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4/20 Soccer Tourney Day 2.5

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...a really high header.

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, I watched the 3rd and 4th guys' elimination games. Somewhat against my will, I'm actually becoming a soccer fan.

Like yesterday, we had a student step up to ref the games. Also like yesterday's ref, today's was skilled and fair, and all-around impressive.

In Game 3, the Tall Ones faced off against ... a team whose name nobody could remember. Fortunately for our tournament chart, the Tall Ones dominated the game, ending with 2-1, so they'll advance to the semi-finals to play the winners of Game 4.

All the teams played well today, helped by the clouds which minimized the sun's glare, but hindered by the incredibly dry ground which kicked up dust with every step. You can actually see the dust in some of the photos, it's so thick.

The final game of the day was also the most exciting, in part because of a last-minute bending of the rules: only 3 players showed up to play for the Sons of the Lions, so we let them fill in their ranks with ringers from previously-defeated teams (including Saturday afternoon's ref).

In the first half, the Gazelles*, their opponents, dominated the field, scoring one goal right away and a second in the middle of the period. Coming up on halftime, it looked like a blowout. But the Sons of the Lions (who I keep wanting to call the Cubs) shot in a bullet kick from midfield, right before the buzzer, that pulled it up to 2-1. After the half, the Cubs - ooh, sorry, the Sons of the Lions - nailed another goal, and suddenly the game was a lot more interesting. With about 15 minutes left to play, they bombed in a third goal, and suddenly the crowd was on its feet. The Gazelles couldn't pull it together to tie it back up before the final bell, so the Sons of the Lions, complete with 4 previously-defeated players, advances to next weekend's semi-finals.

* I found this a weird team name, because "gazelle" is the single most common thing shouted at girls walking through big cities. More accurately, it's the thing I hear most when walking through cities. It's meant to be flattery, as gazelles are universally perceived to be beautiful and graceful creatures. It comes across as harassment, though, since I don't actually *like* having "compliments" shouted at me by strangers. When I asked one of the teachers why the guys would choose such an effeminate team name, he pointed out that gazelles are also fast, strong, and deft. Which they certainly are, but still...

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