I love soccer—even though Australia is a country full with NRL, Rugby, Aussie Rules and Cricket. When the Asian Cup 2015 was held in Australia in January, I did enjoy the live broadcast from SBS on the television.
During the weekdays I am quite tied up with work and study, plus endless housework. However, the weekend is my personal time—and I watch the soccer games of CSL (Chinese Super League) via the Internet.
I am not just watching the games, but also thinking of the principle behind the games.
Soccer is a game with 11 players per team on the field. The coach (manager) will place attack/defence strategies before and during the game in order to achieve the victory. The players need to follow coach's plan without hesitation, as the coach oversees the performance of the whole team.
Should the coach make inappropriate strategies, the team's performance would not reflect their real ability, as the players adjust to their opponents. Strangely, in sport the players take on such pressure and will revert to the coach's intention. A good coach will be aware of such a problem and make some changes to overturn such a disadvantage. One example might be making a substitution change.
The reason why the game of soccer is so attractive to me is because no one can forecast what will happen next as there are so many contingencies. This is why, in my view, neither the players nor the coach give up concentrating.
Last Sunday it was the 3rd round of the CSL. My hometown soccer club, Chongqing Lifan, played an away team—Henan Jianye. The result of the game was 3–3 drawn, with players from both teams contributing to a great game for 20,000 spectators.
"Don't give up when it's not the end." This quote was fulfilled by Lifan player Adrian Leijer, who is an Australian.
When the game went into the 4 minutes stoppage time in the second half, at the 3rd minute, Jianye was awarded a penalty as Lifan's defender fouled in the penalty area. And of course Jianye didn't miss this great opportunity and led the game by one.
At this moment, no one else was in doubt this game was finished, except Adrian. He ran into the goal and picked up the ball, and then put it at the middle. When the game started again, there was only 1 minute before referee was to blow the final whistle.
Guess what? Lifan scored the final goal to bring the two teams to the same level: 3–3.
If Adrian had believed the game was 'over' and had given up having seen Jianye score their penalty, then the game would have been lost.
The opposite occurred. The other Lifan players followed his lead and were greatly encouraged from his skills and determination with only 1 minute to play.
Similarly, had Adrian given up, what a dull ending to this soccer match!
The parallel—not giving up until the final whistle in life—is just so evident to me. I can think of innumerable bible stories following this pattern; Abraham and Lot, Moses and Pharaoh, Elijah and Ahab, David and Goliath, Nehemiah and the King of Persia, Paul and Agrippa...
The greatest story of all is Jesus and the Cross. In the lead up to Good Friday we remember the Cross—what looked like the end for Jesus. His followers thought it was all over, the match was lost! But the Cross is followed by the Resurrection—a greater plan for a different kind of victory. May all this be a reminder for us to never give up, no matter what comes our way.
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html