NYC Scotland President Colin Reid blasted his English counterpart over comments the NYC England man made after Sunday’s 4-4 tie between the teams in a pre-Cosmos Copa friendly in Brooklyn on Sunday, taking offence at accusations that the Scots were deceptive, deceitful, and dastardly.
NYC England President Yuval Lion, 42, had earlier said, “Those wily Scots tried to lull us into being over-confident for our preliminary round match by letting us go four-nil up. But not to be outfoxed, we did our best to return the favor and made sure that that game is left nicely in the balance.”
“I am outraged at these slanders against my players,” said Reid, also 42. “And I am in no way using this fake anger as a tactic to divert attention from defensive mistakes and goalkeeping errors by my team.”
“I don’t do mind games,” added Reid. “But if Yuval Lion wants to think I do, that’s fine by me.”
NYC Scotland had earlier recovered from a disastrous first half to tie 4-4 with NYC England in a thrilling match played in a sunny-but-blustery Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Englanders Tommy Smith and Pete Antoniades each helped themselves to a first-half brace against a Scottish defence which seemed determined to disprove the national stereotype for miserliness.
The sleepy Scots were twice opened up early doors as they failed to handle the pacy movement and clinical finishing of their beloved southern neighbors (“neeburs” for those from east of Harthill).
Scotland then compounded this with some English-style goalkeeping (*) to gift another pair of goals to the country whose national sport isn’t even football and which hasn’t even had one of their own countrymen manage a team that’s won the Sky Sports “Greatest League On Earth” (TM).
(*) Rob Green in South Africa, Paul Robinson in Croatia, Scott Carson against Croatia, David Seaman in Japan, David James too many times to mention, Joe Hart every other week, and Ray Clemence in 1977. Have I missed any?
The morris-dancing afternoon-tea-drinkers were lucky to be so far in front though as they had earlier cleared one off the line, seen NYC Scotland blaze one over the bar from yards out, and escaped a clear penalty call when Scott Cowan was cucumber-sandwiched between two English defenders.
[Before the match the Bulgarian ref had been spotted taking a cash payment of $70 from the NYC England president: his fee for refereeing the match, according to Lion.]
But the Scots got some reward for their first-half efforts just before the break when midfielder Robbie Weir found space at the top of the box and curled a strike into the bottom corner.
Half-time: NYC Scotland 1 NYC England 4
NYC England’s half-time team talk was peppered with phrases such as “Cor blimey guv’nor, Queen Mum’s a lovely woman”, “Two paaahnd for a monkey, innit!” and “Which rub-a-dub we goin’ dahn laytah?” They also ate jellied eels and called each other “geezer” a lot.
NYC Scotland’s team-talk was more focused yet contradictory.
Coach: “Let’s play our game. Focus on our passing and cut out the mistakes. This match is not about the result, it’s about learning to play together.”
Player: “F***ing right. Let’s get an early goal and get inta these b***ards. We can still win it!”
Suitably inspired, NYC Scotland took a grip of midfield in the second half, possibly because NYC England coach Yuval took off the energetic young lad with the tight white t-shirt and even more tight blue short-shorts. “Like a steroid-fuelled, kit-shrunk-in-the-wash Kevin Keegan with a differently bad haircut,” someone might have said if they’d thought of it at the time.
Playing into the wind seemed to suit the Scots, who were, after all, the inventors of the ground passing game. One such move ended in a penalty for Scotland as the livewire Glen Reid was tripped in the box.
“Don’t let Scotty Lamont take it,” arose the cry, for Lammy’s penalty the previous week was worse than his haircut (it’s so bad we didn’t let him in the team photo).
So Robbie Weir confidently stepped up and blootered it wide of the keeper’s right-hand post. (“I don’t miss competitive penalties,” said an unrepentant Weir in the pub later.)
The fun began later in the half, though, as Edinburgh boy Shaune Allan pulled one back from short range after a goalmouth scramble.
Minutes later, Scotland won a corner. Right-back David Sheridan sprinted unmarked into the box, Glen Reid cut the ball back to him, Sheridan connected with a low cross-cum-shot, and Andy Cormack coolly executed a Playstation-like backheelly-sidefoot thing to divert the ball into the English net. Could the Scots do it?
More Scots pressure followed and the wildest Caledonian dreams were fulfilled when Shaune Allan connected gorgeously from twenty yards out with a strike so powerful it would have reached the Statue of Liberty had the English net not stopped it.
Full-time: NYC Scotland 4 NYC England 4. “Football, bloody hell!” Sir Alex Ferguson would probably have said if he were at the match.
Both squads repaired to the Roebling Inn where the English complained about the beer not being warm enough and the Scots argued with themselves over religion, politics, and football.
The full draw for the Cosmos Copa tournament is here.