Cisco 5, Light Reading 4
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- New York's Light Reading Cosmos fell to West Coast glamour team Cisco Systems Inc. in the optical networking industry's preeminent football fixture of the weekend (that's soccer to youse Americans).
In the sweaty heat-trap otherwise known as Off The Wall Soccer, the New Yorkers got what they expected -- a hotly contested physical match with thrills and spills to boot.
The Cosmos, well-known for their second-half collapses -- delivered yet again, taking a 2-1 lead into halftime only to crumple in the heat, victims of their own pub-based conditioning regimen. However, after going down quickly 2-5 in the early parts of the second-half, they mounted a scrappy last-minute comeback -- but ran out of time.
The pregame warmup was not without drama, as Light Reading's regular goalie Chen Jiang (a.k.a. "J.C.") discovered belatedly (after a league match, a practice session, and a cross-country airplane ride) that he had in fact broken his hand earlier in the week. The Cosmos' crack management team was not to be fooled, however, astutely concluding just minutes before the game that a one-handed goalie might not be such a good idea. Backup keeper Tom Vanderbilt obliged, making an impossible number of outstretched saves reminiscent of the comic-book hero Plastic Man.
"We think Light Reading played a great game," Mike Volpi would have said, had we bothered to ask him. "They were great sports, and we're certainly not going to gloat about a game that's result was so close," added Volpi, as he turned somersaults across midfield after the game's final whistle.
"Of course we're not upset," said team manager Scott Raynovich, after breaking a chair and sending half-drunk Gatorade bottles flying. "Cisco deserved to win this one because they played a superior game. This time I won't blame the ref as I normally do."
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