Discovery Bay FC 2 : 1 Club Tropicana
Venue: HKU Sandy Bay Pitch 1
Date: 6 August 2022
Kick Off: 17:45
Line up: Ricky (GK), Jimmy, Tita, David, Hiro (LB, CB, CB, RB), Nicky B, Makito, James, Barry (LW, CM, CM, LM), Krisna (AM), Pierre (up top)
Subs: Steve Lang, Ryan, Kieran, Anago, Darius, Robert, MoMo, Pius
Scorers: Steve L, Tita
Three weeks after ending their league season against Tropics, a rematch was required to see if DBFC could retain the cup. Ever-punctual Ricky was the first to heed coach Gazza’s advice to arrive early at Sandy Bay. However only having had 6 days’ notice of a venue switch from Happy Valley limited the rest of the squad’s ability to plan. Player-secretary-webmaster David was called on to google directions, place an alarm call for the clearly zen Makito and book taxis. Life is glamorous at the top of the Hong Kong Legal League.
Heavy rain just before kick-off led to a slick surface and Tropicana adapted the quickest. DBFC pulled out their most disjointed performance of the season for the final, failing to link up when in possession, whilst playing musical chairs with substitutions to the tune of the referee’s whistle. Fouls were called for aggressive breathing from hard-men James and Makito in midfield. DBFC managed to deal with a dangerous Tropics break into the box, David blocking the shot which trickled out for a corner.
Even bringing on star right-sided players Darius and Awal initially failed to help. Early mis-controls brough jeers from the large number of Tropics supported on that side. Late in the first half, DBFC overplayed at the back and James was pressed into conceding possession. This time the 1v1 was well placed in the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead.
DBFC did not have a single shot on target in the firs half.
Further changes were made at half-time, with Barry on up top and Steve Lang in midfield, whilst Kieran soon arrived at left-back in front of his friends and future teammates on the touchline. DBFC began playing the stronger football for the first time but had to work through the deep-lying defence. Nonetheless we had to still deal with a few chances from Tropics at the start of the half with David making a crucial intervention to block a shot from point blank range and Ricky making a smart save to his left.
Pierre created a chance for himself that went just wide, whilst Pius and Krishna began finding more space in attacking midfield. The pressure resulted in corners and from one, Maktio played a pin-point delivery onto David’s backside. The cushioned flick-on fell to the most ghostly of Gweilos – ‘White man’ Steve Lang to knee home from close range. The DBFC support finally had something to cheer, whoop and dance for.
DBFC almost repeated the trick soon after, but it was a corner from the left where we took the lead. Awal, this time, fired in a perfect in-swinging corner for Tita to smash home with his Perspex lid.
Tropics had chances late on, being gifted set-pieces for aggressive miming. Balls were pumped into the box, but dealt with well by Tita and David, the latter using a very effective ‘jumping’ strategy against his sizeable opponent. In the last minute, a free kick was awarded 20 yards out and Ricky pulled out a double stop low to his left-hand post to retain the lead and DBFC held out to claim the double.
It was a beautiful moment of celebration, lifting of the trophy, the graceful and respectful bowing in front of the Tropics players, and Darius getting his son over so he didn’t look quite as small in comparison to the cup. This was topped by sub-keeper Bradders Bradders being awkwardly introduced to his son Nick Bradders’ girlfriend for the first time. Ah, the romance of the cup.
The wedding won’t plan itself and so Nick didn’t make the post-match meal at Sheung Wan cooked food market. However, host James and Robert ensured that Gazza’s budget was well used to round off a very successful and enjoyable season as DBFC go out on a high.
This was DBFCs last ever game in the legal league completion – and what a season to go out. Every player played their part during a memorable season such as Ryan’s beast mode against HK Scottish, Nik’s goal against Corinthians and the fantastic team performance to get the win against Spartans having gone two nil down.
MOM: Steve Lang for turning the game in the second half
DOD: Played really well but can only go to James