It was another sunny day in Qingdao when Jamie Bettles and I went to play football. Armed with a couple of good hangovers and some shinpads we made our way, by bus, to Old town Qingdao (taking 228 bus outside Carrefour) all the way to the last stop. From here we had a two minute walk to Ji Mo Lu. Just behind this maze of shops we found the football stadium.If you like football and you live in Qingdao then this is the team to join. Made up entirely of foreigners Qingdao Waigouren United has been going for years and is somewhere in the rankings of the Qingdao league.
To play you will need to become a member (but this is only a small fee) and get the kit (a little green number). Unfortunately I had neither, but that wasn’t going to stop me from sitting back in the sun and enjoying an afternoon of football and ice cream, all the while cheering on the hometeam outnumbered 20 to 1 by Chinese fans!
So, It was the Waiguo rens VS the Zhongguo rens in an all out 90 minute battle. I will try and dictate the game as exciting and as briefly as I can…..
Starting with only 9 men, the foreigners were already at a disadvantage. However they pulled out all the stops and gave the Chinese a good match, tempers flaring every now and again at a few dubious calls from the ref brought a number of yellow cards..
Disaster struck when the greens conceded their first goal after a free kick from just outside the box
The heat was now on (literally, I was sweating just from watching them!). But then, just before half time, their star forward came strolling into the stadium, not being hurried by his team mates calls, no. 25 calmly drifted into position
The greens started well and looked to score, but then just as China were on the break, their striker slipped on the ball and took a fall… The ref decided it was a foul and gave two more yellow cards.. one for the ‘tackle’ and one for the bad language protest which followed –
Spurred on by the decision, the greens pushed forward and managed to level with a great bottom corner strike from outside the box…. Their happiness was short lived however when a wincing collision between the home striker and our goalkeeper left him down and dazed
After I refused to don the gloves because my Cornetto wouldn’t wait, the greens had to resort to putting one of their defensive line between the poles.
Short at the back and with a shorter man in goal, sadly this lead to the second Chinese score of the day.
Ten minutes left and one goal down, the greens fought valiantly and with one last ditch from our very own Jamie they looked poised to score… A foul on Jamie in the penalty box! Held back and pushed off by 2 defenders deep in the area looked to bring a nailbiting end to the game.
However.. the Chinese ref had obvious allegiance to the nation and called for a free kick from the edge of the box…. As you can imagine, this didn’t go down well…
The last free kick of the game curled nicely with power but dinged off the top corner bar and spun away, along with any hopes of retribution.
This really was a game of 2 halves and was very enjoyable to watch, I recommend to any interns who like to play or just want to come and cheer for a bit to come along every Sunday afternoon!