Following the extravaganza that was the Lilongwe Football Festival (which I made up), I was luckily invited back to play with a similar group of people. But this time, for a proper team who play regularly.
The “Bobs” had some injury problems and were short of players. So I was asked to come along earlier in the week to make up the numbers last Saturday morning.
The opponents were the CIVO United Social Team. The CIVO United 1st team finished 6th in the TNM Super League and I was told that most of Social Team players are ex-1st team players and some even ex-Malawi internationals.
Somewhat bizarrely, they were playing in full Chelsea home kit?! Anyway, right from the start, it was evident that they could all play football rather well. However, running around like a teenager was no longer their forte since most of them must have been in their late 30’s or early 40’s.
I was playing in the right fullback position in a 4-5-1 formation and started well enough. Even though we didn’t have much possession because CIVO were extremely good at keeping the ball, we managed to sneak ahead with a counter-attack goal. To be honest, it came out of nowhere.
Then, an innocuous diagonal cross came in from their right midfield. And with no one else around me, I thought I’d do a cushioned header and nod it back to the goalkeeper… who had come 20 yards and directly behind me to collect the cross. Disaster! Although the header was quite well cushioned, it still had enough pace on it to beat me from chasing after it. I just scored an own goal at the biggest stadium I’ve ever played in! 😦
Chichewa word of the day is: Ku zi chinya wekha
Meaning: To score an own goal
I don’t actually fully remember how the scoring went after that. But the whole match was closely contested and eventually finished 3-3 (I think). Which considering they have supposedly won all their games at home (as I was told), is a very good result for the Bobs!
But still, I’m not sure if I’ll get another invite…