Just had one of "those" games. The ones that make you loathe and love this game more than any other. A re-cap:
Going into the semi-final of the Club World Cup, my Vancouver Whitecaps FC team is fresh off of a 3-0 victory over Al-Ahli of Saudi Arabia and I'm now faced with a matchup against Corinthians of Brazil. 4-1 odds against me, I assertively instruct my players to go out as the underdogs and surprise the fans.
Things are going well. Team's controlling possession at 64% or so and my team is looking sharp.
26 minute mark and I'm notified my left midfielder (flat 4-4-2) has to go off (broken arm, 5-6 weeks.) Corinthians never puts the ball out. Fine. OK, bring on the backup.
Going into halftime I'm outshooting them 8-7 with 4 SoT to their 3. Score remains nil-nil, though.
Uh-oh. Corinthians dons their magic shoes and their players are flying all over the pitch...going for not one, not two, but three(!) charges at goal as one of my players lies on the pitch, injured.
48 minute mark and Wait! Is that...? Yup, there goes my injury replacement. *groan* Bruised rib, 5-7 days.
Not all is lost, though, as my star player (Danilo Rios) can play a bit of a LM, so I bring on my backup CM and move Rios to the wing. Swap the two CM's around and I'm ready to go.
63 minute and after watching my striker go down (with Corinthians again refusing to stop play) a few moments ago, my RM has now gone down injured. He can carry on with the injury, but I'd rather not risk him(damaged elbow, 10-12 days.) On comes the backup RM.
67 minute mark...and there goes my replacement midfielder. (Hip injury, 2-3 months.) Bloods beginning to boil now. I throw caution to the wind and go with a 4-3-2, hoping to get lucky on a counter. Corinthians players are still flying around the field as only the magic of "attacking" mentality can provide.
96 minute mark, and the ref calls for time. Still nil-nil, though the stats now read 8(4 on target) for me to 17(5) for Corinthians. Possession favors me at 56%, and they have 2 clear-cut chances to my 1 (though I did have 4 half-chances to their 1.) Time for the penalties...
Danilo Rios steps up and buries it.
Adriano (yes, he's still around in 2013) steps up...saved by Leo (formerly of Sao Paulo.)
Pablo (Itumbiara) nails it.
Paulinho keeps hope alive.
Carlos Andre (favorite freebie the past two FM's) scores.
Julio "I actually played for Real" Baptista nails it. The post, that is.
Mustapha "What a real-life bust I was with Vancouver in 2011" Jarju steps up before a likely audience of billions upon billions...and buries it. Book it, done.
Whew. Now all I have to do is beat Real Madrid (fresh off of their 7-0 victory over Zamalek) in the final without my starting wingers, my backup LM and my backup CM!