The final match of the match support season had finally arrived with the Soccer Boys Finals. It had been an eventful season thus far, with VJC athletes achieving excellence in all their various sports and events. The Soccer Girls in particular had clinched overall champions in their division, and there were high hopes among Victorians that the Soccer Boys would be able to secure a double championship title for the Soccer teams in 2019. In addition, the team wished to hold on to their much coveted and prestigious ‘champion’ title that they had won the previous year. There was no doubt that the pressure to excel was a weighty burden on the team, but they wore this burden like a comfortable pair of football boots as they put their best foot forward for their final match.
The pre-match atmosphere was superb. Every class was deployed for the match, and so the immense Jalan Besar stadium was filled to the brim in a sea of iconic yellow ‘FIRED UP!’ shirts. One could easily liken the stands to a yellow beehive, with Victorians eagerly buzzing about the match to come. From some conversations came hopeful predictions of the results, and from others were words of admiration for the Soccer Boys team’s tenacity in their preparation for the match. Yet, one question remained in everyone’s minds: Would VJC be able to conclude the thrilling match support season on a high note?
By the time the players took to the field, the entire crowd was truly pumped up — cheering “VJ Boleh!” loudly and energetically. “The energy was very high and I could feel the spirit in the cheering,” a Student Councillor, Kayla from 19S38, enthusiastically remarked about the atmosphere.
Excited cheers of “VJ Boleh!” erupt from the audience as the Soccer Boys make their way to the field.
As the match finally began, it quickly became evident to onlookers that VJC had put in a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work. Midfielder Imran from 19S62 commented in a post-match interview that “the hot weather (and) constant running in trainings (was) all worth it”. In the match, it was clear that the blood, sweat and tears they had shed prior to the match allowed the athletes to play with such dexterity. Both teams had indeed played tremendously well, creating good attacking opportunities and defending their spaces well. The spectators were especially thrilled when the team sent long passes to the right flank and crossed to central positions from there, coming close to scoring with this technique a few times!
Despite SAJC scoring the first breakthrough in the first-half, VJC soon delivered a quick response and levelled the score. The response was instantaneous. Fervent cheers erupted from the audience, who could not resist standing up to cheer the boys on. The atmosphere in the stadium was electrifying, and it was obvious the players felt spurred on as they hugged each other tightly in celebration of their goal. With a renewed spirit, the football boys carried on with a spring in their step.
A triumphant celebration: The VJ Boys score their first goal!
After the equaliser, VJC came close to a second goal on numerous occasions. The attackers and defenders worked in perfect synchronicity; never letting the ball stray too far from the SAJC goal without allowing it to come too close for comfort to the VJC goal. It was the epitome of teamwork, and at times it certainly did feel as though the players were able to read each others’ minds. The constant back-and-forth between the SAJC and VJC goalposts were the emotional equivalent of a terrifying, yet exhilarating roller coaster for spectators, who celebrated every high and spurred the team on at every low. They became far more eager and involved with every potential scoring opportunity, and “were really active in cheering, especially after we scored our first goal”, a Councillor noted.
Unfortunately, a quick second-half goal from SAJC spelt doom for VJC. Despite VJC playing with much more urgency, quick counter-attacks by SAJC eventually ended the game with a score of 4:1. Determined to play to the best of their abilities until the very end, the VJC Soccer Boys dug their heels firmly in the ground and refused to take the score lying down. However, the final whistle eventually blew and the score became set in stone.
Shock. Frustration. Sadness. The players and supporters alike were not able to accept the loss immediately. The players sat on the pitch in devastation, and some hung their heads in their hands. Yet, after the somber moment had passed, the soccer boys all began to stand up once again. The team could not be so easily defeated, after all. No matter the result, they accepted their loss with grace, and one could sense their renewed determination to do better even across the field. In a post match interview, midfielder Imran commented, “Rest assured, we are hungrier and more determined than ever to lift that trophy. Everyone will rise to the occasion and work a lot harder just to play at the Jalan Besar (stadium) again.”
Ultimately, the spectators present knew the players had given it their all on the pitch. More than that, the Victorian family was also truly united as one school, cheering and spurring on the amazing team. Victorians could not feel prouder of the Soccer Boys for coming so far in the season and fighting their final match valiantly. For that reason, we truly did end the thrilling match support season on a high.
Lee Young Kai, 19S38
Photos provided by:
The Victorian Verve