Forget the 2012 London Olympics, the US Tennis Open, the Darts World Championship, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and any other forthcoming sporting event this year. Pattaya has recently witnessed the most anticipated and exciting sporting competition of the year, if not the decade; the under-12 soccer match played between the Father Ray Children’s Home and the Father Ray Children’s Village.
This was the first time the team from the Village had ever played a competitive match, and they were at a psychological disadvantage even before the kick-off whistle was blown.
The winning team from the Father Ray Children’s Home.
Playing on home ground, the team from the Children’s Home had the support of their housemates. They had decided to wear the same soccer kit as the current World Cup and Euro 2012 champions and the number one FIFA ranked team – Spain, and they taunted their rivals who arrived wearing the team strip of the USA, currently ranked thirty sixth in the rankings.
While the home team was feeling confident about the game, the visitors were heard asking their manager if they stood a chance of winning. His reply was that it ‘was not the winning but the taking part that mattered’.
Losing six goals to two did matter, and no matter how much they blamed each other they promised to train harder and even if it took a long time they would one day beat the team from the Children’s Home. This rivalry could go on for many years.
The Village kids – unhappy in defeat.