Clean sheet finale

Mike Sosnowski earned a clean sheet and Natasha Butzow scored two goals, including the game-winner, when team Samba defeated rival Troll Football 2–0 in the coed indoor soccer final.

The game started off slowly, with the teams carefully assessing one another. It was not until late in the first half that Samba’s Natasha Butzow attempted the first plausible goal of the game, but was stopped by Troll’s keeper, Adam Ali. Shortly afterwards, Danich Boyce of Troll Football threatened Samba with a sly shot that narrowly missed the target.

The action picked up in the second half, with each side directing eight shots on goal. A couple of quick strike attacks by Troll forward Saif El Aboudi highlighted the second half of the game. The first hit the goal post, and the second was brilliantly stopped by Samba’s keeper, Mike Sosnowski. These misses proved costly, as Samba’s Butzow took centre stage afterwards.

With a deft fake, Butzow managed to open up enough space to get a shot off. The shot appeared to redirect off a defender before getting past Ali. The second goal was a no-doubter; Butzow unleashed a heavy shot from the wing that found the bottom left corner of the net.

“The shot was perfectly placed. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the goal scorer; that was one of those instances,” Ali later remarked.

Both of Butzow’s goals came in the final 10 minutes of the game and made the difference.

She said afterwards that she’d had her eyes set on a personal milestone: “Any time you score two goals, a hat trick is obviously on your mind, especially in the final game of the season.” She was visibly overjoyed by the outcome.

Samba also benefitted from a strong performance from Sosnowski. He earned a clean sheet by making 10 saves, three of which he could hardly have been expected to save.

“Mike was fantastic in net for us. On at least two occasions I stopped running back because I thought Troll Football was going to score, but that’s what Mike does,” said Darryl Nu Nam Young, Samba’s captain and star player. “It comes as no surprise that he came up big when it meant the most for our team.”

When asked to comment on his performance, Sosnowski remarked, “I just guessed right.” Modesty notwithstanding, he more than deserved the player of the game honour that he shared with Butzow.

Sheri Veibl, Steven King, and Bryan Escobar also figured in the scoring, with an assist each.

Showing true sportsmanship, Troll Football’s captain, Fazle Rabee, gave full credit to his opponents following the match. “Both teams were very good, and ultimately it came down to a mistake here and a missed opportunity there,” he said. “At the end of the day we gave it our best, but came up short. That just goes to show how good Samba is.”

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