Sébastien sitting in the commentary box, despite his best attempt to be enthusiastic, couldn help but feel disappointed. "The match official has given a free-kick, but what use is that? It doesn change anything in the game."
Benoit Leroy has already left the pitch and is visibly upset sitting on the benches. With him not even entertained by a free-kick. But he didn bother getting on the pitch either, even if he hasn been booked twice. The referee has just awarded Le Harve a free-kick. And with the time left on the clock, the half will certainly end right after the dead ball situation ends.
The Le Harve fans stood in shock and dismay as Le Harve players positioned themselves for the set piece. The first to the ball was Mauger Chevalier, who authoritatively claimed the ball for himself as he deemed himself the only one worthy of it.
Chevalier in his snobbish tone, spoke with pride as he positioned himself before the ball. "What kind of player can even score with an open net?" The winger was evidently not disheartened with the referees unjust decision, but more so concentrated on Leroys inability to put the ball into the back of the net.
But deep within him, he was secretly pleased as well. Despite Le Harve being one goal down, and despite the referees decision. The young footballer is a good player but is heavily proud of himself for dominating the goal numbers. The young winger was the type of player who would rather lose 3-1, with him scoring the only goal, rather than his team winning 1-0, and him failing to find the net.
The referee didn give the Le Harve fan the satisfaction of an equaliser, but the No. 9 did earn some respect for his efforts in front of the goal. Leroy may be having a hard time finding the back of the net, but Chevalier knew that Leroy would be there the next time Le Harve needed him. And Chevalier will also be there for them.
The winger steadied his breath as he aimed for a goal. Its his time to shine, Chevalier thought as he aimed and took the ball down, preparing for a powerful run towards the RC Lens goal.
"Ive been waiting for this moment my whole life!"
The free-kick taker took his sweet time in deciding what to do with the ball. He looks at the clustering of human bodies and sees not much of a gap to exploit. Chevalier also noted the positioning of the human wall but noticed no clear angle that would allow him to curl the ball into the net. He bit his tongue, as he listened to the Lens Keeper busy shouting at the players to position themselves at the best possible location to limit the danger of his shot. Mauger shook his head silently as he realised that if the human wall was just a few steps to the left, he might just manage to place the ball into the top right corner.
"You got it?" The driven captain, Gérald Roys, asked the set-piece taker as he whispered to him. He was confirming if the winger would take the freekick.
"Its mine!" Chevalier, with his hands resting on his hips, replied without even glancing at his captain.
You better take it well, thought Roys.
"Hey cap, do me a favour." The captain looked confused but nodded nevertheless. Chevalier whispered. "You see the Lens wall? I want you to..."
The referee whistled as he looked on at the Chevalier, who has yet to take the freekick but nonchalantly juggling the ball with the top of his foot. The Lens players gestured at the referee, grabbing his attention before complaining about Le Harve taking much too long. The referee heard their complaint, before heading to Chevaliers side and pointing at his watch, signalling him to hurry up.
The winger agreed with a smirk, before placing the ball on the ground and nodding to his captain. Upon this signal, the Le Harve captain, and a few extra players, frantically attempted to squeeze in between the Lens players that were part of the wall.
"Hey, what are you doing!"
"Stop pushing! Thats not allowed."
The Lens wall was fractured, with Le Harve players breaking the wall into two. The wall of Red and Yellow now had an oddity of blue. The Lens players argued, making a scene of themselves as they try to grab the referees attention.
All but too late...
Chevalier noted the positioning of the human wall, as he prepared to challenge the goalkeeper. In his estimation, there was no way he would get the ball past the RC Lens keeper. But Chevalier was wrong, the previously mighty wall has long disappeared in his eyes, with it being nothing more than wild ducks screaming on the pitch. The referee has already blown his whistle, long permitted for Chevalier to take the free kick.
Chevalier looked at the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper was looking into the ball with wide eyes. Chevalier did not even look towards the keeper to see his expression. It didn matter to him, as he performed his usual run-up to the ball.
Sébastien: "Mauger taking the free-kick. He runs to the ball..."
Chaos... The wall that calmed the Lens goalkeeper has now become a traumatising detail that he must ignore. He couldn take his eye away for a single moment. The keeper seemingly froze on the spot, doubting if he should adjust his positioning last second to account for the freekick.
The Lens wall is used to limit the area where the ball can be kicked, but with the wall in pieces, should he move back to the centre of the post so he can protect both corners of the goal? The keeper bit his teeth. Screw it, there are too many players on the right side of the goal, and the ball would never get through all those bodies.
Sébastien: "He shoots..."
The ball was hit perfectly by Chevaliers shot, striking the ball with the inside of his foot just behind the knuckle of the big toe. He hit the ball not with brute force, but with controlled strength. Upon hitting, he raised the foot as high as possible, almost at an unnatural angle.
The ball was lifted off the ground, soaring into the air. The players, managers, coaches, and audiences watched as the ball shot from 30 yards away from the box, and flew over the heads of all the players.
The goalkeeper struggled and stood rooted on the spot. His first instinct, as told by the trajectory of the shot, says the ball will fly straight into the air. But his eyes almost couldn believe what he saw next. The ball seemed as if it had a will of its own, making a rapid dive downward that has completely taken him by surprise.
"No... the ball is going over... It must go over!"
The keeper shook his head, to clear his head of the daze, and attempted to return his eye to the ball. He was positioned at the left side of the goalpost, and the ball was going to the right side. There was no way he could close down such a distance in a short span of time. He can only pray. Pray that the ball has been overshot.
The ball spiralled over the heads of every player on the field. As they can only watch as the ball sinked from a high angle, onto the pitch once before rebounding into the net.
"go... go... GOAAAAALLLLLLLLL!" Sebastien almost choked on his own words as he couldn believe what he has just seen. Just as everyone thought Chevalier has overshot the ball, it seemed to have a will on its own as it dived into the net.
Everyone. Everyone. Everyone was yelling, yelling in their respective languages, but everyone could understand the emotion pouring out like a flood. Le Harve realised they had a chance of lifting themselves from losing to winning.
The goalkeepers face, after seeing what was wrong with the wall, and the ball that somehow rolled into his net was no longer focused. Rather, he has turned and looked into the ball. The eyes of the keeper were blank. They were filled with... with emptiness. No words could explain how he was feeling.
Sébastien managed to clear his throat and talk to the microphone. "Congratulations to Mauger Chevalier, who just scored what the late equaliser. After a rollercoaster of emotions, from going 1-0 down, to equalising 1-1, to ruling the goal out due to a foul, but then scoring from a freekick right after. Le Harve must be feeling almost in disbelief in the sequence of events. The only reason they can go into half-time in assurance is because of the miracle Chevalier has performed."
The scorer of the goal looked at the ball which rolled into the back of the net, before facing the resting Leroy in the technical area. Chevalier did not react, he wasn frozen in shock, he wasn celebrating in elation, and he wasn crying from emotions. The winger only carried a smirk as he eyed the Le Harve Striker, shaking his finger as if he was teaching a lesson to a baby.
Kai couldn see Leroys face, as he has fully shut himself away from others by covering his face. Though the coach can only picture the downhearted feeling the striker is going through for missing such an opportunity and needing others to finish the job for him.
"Arrogant kid..." Lanier didn know whether to chuckle at the wingers conduct or scold him for his poor attitude. But he knew in his heart, he was relieved. Relieved that the teams top scorer is still at his best.
The audience couldn help but applaud the teams equaliser, giving an example of what a team can do, when given an opportunity. Perhaps, Le Harve still holds a chance in the second half, the supporters could only assume this to reassure themselves.