I love soccer and I like watching soccer. It is an amazing sport, which contains a lot of uncertainty. Not always the stronger teams win, sometimes weaker teams (on paper) surprise. When two strong teams meet, there is a real contest.
The philosophy of any weaker team is to study the weakness of the strong team, and using the right strategy on the field of play, a weaker team just might overcome.
On Wednesday 3rd March 2016, I watched a soccer game at Allianz Stadium in Moore Park. It was an Asian Championship League (ACL) game. Sydney FC played at home against Guangzhou Evergrand.
Guangzhou Evergrand was the 2015 Championship winner and proved to be the stronger team. Sydney FC had a harvest season in Australia A-League, they qualified for the ACL tournament for the first time in five years. So Sydney FC was designated the weaker team.
Before the fixture, no serious commentator believed Sydney FC would be victorious or even give Guangzhou Evergrand a hard time. As usual, the owner of Guangzhou Evergrand distributed 9000 free tickets to their fans in Australia. He believed the fans would enjoy the game, because his team would definitely win.
I scored a free ticket from my friend, and arrived the stadium two hours before the start of the match. Outside the stadium, it was a sea of red colour, as the Guangzhou Evergrand team wear red shirts.
In my thinking, the Guangzhou Evergrand players would imagine this was going to be a bit of a one sided experience. Sydney FC is a traditionally strong team in the A-League of Australia. Their strategy was simple - seek out the weakness of Guangzhou Evergrand.
When the game started at 8.00 pm, I noticed Guangzhou Evergrand players looked quite tired, they had already played 6 games in 4 weeks. However, Sydney FC players looked fresh and played with their planned strategy. Around the 10th minute of the first half, Sydney FC scored the first goal. As a strong team, Guangzhou Evergrand didn't lost their pace and scored the goal back in 5 minutes later.
When the game reached the last 10 minutes, the fans thought this might a one of those 'soccer draws'. However, Sydney FC scored a winning goal in the 84th minute and the victory.
After the game, the fans in red were disappointed. But I thought the score reflected how those two teams treated the game. In my view, if Guangzhou Evergrand had not been so confident before they ran on, were physically on top of their situation in spite of having played 6 earlier games, and mentally, they might have actually won.
The Proverbs speak of not being overconfident. There is a case to be made about 'just confidence' as challenges in life confront each of us. Jesus spoke of this too about the man who built his house upon the rock (preparation), as opposed to the man who built his house upon the sand (overconfidence or lack of preparation).
I like the story of Gideon in the Book of Judges where the Lord reduced their number to only 300 men against an overwhelmingly mammoth military onslaught where this little Hebrew group would be wiped off the face of the earth. But God had something to say about that!
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