our home ground too. We had now played 5 games and lost all. And we had scored just one goal in those five matches. Now we had 5 matches left and we had to win four. Last year we had won the cup because of our coach. This year our Coach had left so we didn’t have one.
The Woster warriors and us had won four cups each. The first to five would win a luxurious award of going to the final of the world cup. I went home in a awful mood. ‘Hiya there Sam, ‘said my next door neighbour Mrs. Oldnall. ‘Another loss,’ I sighed.
‘Never give up Sam,’ said Mrs. Oldnall. Mrs. Oldnall used to be a professor, but she still has a lab in the basement of her home. She also had five dogs. All of them were Huskies. They came out past her and then jumped on me and started to lick me. Suddenly I had a brainwave. ‘Mrs. Oldnall, do you have a chemical that can make my whole team good at football.’
‘Unfortunately, not,’ said Mrs. Oldnall. ‘But I do have a chemical that will make animals good at football.’
‘Could it be possible to use your dogs?’
‘I think it would, but we need to disguise the dogs. Come tomorrow with the rest of the team.’
So the next morning Bluebell Boxers (there were 6 girls and 6 boys so we’d agreed to decide on a name together) went to Mrs. Oldnall house.
‘I have given the dogs the medicine. It will make them talk, but it will only last till the 24th of October.’ said Mrs. Oldnall.
‘That is a day before our last match,’ said Jude.
‘I will try and get a new medicine before that,’ said Mrs. Oldnall.
‘Hi,’ said one of the dogs.
I nearly jumped out of my skin. ‘Oh yeah, I forgot they could talk,’ I said.
Mrs.Oldnall went into a room with her dogs. ‘Be back in a minute.’
She came back out after a few minutes with her dogs only that they didn’t look like dogs anymore! They were standing on their hind legs as if they had done it all their lives and their faces looked like humans. They were also wearing the Bluebell Boxers kit. They were wearing the numbers one, nine ten, eleven and twelve, the best numbers obviously because the best players.
‘Our next match is tomorrow 5:30pm sharp,’ I said.
‘Alright, then, bye, see you tomorrow, ‘said Mrs. Oldnall.
The next morning was the match. The Bluebell Boxers vs the Naughty Ninjas. They were quite like their name very naughty. They had previously beaten us 2-1 by cheating. This match however was very easy having the dogs as they dodged all the tackles and the pushes. It was like the match was over at half time as it 4-0 already. Number 10 had scored a hat-trick and I managed to score a goal out of a header from a very good corner delivered in by number 8.
‘Well played every one,’ I said happily, ‘but the match is not over. Let us show them what else we can do.’
The second half was harder for us because their coach had given them a good scolding. But we still managed to bang in another 4 goals. This time number 9 scored two goals, number 11 scored one and our goalkeeper number 1 also scored one dribbling and skipping challenges from inside our box.
We were very satisfied with our first game. 8-0. This also meant we weren’t bottom of the table anymore.
We went to Mrs. Oldnall house on Saturday. There we practiced and prepared.
The next match also went very well 6-1 to us against the Oily Octopus’. (A very weird name. I think they ran out of oil for their brains.)
The dogs were really helping us. But Mrs. Oldnall had to take her dogs to the vet. The next match was vs our rivals the Woster Warriors. It was quite a one sided game even though there were not many goals. It went two-nil to Woster. We were not that disappointed because we expected to lose by a bigger margin.
The next match was a hard match for us. It was a very close match. When it was 0-0 the opposing team got a penalty. It was obviously saved but then we got the ball at the other end and then scored in the 84th minute. We then scored again in the 90+2nd minute from a free kick.
We were so happy as we were now second in the table. From last to second!
We had totally forgotten that the dogs would not be football dogs anymore. The day of the match the team arrived at the stadium only to see a sad looking Mrs. Oldnall. ‘I forgot that the dogs’ medicine would get over.’
‘Oh no,’ I said shocked.
‘I am so sorry, that is all my fault, ‘said Mrs. Oldnall.
‘Don’t worry, ‘said Jane, one of the players, ‘we wouldn’t have reached second on the table without you.’
So we went into the match. The whistle blew as Woster Warriors kicked off. With not even ten minutes passing, Woster scored a goal. They passed beautifully in the middle and in the 39th minute they scored a header. We had almost given up hope but Dave scored a brilliant header to put us not so down. It was 2-1 at halftime.
‘Don’t give up we are just 2-1 down,’ I said, ‘we can still come back.’
In the second half we were not feeling down because we knew we were up against the top team in the league. If we won this match we would win the league.
The players from Woster had a lot of possession but Daniel tackled them and scored a very good solo goal. It was now 2-2 and if the match was a draw it would go to extra time.
It was the 84th minute and then Woster scored an astonishing goal out of a long range free kick. We had lost all our hope. I was running with the ball when I saw two players in front of me. I didn’t realise one of them was their goalkeeper. I just went for a shot and it went through the goalkeepers legs. We had got back into it. The ball came back to us and the defender kicked it out for a corner. It was now the 90+7 minute because we had a corner. Jane whipped in the corner. I went for it, the goalkeeper went for it. It hit the goalkeeper and then went in!
It was an own goal.
‘Hurray,’ we said as the ref blew the whistle.We were going to the world cup finale.
I whistled as I packed up.We boarded the van with Mrs.Oldnall and her five dogs. This year the final was between France and Italy. We were in Italy’s side of the stadium. Italy were dominating the possession.
Suddenly in the 79th minute Italy scored a goal. We celebrated. That was how the match ended. 1-0 to Italy.
It was one of my best experiences ever. It was all because of teamwork we had won. We didn’t need the best players.
We were friends and that was what mattered.