Written by Keegan Pereira
The day started as usual, jog and stretch followed by the “don’t drop the ball” game and a game of handball to loosen up the legs.
Breakfast and team meetings followed to prepare for our opponents, then the real fun began.
Since we came here, the ping pong table has been getting a lot of action and the best four challengers began a little tournament for a shot to take on the champ (me) for tour bragging rights.
Arsh Buttar vs. Ollie Ew-shfsfdjbfjs-ko was the first semifinal; Ollie took the win in a hotly contested match. The second semifinal saw Josh Brown take on Amrit in a contest that really wasn’t even a contest, easy win Josh Brown.
In the penultimate game, Ollie took on Josh in an extremely close contest that saw the youngster Ollie squeeze out a win. In the final match, Ollie started off strong and held the lead for much of the match, however, you could see the pressure building up on him the entire time.
With Ollie up 17-12, I mounted a strong comeback. Backed by a ton of trash talking that ended up ratting the rookie, I won nine straight points and took the championship belt 21-17. On to the real game.
Today we played Mexico B, a team composed of a few senior players but mostly made up of a bunch of young Mexicans who are currently in training for the Youth Olympics.
Canada dominated the game from start to finish, the first goal came from Josh Brown who got hold of a bouncing ball in the D and took a swing, dispatching it into the side netting.
Goal two was scored by Amrit who banged a one timer into the back of the net after a great backhand flip from Jannu.
Our third goal came from the ping pong runner up, Ollie, who got stuck in during a scramble in front of the net and shoveled the ball into the net to give us a 3-0 lead. Our fourth and final goal came from Amrit who slid a shot into the bottom corner as the Mexican goalie was charging out at him.
After the game we stayed back to watch the Cuba vs. Mexico game, a tie 4 goal win by Cuba, or just a win by Mexico would see us through to the final. Cuba stared strong and got a 2 goal lead going into the last 20 minutes of the game.
The boys really got excited when Cuba put one more in with about 15 minutes to play to give us hope to reach the finals.
With about 10 minutes to play, our favourite Cuban player (we nickaned him Balo for his uncanny resemblance to Italian footballer Mario Balotelli in both appearance and style of play) got a breakaway from the 25.
The boys stood up, knowing that if he scored this we has a great chance on making the final, Balo waltzed into the D, took it to his backhand and tried an audacious backhand lob and missed the net by about two feet.
The Mexicans came back two minutes later and scored a goal of a mad scramble in the circle and our fate was sealed.
We will play Mexico in the 2nd vs 3rd game and then play Mexico B again on the last day.