In anticipation of the storm to break later in the day, the humidity was high and the sky covered with clouds, as the DTM Dynamos and the GL Pistons gathered on 9/9/99 to determine the soccer dominancy of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Mud Cup VII. Both teams were determined to win the last battle of the millennium and secure the bragging rights well into the next century.
From the beginning, it was clear that the DTM Dynamos were focussed on bringing the Cup home. The DTM offensive machine brought the ball up to the GL end time and time again, testing the preparedness of the GL goalkeeper John Straub with furious shots. After the first half-hour of play, GL was able to recover from the DTM pressure and put on an offensive effort of their own. During one dash into the DTM territory, the ball shot by GL forward Mikhail Emerets took a bad bounce in front of the DTM goalkeeper Matt Fouch and flew in a beautiful but at the same time somehow sickening arch into the DTM goal, giving GL the lead. Despite continuing attacks by the DTM offense, the Pistons managed to preserve the 1-0 lead to the end of the first half.
At half-time, the retiring DTM back Pat McGovern urged the Dynamos to up their effort in order to bring the cup home, so that the retiring DTM players would be able to end their careers on a high note. In fact, he vowed not to let the day end without being able to drink from the Cup in victory celebration. However, the second half began with another GL strike, when Alex Goncharov managed to hold on to the ball in the midst of the DTM defense, kick it into the goal and give GL a 2-0 lead.
The second opportunistic goal scored by the Pistons was the wake-up call the Dynamos needed. Realizing that no more lapses could be made if they were to have any chance in winning the Cup, the DTM team tightened their game. While the GL team started to wear down in the taxing humidity, the Dynamos picked up the pace and moved the ball efficiently down the field.
The renewed effort quickly produced results. Shortly after the DTM team had decided to give away a controversial penalty shot in a show of fair play, the first DTM goal of the game was scored by Andy Freed, who calmly placed the centering pass into the GL net. Soon after, the DTM forward Joakim Bebie was tripped in the penalty box, and Richard Wysoczanski blasted the resulting penalty kick past the GL goalkeeper. The DTM team was not satisfied with the tie, and, instead, Ken Chick and Lianxing Wen conspired to give a golden scoring opportunity to Andy Freed, who did not miss at close range.
Preserving the lead was then up to the DTM defense. In the remaining 15 minutes of the game, the GL Pistons forced the play to remain in the DTM half, but with brilliant plays and luck firmly on their side, the DTM team denied GL further scoring opportunities. When the referee blew the whistle to end the game, the DTM Dynamos emerged from the battle field with a hard-fought 3-2 victory in their hands.
The two referees, Mike Regan (DTM) and Chris Hadidiacos (GL) kept the game fair and within the rules (or close approximation thereof), and they deserve many thanks for their effort. Both the GL Pistons and the DTM Dynamos exhibited great team play and admirable individual efforts, and this made the game one of the better Mud Cups in the history of the contest. In the end, the excellent teamwork and the sheer determination of the DTM Dynamos gave them the edge in the game, providing them with the means to come back from two goals down to win Mud Cup VII, the last Mud Cup of the millennium.
DTM Dynmos: Joakim Bebie, Paul Butler, Kenneth Chick, Matt Fouch, Andy Freed, Satoshi Inaba, Steve Kortenkamp, David James, Pat McGovern, Tim Mock, Richard Wysoczanski, Steve Shirey, Sean Solomon, Harri Vanhala, Lianxing Wen
DTM team picture
GL team picture