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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Marly-Gomont's footballing team spirit after 20-0 loss

Until recently the village of Marly-Gomont (population, just over 400) in the département of Aisne in northern France was probably best known for being featured in the 2006 hit of the same name by French rapper Kamini Zantoko.

It's where "Kamini", as he's professionally known, grew up, and the song was a humourous recounting of everyday life and being the only black family living in such a small community.

Well, Marly-Gomont is back in the news for the performance of its local football team, ASMG.

It wasn't just the 20-0 defeat it suffered at the hands...or perhaps that should be feet...of opponents Tupigny, but the manner in which the team lost.

And to be honest, it's refreshing proof (if it were really needed) that the so-called beautiful game is at its most authentic at the amateur level rather than that of the multi-million euro exploits of the overpaid professionals.

Proof that even (or probably) at its most amateur level, the so-called Beautiful Game.

(screenshot from Kamini's video "Marly-Gomont")

 ASMG were already 5-0 down when, after 25 minutes into the match, their goalkeeper had to leave the pitch...because he had been called away to tend to one of his cows who was about to give birth.

On the bench, there wasn't really anyone suitable to replace him, as the club's president, Alain Braghéri,  explained to the local newspaper L'Aisne nouvelle.

"Fourteen of our players were absent through injury or for other reasons," he said.

"Only 12 of us had made the (20km) trip to Tupigny and of those, four weren't even 17 and didn't have senior team experience."

So with nobody around to keep goal, you've probably guessed what happened next.

It was 61-year-old Braghéri who "stepped into the breach"

And he didn't seem to be making too bad a job of things under the circumstances, letting in "just" another five goals by the end of the first half.

But when play resumed, things quickly went pear-shaped.

"Tupigny continued playing their game: short, precise passes and the 'red wave' always seemed to be surging towards me," Braghéri said.

"We suffered, that's for sure. But we tried to limit the damage and we continued playing right up until the end of the match. Tupigny even congratulated us afterwards. We could have abandoned. But what's better? To 'swallow the bitter pill' and get on with it and learn? Or to give up?"

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