In soccer kuchapwa ni kama deni, jinsi mwenye alikopeshwa husahau hilo deni wakati hajalipa ndivyo jinsi mshindi husau mechi baada ya kushinda. Pia jinsi mwenye kupeana deni hukumbuka deni ndivyo aliyepigwa hukumbuka msaibu wake. Whereas Parklands had forgotten how earlier in the year they had whitewashed, humiliated, harassed, and eliminated City Rangers 6-2 at their home ground in Camp Toyoyo. Parklands had forgotten the many teams that they had gone about their business dispatching along the year, but City Rangers had sat in nightmares planning their revenge and going hard in training hoping that one day they would get a rematch. The rematch came with an extremely unfit Parklands still nursing a hangover over their Coastal trip, Mayweather still putting in his beach shorts till date, and Zlatan still remembering his dancing skills which btw are similar to the way he turns with the ball but that is a story for another day. Only 10 players had confirmed for the kick-off with a hoard of maybes who are team unsure of turning up. However, on the pitch 18 players were present raising the question of the function of the App. A super sticker indicated that he had confirmed match attendance through his agent forgetting that the agent was accused of leaving some of his players in Nairobi while he took the first class train to Mombasa. Anyway, all confirmations through the App and payment before the game, unalipa ndo uguze. At the back was the pairing of Captain Intelligent and Kamdam at center back with Drury and Waire offering support on the wings. FCDM Masoni was trusted in 6 and Senji Dr. in 8 with Zlatan tasked with linking the ball to lone striker Sisco. Birthday boy Ogochee who just turned 18 years started at the right while Batoto ba Kongole Mayele Jonathan took the other wing. On paper, the squad was very strong and able to strike fear into the heart of City Rangers, but papers do not play them. From the onset, City Rangers were the better team dictating play with their quick passes and interchange while Parklands could not even string two passes together. The midfield was shambolic akin to a headless chicken even if that is a compliment as a headless chicken does not know the direction it is going but can run very fast. City Rangers demonstrated their understanding of the ground, making quick passes, overloading the wings with their passes with Parklands midfield unable to breathe, and forcing them into making areas or turnovers with the ball. One missed pass from the midfield and Parklands paid the price with fast-moving City Rangers making a meal to open the defense and score. To say the first half was hard is an understatement as City Rangers take credit for outplaying Parklands in every department with the new goalkeeper being the man of the match. Am sure wherever he went he must have wondered if his agent had brought him to the game to be punished as he received shot after shot as if he had stolen someone’s wife. If the shots were bullets he would definitely be 50 Cents right now. To put in perspective Zlatan touched the ball six times in the whole of first half, of the touches 3 times he was offside, and twice aliguza kwa bahati mbaya ama tuseme pita ulimgonga lakini hakugonga mpira, and the other time a curved short which was the only shot on target for Parklands. In retrospect we could have played without him in the whole first half and we would not have felt any loss. Our usual active wings were devoid of services and when they got it they were significantly isolated. Rangers were dominant in every way and if not for the goalkeeper the half time score would have been embarrassing. And as the whistle was blown nobody in Parklands had a once of happiness. In fact Zlatan alikua amefura kama mandazi ya Burma mtu angemchuna tu kiasi angelipuka. The usually calm and collected Steve threw the bottle in anger as he castigated the team during halftime. There is a big difference between a midfielder and omomilfder and this was epitomized by the introduction of Dancing Rasta Ovi. A midfield general, he showcased why an orchestra without a conductor is just noise. Like General Lee during the American Revolution that resulted in the abolishment of slaves, the dreadlocks monster breathed life into the Parklands midfield dictating the tempo with his passes, ball-winning, and possession. A rejuvenated Masoni now playing under new instructions demonstrated his ball-winning ability performing brilliantly in curtailing Rangers midfield. Balancing on to support the right wing, he was the FCDM we have come to know, the first-half nightmare behind him. Senji Dr had upped his games, albeit all the Meakins in his systems had already evaporated or he just performs better at night. Linking up well with Tyga and Sisco it was clear that it was just a matter of time as Parklands were storming back to the game. When the midfield is working like an oil machine the football becomes easy that is why it is the engine of the team. Ovi’s drive won the team a freekick at the edge of the box, Senji Dr. curved it to the top right corner, the keeper punched ball with Sisco equalizing from the rebound. 1-1 and game on. With Tiger in for Ogochee, Ovi for Zlatan, Koech for Mayele and returning Captain Collinso after his preseason in Djibouti for Drury, the second half was a different sing-song. We talk about effective substitutions and this was evident as Parklands took more control of the ball and while Rangers still asked questions at least Parklands had the answers. An open second half where any team could have won with the Parklands keeper standing tall against all diversity. In came top striker Yego showcasing there is a difference between talent and learning how to play football, especially kujifunza ball ukiwa mzee. Rangers attacked with Waire isolated with the attacker with only him between him and the goalkeeper. The bench was on their knees in prayer hoping that Waire eminent tackle would not lead to a penalty, eminent because of what the slasher has in store when enters into his Tai Chi stance. Waire may need to choose which leg to stop or kick the ball but when it comes to tackling he has no weak legs, whether you approach him from the right or the left the slasher will get you. Waire went for the ball, massaged the player a little, and released Sisco on the left. So good was the ball that a quick 2 v2 counterattack was initiated. Sisco drove into the opponent’s half and in an act of being born again, PASSED it to Yegotov who with one touch chipped the ball to the top corner, za tv I tell you. Even the opponents cheered for the goal, and the drunken men on the bench got sober immediately. Deft flick, exquisite precision, and lob to the back of the net. Zlatan returned to the pitch and this time he redeemed himself by playing a deeper role. With Collinso demonstrating that class is permanent he will be a great addition to the team with his versatility already sending jitters within the team. Someone is getting benched it’s a matter of who. Rangers responded eager not to lose but the goalkeeper stood tall, however, when you knock long enough the door opens even if it is to tell you no with Rangers equalizing making it 2-2. Parklands chased the win, Ovi taking a yellow for the team while Kamdam received his yellow for deliberately catching the ball to prevent a counter-attack. Tiger had the ball in the net but the referee who had decided to show that blindness does not affect those who are visually challenged called for an offside. A game that was dominated by Rangers in the first half finished as an even contest that either team could have won. Rangers turned out and played a great game effectively in everything they did but the Parklands keeper stood tall. Parklands were on MIA in the first half but demonstrated zeal and zest to even things out in the second half but it wasn’t enough for a win.