Spring is back, and so is the football season! Last Friday, the MD group took up the challenge from theoretical chemistry and took to the field in a match that will go down in history as a great victory for El Classico. The conditions were perfect: sun was plentiful and all the stands at Sportpark De Parrel were full with supporters and the occasional emeritus.
The MD group's line-up: Faustino; Alessandri, Gaifas, De Vries ; Schroer, Oliveira ; Marrink, Frederix with Telles de Souza as sub
TheoChem's line-up: Sami, Kathir, Francese, Dominguez-Castro, Vazquez-Salazar, Elena, Wouter, and some other faces not present on their website ;).
The game started with immediate pressure from the MD group, keen to get off to a good start. The ball was played around and already within the first 10 minutes the deadlock was broken by Frederix who slid the ball past the goalie after a great throughpass from the midfield. TheoChem managed to find their footing after the early opening goal, but were not able to test goal keeper Faustino thoroughly before their goalkeeper had to pick the ball out of the back of the net again after a clean finish by Marrink. Meanwhile, the TheoChem midfielders were still not able to reach their forward players: it seemed like they knew the momentum of the ball, but not the position, or vice versa, but the final pass never came to the right spot. The MD group, however, was much more efficient: when the TheoChem defense was unable to clear the particle/football out of the box, Marrink added his second to give the MD group a 0-3 lead. Such a comfortable score almost lead to too much complacency: TheoChem managed to make the goal post shake with a shot from distance, but at the other end Oliveira also scraped the aluminium with a powerful header from a corner kick. However, the score remained where it was until the first water break.
It was to be expected that the MD approach would lead to faster results, but after the break QM manifested itself as a force to be reckoned with. For about 10 minutes, compact and energetic play from the TheoChem team had the MD group with their backs against the wall, until the pressure finally lead to miscommunication and a the well-deserved 1-3. The crowd, which came out in large numbers to support the TheoChem team, went wild and the banners stating Newton's equations don't quite make it compared to Schrodinger's were flying again. At this time the game was at a tipping point: would TheoChem be able to keep up the pressure, or would the relentless defense of MD be able to execute a counter-attack? Chances on both sides of the pitch were scarce for about 10 minutes, but the MD team started to defend higher up the field and were able to keep more possession. This lead to a great passing goal: after great combinations by Alessandri and De Vries, Telles de Souza connected with De Vries's cross to volley it into the top corner and make it 1-4. Flashes of the Barcelona team in their glory days came to mind and it meant the final stand of the TheoChem team was broken. It appeared they had reached a minimum of energy and were not able to escape it anymore, while the energy from the the Dynamics team seemed almost thermostatted by sun and their players kept running. Marrink completed his hattrick and several MD members contributed to the score. As confidence grew, so did the gallery play, and the final result was set to 1-9 with a backheel flick behind the leg.
The final score does not necessarily reflect the strength ratio between the teams, it was clear that the experience of playing together made a huge difference for the MD team. Perhaps a rematch would go differently? Anyway, the game was celebrated with some well-deserved drinks shared between the teams, still going strong after the sun had set. A great day!
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