Caleb Apple

My Soccer Team: Sophokama

From the perspective of Anele Matutu

The soccer game had just finished. I sat on the floor unlacing my shoes. My teammates looked over at my ankle and gasped. It had swollen to the size of a small watermelon. Mfundo said to me:

“Wow, Anele, that’s a bad ankle.”

“Yes it is,” I replied. “That dent in the field is very troublesome. I wish that there was a different soccer field. I might have probably twisted my ankle. I might not be able to practice for a few weeks.

Luphumlo, another one of my teammates and our coach asked me:

“What you afraid. A bad ankle never slowed any other people down, why should it slow you down. You better come to practice tomorrow or you will get benched when you come back. You know Sophokama is the best soccer team in Joe Slovo. You should be happy you aren’t on a lower team.

“I am happy to be the starting goalie on the team,” I replied.

I took off my yellow goalie jersey and substituted it for a sky blue shirt. I told everybody I would see them tomorrow and then walked across the field. When I got home my wife immediately taped it up with the rest of the tape. I took a total of 70 rand, and bought three packs of tape. The tape hawker kept asking him if Sophokama was doing well. I told him that Luphumlo was being annoying. He answered by saying:

“Luphumlo is racking up the years pretty quickly. He will probably retire soon and do something else. Do not worry. I will give you a 4th pack of tape for free because you are on Sophokama. You will play C.R. Vasco Da Gama.”

At 15:15 the game started. You could tell that the teams were unfair. C.R. Vasco Da Gama scored in the 1st, 3rd, 7th and 9th minutes before they settled down. I was having a bad game but I had still made a lot of saves. Luphumlo was screaming at us but it didn’t help. We gave up another 3 goals before halftime. Mfundo had a great shot that the goalie was unable to get and it was 7-1 at halftime. Luphumlo left the game and Mfundo became captain. We started playing better after that and we lost 9-4. We went home, and we felt very subdued. My wife told me it was okay and when we played them again, I played the best game of my life and Mfundo scored 2 goals. We won 2-0. My wife congratulated me and then I got ready for church.

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