An unexpected delay to kickoff and chilling winter conditions accompanied by frosty winds did little to dampen the performances of the UCL Thai Society football team as Pipe scored nine goals on the afternoon to lead Big Croc to five victories, two draws and three losses.
Prior to the match, Earth posed with the Samaggi Games football trophy – won by UCL this February at Lilleshall Sports Centre courtesy of the golden goal from Pipe against Imperial in the final. Talks revolved around preparations for the competition Bath following the trophy photograph as players discussed about team kits and transportation for the tournament, which will be held on February 7. The two teams, the Veterans and the Freshers, will both need to be revved up for the harsh weather of February; not only is February one of the toughest months of the winter season, but the early sunset times and the strong evening breeze will also be unfavourable whilst the semi-finals and finals get played under the floodlights.
The Crocodiles were led by Pipe and Ball and got off to two straight 2-0 wins, with Earth pulling off an instrumental display scoring three out of the team’s first four goals. Earth eventually reached five goals in total as his prolific goalscoring streak proved pivotal in the early success of the team. The Crocodiles had Pipe to thank for as usual, with the team’s legend getting off to an energetic start by opening his account in the second game and then scoring the winning goal in one of the team’s tightest matches, which was won 1-0 by the Crocodiles. Meanwhile, Ball scored the match-winner in one of the team’s 2-0 wins after playing an excellent attacking combo with Pipe, smashing a well-judged pass into the roof of the goal; the midfielder also played a key role in shaping the defence and made plenty of crucial blocks and interceptions throughout the session.
Tan scored two amazing goals in one of the Fresher’s 2-0 victories over the Crocodiles, and also bagged a sensational goal from long range which swerved past the goalkeeper with a massive deflection off a defender. Jai also got on the scoresheet against the Crocodiles, notching a clinical equaliser in one of the games with a low drive into the bottom left corner, though his team would later lose 3-1 as goals from Pipe and Earth sealed the triumph. The playmaker then demonstrated remarkable talent in the late stages by cleanly dispossessing Pipe with an impeccable tackle, and it was the first time that Pipe was overwhelmingly outsmarted by a challenge from a Freshers team player.
There will be more on the two teams from UCL in the weeks prior to the Games as the teams prepare to formally register their players and submit their squads to the organising committee for the tournament. The news of the draw will come in due course.