We knew that the French champions would be a very difficult opposition and that we’d need to play out of our skins to get a result. Sadly, we got off to the worst possible start, conceding after only eight seconds. We’d set up to press them from the start but this backfired as a clever dummy gave them the space to grab the earliest of goals. It wasn’t long before they added a second.
We fought back though and regained some composure until our fate was effectively sealed in controversial circumstances. Tringham was sent off for a goal line clearance that accidentally struck his arm as he was flying back to try and cover the goal. We were furious because we knew how difficult it would be to play the rest of the game with only one sub, but by the letter of the law the referee probably got it right. They dispatched the ensuing penalty to make it 3-0 which was how it stayed till half time, as we lifted the keeper well to keep possession.
We battled on in the second half but our lack of subs was proving costly. Paris were relentlessly fast and punished our tired legs as they continued to extend their lead. We managed to grab a consolation goal in style though, as Hallas started and finished a great passing move, culminating in Jonny Brown firing the ball to the back post for him to tap home.
The final score was, again, 11-1. A second consecutive heavy defeat meant another very disappointing result. We could have few complaints though as we knew we hadn’t been good enough. We couldn’t fault the effort, but going behind so early meant we were always playing catch up. Our small squad was confounded by the red card and we were duly punished by a talented French side who never gave us a chance.
A lot of lessons had been learnt though and there was still plenty to play for in terms of final rankings. We watched the next game between Malaga and the Norwegian School of Economics, the loser of which would be our next opponent. We witnessed a very resilient performance from the Norwegians who held the Spanish for much of the game, but were ultimately outclassed. Tomorrow was sure to be another physical and challenging game, especially with Tringham suspended for one match.
Back at the hotel we enjoyed a fantastic evening of footgolf- literally kicking a football round a golf course! The hotel had invited us to take part in the competition round their own course as part of a promotional campaign, alongside the professional players from Antequerra FC and the Irish women’s team. It was a lot of fun, and with Antequerra golf course situated amidst some beautiful scenery in the Spanish hills, there were some incredible views. It provided us with the perfect opportunity to unwind after an exhausting day, and to recharge and recover ahead of our next game against the Norwegians.