2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shot

It’s the deciding game of the World Cup quarter finals: Canada versus Mexico. The clock is running down and neither side has any points on the board. Wells is moving downfield, away from the play. Ramirez is shadowing him watchfully. Carlos moves in from the left, but Ramirez waves him off. Wells shifts from left to right, trying to fake out Ramirez and remain open.

“Out of my way, Wells.”

Wells slips past while Ramirez is distracted and checks the field. There’s a busy crowd around the Mexican goal, performing the purposeful and energetic dance that is football. The linesmen are occupied at both ends and the referee is distracted. Wells ducks quickly to the sidelines to get a drink.

“Pretty good turnout tonight, eh Jeffrey?”

Wells nods to his teammate, downs his drink and heads back onto the pitch. Down near the goal he spots a foul; so does the linesman. The signal goes up, and Johnson gets a yellow card.  But play isn’t stopped and the scrum continues. Wells insinuates himself deep into Mexican territory.

“Hey!”

An opposing guard pushes Jeff while he scans the field, but he ignores it and moves away. Carlos is closing in to cover the Mexican goal. Wells edges closer, trying not to arouse the suspicion of the Mexican guard or the linesman. He know he has to be open when the ball comes his way.

“Ouch! Get off my foot, jerk!”

Wells has fouled one of the other players. Did the referee notice? Will he get carded?

“Sorry Dave. I’ll be more careful next time.”

No! It seems to be just the rough and tumble of the game. Once again he tracks the Mexican goaltender and shifts toward the net. Ramirez is moving to intercept, but gets distracted by Levesque. Wells moves into position and signals he's open.

“What is it, Mister Wells?”

The linesman focuses his attention on Wells.

“Nothing, sir.”

Now the linesman is extra vigilant. He’s decided Wells was trying to distract him from something. But Wells doesn’t care. The ball drops down at his feet. He whirls around to face the goaltender. He’s got just one shot at this. It’s now or never. He takes the shot.

“Hi, Maria. Would you like to dance?”

The ball is flying for the corner of the net. Is it fair or foul? Will it strike the post? Time itself stops in breathless anticipation.

“Sure thing, Jeffrey.”

Score! Wells has scored the winning goal! Canada advances to the next round, and the crowd goes wild!