CUP QUARTER FINAL MATCH – 9th December 2007The Afrikans were determined to slaughter us in this match and were confident before the match had even begun. They weren’t so sure after only 2 minutes as Macia made a superbly weighted cross from the right wing which Nick Otto gracefully volleyed from about 35 yards out to lob it over the keeper while dipping it under the cross-bar in to the back of the net. A glorious goal. It made the Afrikans angry and they fought back hard, but gave away a penalty. Having just scored the opening goal Nick confidently stood up to the spot, but as Sam said on the sidelines, “when he misses this, the glory of the first goal will soon be forgotten”, or words to that effect. The keeper had no chance, but unfortunately the ball ricocheted across the face of the goal after hitting the right post low down, and went out for a corner. Despite the miss, City confidence was running high and FCFC controlled the first fifteen minutes of the game. Philippe was fighting all over the right-side of the pitch and stormed out of the back at one point going Hans Solo in to the African half, unfortunately the race back to his defensive position was too much for the guy who’se been ill in bed all week and he knackered his ankle and came off limping to be replaced by Robbie.Similarly to how alcohol addles the brain and weed gives you short-term memory loss, standing on the sidelines on a cold December day in Beijing doesn’t only make your feet like blocks of ice, it can also make your brain like a breeze-block and not so lucid. Luckily there was both alcohol and weed (as well as Annie’s Pizza for the Summer Palace team who’d just lost on pens to the Russian’s in their quarter final game) to keep the supporters smiling against the cold. Those of us on the sidelines weren’t too sure what happened for the next 20 minutes on pitch and I’m not sure those in the City defence were too sure either. Afrika’s shortest player scored with a header against the leagues tallest defence and then again with a lucky? knock-on header from a corner, then raced through the middle of the pitch to score again and again. At the other end, City were awarded another penalty and this time Luca slotted the ball home safely. Half time didn’t come soon enough and Afrika had changed a possible 0-2 after two minutes into a 3-2 lead after 45 minutes.In the second half the Afrikans upped the tempo and were playing the ball around the centre of the pitch comfortably with a bevy of players coming through the ranks to battle the City defence. It was a strange match, but quite a typical Beijing cup match and worth the frost-bite for the few still on the sidelines. All sorts of strange ref decisions, stupid mistakes and moments of inspiration occurred. City had their share of counter attacks and Phil ‘the volvo’ Fughe was awarded the Man of the Match for his solid performance, passion and play down the right side of the pitch, teaming up well with Gianni and Rob, feeding well on to Nick and Macia. It should also be mentionned that Phil did the double, by not only playing in two games, but winning both the donkey and man of the match awards. As Diane (Kelly Lynch) said in Drugstore Cowboy, “Sometimes bad luck can be good luck”. The lucky fella got to drink both a large Kro shot of Vodka and Tequila! A few chances were missed which would have reduced the goal-difference and perhaps culled the Afrikans attack. Macia did however score a great goal late in the game and in between other Afrikan goals to help keep the City players battling on. Unfortunately the Afrikan’s weren’t missing the target and the shots were being so well placed Jason couldn’t stretch to the far corners to save all the chances.[TABLE=24] [TABLE=25] As usual, you can see more details of the match and goals on our webteams page.