26 Dec

While Arsenal kept busy staying undefeated in Brossard’s top division, its captain found the time to watch Sabbah’s games in nervous anticipation of that inevitable confrontation.

“And it must be said that they pack a dangerous punch,” concludes Jérémie Soucy, his squad battling the defending champs to a 4-4 draw this weekend. “Having clawed our way back from a 3-0 deficit thanks to three goals by our star player Charles de Santis, we made the mistake of opening up the game a little too much, which allowed Sabbah to regain the (4-3) lead with less than five minutes to play.”

That’s when all semblance of strategy went out the window for the league rookies.

As Jérémie tells it, Arsenal’s collective refusal to call it quits set up the “Hail Mary” equalizer; a bomb from the midfield that was redirected toward the second post for striker Simon Dubé to head home, literally seconds before the final whistle blew.

But then one’s man Hollywood scenario is little more than another’s lucky break. Obaid Afghanyar, Sabbah’s long-time coach, would simply characterize the result as follows: “Arsenal got lucky. We’re still gonna play them (again) in the season and I can tell you this much: It won’t be a tie game.”

POTG: With their regular keeper out of commission, Arsenal relied on backup Stéphane Brunelle to make some key stops in the game, especially in the second half.

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