ISST Boy’s Varsity Football - Munich 2015

Runners Up – ISH

The Varsity Boy’s Football Team came close to becoming a new ISST Football Champion, but lost in time added on in Munich in a dramatic tournament hosted by Munich International School.

After a soft start against IS and Cobham, ISH needed to somehow find some spirit and football form that had eluded them throughout the Fall Season. The tell tale signs of not finishing teams off and not taking their chances was raising its ugly head once more. In a do or die situation that had arisen through previous results, ISH had to beat Paris to progress to the Simi Finals. Paris who was blessed with a unique talent in goal would be hard to beat. But deep into the second half and after a barrage of opportunities, the boy’s finally broke through and scored, and then secured the win with a second just before the end of the game. The relief was clear to see, and more importantly, ISH had now found their game and were beginning to become a team.

The semi final would present a huge challenge however, with Munich, the hosts of the tournament winning their pool with three comfortable wins and looking favorites to win the Championship. However, they did not expect an ISH team bent on revenge from their loss the year before in London in the 3rd and 4th play-off game. The game would go down as one that this team will no doubt never forget. With a fully fit ISH team and a spirit of warriors, Munich did not know what hit them. In front of a partisan crowd, ISH kicked off with such pace and venom and scored immediately with a free kick taken and scored by their captain, Nick De Fries. In the opinion of many watching, this goal was worthy of the ‘Goal of the Tournament’, and a goal that would secure the win and a place in the final. For the first time in the school’s history, ISH Varsity Boys would be in the Division 1 Final.

The scene was set. ISH had to do something that they have not been able to do since entering Division 1. Beat the reigning champions and the champions for the last four consecutive years. Could it be done? The spirit was high, but with only 13 available players, only discipline and hard work would prevail. The game was scrappy, like many finals are, with both teams sharing opportunities, but both not taking them. After a strong start in the second period ISH looked on top and had clear chances, but once again was unable to take them. With pressure now mounting, due to fatigue and a depleted squad. The game would move into extra time. In the end it was just not to be. Cobham finally broke through, then scored again almost immediately, resulting in them remaining European Champions and breaking history with 5 consecutive championship titles.

ISH Varsity Boys Football Team had managed to find a way, through never giving up, working together, instead of working as individuals as they had been throughout the year. The pain of losing was very hard to take, but they did it with dignity and honor. Next year they will be back. Next year they will win!

Michael Kirkland

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