On Friday evening Avondale FC took on Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath in the most thrilling match in Avengers history.
Avondale initially went down right before half time but they clearly did not let this affect them. This match had everything. Except backflips, I can’t remember any backflips.
Let’s set the scene in the second half shall we? From what was a ‘let’s get shit done’ half time talk, Joey Katebian levels the scoresheet and we have God damn match on our hands now.
Then, you’re having a good night at the football, watching the Avengers dominate possession and make some sensational penetrating runs, you just know shits about to go down. Instead, the lights go out. Magic of the NPL right? Avondale are clearly pissed, just as they’re gaining momentum, they’re forced to break.
With what I would imagine to be something like 16 people back of house cursing in their foreign tongue, the lights were back up and running within 5-8 minutes. In the meantime, those on the stream had the delight of listening to Teo attempt to fill blank air, talking about his watch n stuff.
We’re back on. It’s all happening. This match has so much energy, time is just flying by. There was excitement, there was skill, there was Elvis.
Then the lights go out, again. This feeling, it was like when you’re watching a waitress deliver your food, then it turns out it belongs to the table behind you and you’re forced to wait even longer.
As the second half continues, it’s a continuation of this energy, from both sides, creating end to end football. We are then forced to experience just one more lights out and at this point, we are all screaming in the words of T-Pain “TURN ALL THE LIGHTS ON”.
1-1. Full time. It’s time for Extra Time. Let’s do it.
Nerves everywhere. Kingston Heath must’ve had a nice hue of warmth from all the nervous heat radiating from spectators.
105’ Chris Lucas for Bentleigh Greens scores. 115’ Chris Lucas scores, hat-trick.
There it is. Bentleigh are through to the Grand Final. They’re ecstatic. The team, the crowd go wild!
Funnily enough, Avondale don’t put their heads down. They get right back into it, it’s hard, 2 goals down, 5 minutes left. It’s not impossible, right?
In the 118thminute, out of nowhere, THERE’S A GOD DAMN OWN GOAL FROM BENTLEIGH. Avondale can’t even get their heads around what the hell just happened?! But no time. As quickly as ever, they snatch that ball out of the net and run faster than Bolt in the first 100m back to the halfway line.
The enthusiasm, the energy, the excitement exhibited from the lads was unreal. Passing the ball with such precision, the whole team penetrating forwards, there was something in the air, they had the hunger, they wanted it.
It’s the 120thminute and Avondale’s Jonatan Germano, with that beautiful man-bun, steps up for a free kick in a prime position, just outside of the box. This is the moment. If they’re gonna do it, they’re gonna do it here. It’s now or never.
HOLY CRAP IT’S IN THE BACK OF THE NET. IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE?! They did it! It’s in, it’s an own goal, but it’s in, makes it 4-3 to Avondale.
The scene, it goes wild. The players just run around with no direction, no idea, just ecstatic. Their loyal supporters on the sidelines are going absolutely wild.
They’ve done it, they’re off to the Grand Final. Do they even know how at this point? Probably not! But they did it. It doesn’t matter who scored the goals, they created their chances, they played the game and they won.
So cheers to Avondale for one of the most exciting matches you will see and good luck against Heidelberg United at AAMI Park on September 23rdin the Grand Final.
Featured Image from Avondale FC Twitter page.
By Rose Valente