When people say the FA Cup is magic, they are almost certainly talking about nights like Sunday evening when Tottenham topped Eight tier Marine FC.
161 places between the teams. Over 20 minutes of scoreless football. The home team hitting the crossbar. Spectators wildly cheering on from their backyards and windows. When people say the FA Cup is magic, they are almost certainly talking about nights like Sunday evening when Tottenham topped Eight tier Marine FC. While Tottenham advanced in the football tournament, Marine seemed to win too.
Marine Showed Their Class
Anyone who has played sports has likely been on one side or the other – or maybe both – of a real beatdown. Regardless of the reasons teams from different classes meet, it happens, and things can get ugly if people are not careful. For a team that lost by five goals and outside of the one moment never came close to scoring, Marine acquitted themselves very well.
As Tottenham worked to control the possession and dominate the game with the ball rather than scoring a lot in the second half, many lesser teams would have resorted to a lot more fouls. Rather than play like their lives depended on it and go crazy for the last 30 minutes, Marine played smart, compact football and worked to keep Spurs out as much as anything else. To not resort to a bunch of fouls in an all-out effort to score was good for the game.
Paying it Forward
Speaking of good for the game, at last reported count from the Marine FC twitter account they had sold 30,697 ‘virtual’ tickets for the FA Cup game against Tottenham. While many may have purchased those tickets in the hope, they would win the raffle and get to be coach for a day – I think we know Mourinho should win – most just purchased the ticket out of the goodness of their hearts.
Despite everything going on in the world and in our neighborhoods today for Tottenham and Marine supporter to purchase over 30,000 ticket that will never get punched is incredible. At £10 a pop that money will certainly help keep a club like Marine afloat during a really difficult time. Given they could not sell real tickets and the opportunity to add to the coffers was limited, it was good to see something for Marine FC.
Tottenham Did it Right
José Mourinho told us before the game the most respect they could show Marine would be in beating them. Tottenham ultimately did that right too. While a perfect script for Spurs would have had them scoring in the first five-ten minutes of the match, not scoring for 20 minutes and Marine getting one legitimate half-chance added to the intrigue and the possibility, even if only a whisper.
Of course, Dele Alli, Carlos Vinicius, and Lucas Moura saw to it that the whisper never got any louder and reality came back to the Mariners. However, once Tottenham had the game comfortably in hand, you could see that they had no intention of beating a man while they were down. If we go back to the Manchester United game earlier this season, Tottenham was trying to score more and I think we all wanted more and still want more against United.
If we compare that intensity to try a crush a man’s spirit Spurs showed against United to the respectful effort to dominate possession shown against Marine, you can only conclude Tottenham did it right. Could Spurs have scored 10 goals, sure they could have, but what does that prove. The 0-5 score line with the youngest ever to score for Spurs getting the last was simply perfect. Even the shirts after the fact were nice too!
So, whether you were rooting for a Marine miracle, are a die-hard Spurs fan, or just a casual football observer, what we saw Sunday evening in Merseyside is exactly what they mean when they say the FA Cup is magic.