Ah the penalty shootout, the most dreaded thing an Englishman can dread but after a battle to end all battles and with no extra time the Bears take five Germanesque like penalties to see off the brave Gorillas and march on to the league cup final.
Inspired by the Bootroom remake of the Atari space invaders routine at the Friday night training the bears are raring to blast off and start with Rocco in goal, new signing Oscar in defence, midfield of Jonah and Josh with striker Lucas. Super subs are Alex, Elliott and Tommy the Tominator.
In the traditional green and white hoops proudly sponsored by Go Stroll the Bears defend strong against the never ending onslaught that is the Gorilla alien invasion. Josh works some magic down the wing to pass to Lucas who skips over one alien tackle and finds Jonah in acres of space to shoot first time, slight deflection, one nil. Rocco makes a great save to stop the attacking force but gorillas are a strong beast and are quick to equalise.
Oscar is settling in nicely and strong tackling ensures the bunkers are not breached, however the problem is the command alien ships attack faster than the speed of light and Bears find themselves trailing by three goals before Josh and Lucas combine well to find Jonah again to fire home to reduce the deficit. Alex is on now and flying down the wing as Rocco brings the crowd to their feet with an Ederson type save and distribution to set Alex clear who coolly slots home. Elliott is straight into the action as the alien invaders change formation and shift horizontally across the pitch but cannot prevent Lucas hitting the target with laser gun accuracy.
Time for one more level, this game is addictive, end to end and smart thinking by Elliott to find Alex who dodges the missile and hits the target for the equaliser. Half time 5 each, what a game.
Second half and the Bears are rebooted with Tommy in goal and there is no let up with the fast paced action as Lucas collects Elliott’s through ball and finds the net with a composed finish. Great defending by Oscar in a man of the match performance preventing another breakaway attack and sets Alex up for his hat trick, his shot destroying the shapeshifting cuttlefish.
Gorillas regroup and move to the next level to pull a goal back. Tommy makes a great save and Rocco shoots just wide. Josh plays a neat one two with Lucas but the Gorillas keep getting shot down and keep getting back up and the constant wave of attacks pays off with an equaliser. Jonah has a great effort cleared off the line and Elliott blocks a shot on target as both teams fight to the final whistle, full time 7-7.
Due to the protection of professional footballers not getting too tired so they have time to go on the atari the FA have devalued the greatest cup competition and so there is no extra time or replays.
No team deserve to lose this one but we go to the dreaded penalty shootout. Gorillas win the rock paper scissors and shoot first. Did you know statistically the team that takes the first penalty wins 60 per cent of the time. Advantage Gorillas one nil sending Tommy the wrong way. Up steps Josh, will it be the Rooney inspired Panenka chip or the Kane inspired hit the ball where he wants to hit it, running the risk of the keeper guessing right, cool as you like its just like Kane one one.
Next up Gorilla waits for Tommy to move before hitting the shot but Tommy gets a hand to it but its too powerful to stop, two one. Next up Lucas and with great technique and ice cold blood looks to see which way the keeper is diving and rolls the ball into the other side of the goal two two. Oh this is tense, Bears praying for a Stuart Pearce but get a Messi instead, three two.
Here comes Alex, mentally and physically strong strikes confidently into the top corner, three three. Its sudden death now and no margins for error four three. Rocco steps up next, can he hold his nerve, no problem skilfully fires into top corner, keeper no chance, four four.
Penalty number five and pressure is unbearable, even Tommy is shaking in goal, or is that Grobbelaars wobbly knees, misses, four four. Up steps Jonah, this will win it, place in the final up for grabs, no pressure then, I can’t watch still traumatised by Clive Walker……