• Published 28th Nov 2023
  • 975 Views, 57 Comments

All Day, Everyday. - Penanka72

Follow the journey of a little girl who takes her football to the next level!

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Chapter 9 - Full-Time.

With the half-time whistle signalling a brief reprieve, Amelia found herself gasping for breath, her heart thudding loudly against her chest. She hustled over to join the circle where her teammates were quickly gulping down water, their bodies slick with sweat and exhaustion.

"We've still got loads of time to snag a goal, just need to keep pressing and wait for our moment." Lyra encouraged, her hands animated as she tried to lift the group's spirits.

"Yeah, they're likely to hog the ball—credit Big Mac and Thunderlane for that—so let's not rush things. We'll hang back and pounce on their errors." Braeburn suggested cautiously, stroking his chin thoughtfully as he laid out a strategy.

"That’s solid, but even playing it cool, we gotta keep tabs on Scootaloo and Vinyl. They’re just too dangerous," Cherry Berry chimed in, her tone serious, pointing towards where the two threats roamed the field.

"I can handle Vinyl on my own; that unicorn won't get past me, you'll see." Minuette asserted confidently, arms crossed defiantly, her stance firm and challenging. Amelia, however, had her reservations.

"Maybe you should keep an eye on Scootaloo? She's playing as a false nine, after all—she's the one who would set up the plays." Amelia interjected, her voice wavering slightly under the collective gaze of her teammates. She fidgeted with her gloves, feeling suddenly exposed.

"Are you questioning me, cabrón?" Minuette’s voice was sharp, her eyebrows knitted together in a frown as she stepped closer to Amelia, her body tense with irritation.

Realising the tension her comment had stirred, Amelia stepped back, raising her hands in a placating gesture.

"Okay, shutting up now…" she muttered, her eyes darting away, seeking refuge in the calm before they were called back to the fray.

Minuette rolled her eyes with an exasperated snarl as she stood in the huddle, the team circled around her, all of them sweating and panting from the first half. Everyone was clutching water bottles, taking greedy gulps between breaths. "Haven't you noticed, amigo? Scootaloo hasn't created a single chance this game; she's all set up as a traditional striker, going for the goals, you know?" she pointed out forcefully, wiping a bead of sweat from her brow. Her hand gestured emphatically towards an imaginary pitch as she continued, "It's Vinyl, Thunderlane, and Octavia who are pulling the strings, amigo. If we shut them down, Scootaloo will be totally useless."

Amelia stood slightly apart from the rest of the group, her expression focused and introspective as she mentally replayed the first half's key moments. With a deep furrow etching her brow, she took a thoughtful sip from her water bottle, a flicker of realisation crossing her face. She had completely misjudged Scootaloo’s role; she had always seen her as a false 9, a creator rather than the finisher she had demonstrated herself to be in this friendly match. Watching Scootaloo dart and weave across the field with such rapidity and agility, Amelia felt a complicated blend of emotions swell within her.

"For someone so young to adapt between roles like that." Amelia murmured to herself, the awe in her voice mingling with a hint of trepidation, "is both impressive and intimidating." Her eyes followed Scootaloo's confident, fluid movements, noting how each stride and manoeuvre spoke of a seasoned striker, not just a playmaker. "She’s definitely a bigger threat than I anticipated." Amelia conceded quietly, reassessing her strategy for the second half as she capped her water bottle, her mind racing with adjustments she’d need to make to counter such a versatile adversary.

Amelia’s grin widened into a radiant smile, lighting up her face as her eyes sparkled with a mix of glee and fierce determination. She leaned in closer to the animated circle of teammates, her hands gesturing enthusiastically as she absorbed the flurry of tactical advice being volleyed back and forth. A wild surge of adrenaline pulsed through her, each beat of her heart syncing with the escalating excitement for the challenge ahead. The prospect of facing Scootaloo, a striker whose skill rivalled the familial challenges posed by her brother, brought a visceral thrill that coursed through her entire being. This game was far from just another friendly match; it was a profound test of her skills, pushing her to the limits of her capabilities as a goalkeeper.

From the corner of her eye, Amelia observed Scootaloo interacting with her teammates. Scootaloo’s movements were fluid and poised, her confidence evident in every step and gesture as she laughed and strategised with her peers. The sight of her so effortlessly commanding the field stirred a whirlpool of emotions within Amelia—deep admiration tinged with a hint of envy at Scootaloo’s natural aptitude for the game. Amelia’s feelings oscillated between a slight bitterness over her rival’s innate talent and a profound respect for her prowess. This internal conflict only fuelled Amelia’s resolve to excel, to prove herself not just competent but exceptional. This was not merely a game; it was a catalyst that ignited Amelia's passion for hoofball, transforming each anticipated save and leap across the goal into pivotal moments of a thrilling battle for supremacy.

"Hey—Amelia." The unexpected sound of a voice cut through the din of halftime chatter, causing Amelia to spin around, abruptly pulled from her intense thoughts. There, standing slightly behind her, was Derpy, her eyes wide and a hint of apprehension visible beneath the uncertain smile she offered. It was clear that Amelia's intense, excited grin had caught her off-guard.

"Uhm, I just wanna say good job. You kept us in the game." Derpy said, her voice soft and tentative as she reached out, gently touching Amelia's arm in a comforting gesture.

"Yeah, no problem, just focus on the counter-attack and I’m sure we’ll get a goal." Amelia responded with an encouraging nod and a thumbs-up, her smile warm and genuine, designed to instil confidence. Derpy returned the smile, but it didn't quite reach her eyes—it was a quick, fleeting mimicry of happiness that didn't fool Amelia. Yet before Amelia could delve deeper into what might be bothering her teammate, she turned away, striding back towards her position as the whistle beckoned them for the second half. Her mind now refocused on the game, the complexity of her teammate’s emotions had to wait as the immediate challenge of the match reclaimed her attention.

As Amelia positioned herself within the frame of her goal, she methodically performed some final stretches, her hands reaching toward the crossbar as she limbered up. Her gaze occasionally drifted towards the field, particularly focusing on Octavia. Throughout the game, Octavia had seemed unusually subdued. Known for her role as the right-winger with a deadly first touch, Octavia's usual flair and threat on the ball had been conspicuously absent. She had made a few passes here and there, but none had carried her signature menace. Amelia pondered this anomaly, her mind racing through possibilities. Was it a tactical decision? Could the opposing coach be saving Octavia's energy and skills for a more aggressive push in the second half?

The thought caused a ripple of concern. If Octavia were to unleash her full potential in the latter half, Amelia would need to contend with threats from all angles, a daunting prospect that could stretch her defensive capabilities to the limit. Yet, as she stretched her calves, preparing her body and mind for the onslaught, a resolute spark lit within her. Regardless of the strategy her opponents employed, Amelia resolved to be ready. She adjusted her gloves, setting her stance with determined eyes on the field, ready to face whatever challenge came her way.

Over on the sidelines, Applejack and Grind Duster stood with their arms crossed, their gazes fixed on the goal where Amelia was limbering up. The atmosphere between them was charged with attentive scrutiny.

"So what do you think? Not bad for a pegasus, ay?" Applejack remarked, nodding towards Amelia with a hint of pride in her voice as she watched the young pegasus goalkeeper stretch and prepare. Amelia's agility and quick reflexes, even in her warm-up, were clearly impressive.

Grind Duster, however, was silent, his brow furrowed in concentration. He wasn’t just watching Amelia; he was studying her, trying to decode the patterns behind her movements. At the moment, she seemed to be everywhere—her positioning unpredictable, her decisions rapid and seemingly instinctual. Duster found himself unable to predict her next move or to gauge what might be going through her mind as she vigilantly guarded the goal.

His eyes narrowed slightly as he continued to observe, the cogs in his mind turning. Duster's silence was heavy with analysis, reflecting his deep contemplation over whether to be intrigued by Amelia's unconventional style or concerned by the unpredictability it brought to the game. Either way, Amelia's performance was drawing attention, setting the stage for an intriguing second half.

Applebloom's voice burst through the quiet contemplation of the sidelines, her tone filled with enthusiasm and a touch of awe. "Amelia was awesome! Even though they did manage to score past her once, but Amelia couldn’t do much about that." Her eyes sparkled with admiration as she watched Amelia manoeuvre within the goal, her energetic statement cutting through the tactical musings of Applejack and Grind Duster.

Grind Duster's response was more measured, his voice a low murmur as he stroked his white beard thoughtfully. "She's fearless, that's one thing, and she has a decent understanding of the game, but she is also reckless." His eyes tracked Amelia's movements closely, reflecting on a particularly risky play.

"When Scootaloo was through on goal, Amelia ran straight for the ball in mid-air, colliding with Scootaloo in the process." he continued, his tone tinged with concern. "Somepony could have been seriously hurt."

"Yeah… It was odd that she decided to come out for the ball; every other keeper would have stayed in the net, protecting the goal… She must have some nerve to do that." Applejack remarked, a hint of skepticism mingling with her concern as she questioned Amelia's decision during that critical play.

"Well… think about it," Applebloom interjected, her youthful voice carrying a tone of reasoned analysis as she glanced down at her clipboard, searching for the notes she had jotted down. "At the time of the ball being played over the defence’s high line, Amelia was already outside the box, positioning herself to collect through balls passed the defence. She had two options: risk backtracking to goal where it would have been a 1 on 1, or use her Pegasus speed to her advantage and get to the ball first." Applebloom looked up from her clipboard, her eyes alight with admiration for the risky manoeuvre.

"Amelia was extremely brave to chase the ball the way she did, one wrong move and it would have been an open net goal for Scootaloo." she concluded, her analysis highlighting the tactical gamble involved in Amelia's decision. Duster nodded silently, making a mental note to look over Applebloom’s notes.

Duster mused quietly to himself, his gaze lingering on Amelia as she prepared for the next play. "She has a lot of confidence for a young pegasus. Where does she get it from?" he wondered aloud, his voice tinged with both admiration and curiosity.

"So young, yet has the hand of Karma; I didn’t have those hands until I was in my twenties." he continued, his expression thoughtful as he considered Amelia's remarkable skills in goal. His brow furrowed slightly, reflecting the depth of his pondering. "So what makes her so special? Why a pegasus?" Duster's questions hung in the air, echoing the enigma surrounding Amelia's innate talent and her unusual choice for a goalkeeper, given her species' typical attributes.

"All questions with no answers, what a pain." he sighed, his words captured the intrigue and slight frustration of trying to decode the secret behind Amelia's exceptional abilities and her bold, confident approach to the game at such a young age.

45’ second half starts!

As the second half commenced, Amelia instantly noticed a marked change in the game's tempo. Within the first few seconds, her team's intensity had noticeably ramped up, catching the Bibs off guard. The sudden surge of energy from the non-Bibs team as they pressed forward on the attack momentarily stunned their opponents, setting a vigorous and aggressive tone right from the restart.

Amelia watched from her position in goal as her teammates hustled and harried every opposing player who touched the ball, their renewed vigour disrupting the Bibs' rhythm and forcing them into hurried decisions. The sharp escalation in her team's play brought a satisfied nod from Amelia. This was exactly the kind of aggressive start she had hoped for, and seeing it unfold so effectively bolstered her confidence. It was a good start indeed, and in Amelia's books, a sign of promising things to come in the half ahead.

47’ GREAT CHANCE! Minuette showcased her skills brilliantly, weaving her way out of the defensive zone with composure. With a swift exchange, she played a give-and-go with Apple Cobbler, smoothly moving the ball up the field with practiced ease. After linking up with Apple Cobbler, she spotted Berry Punch making a run to her left and delivered a precise pass that set her up perfectly.

Berry Punch took the opportunity to cut the ball back toward the edge of the penalty box, finding Derpy in an ideal position to take a shot. Derpy received the ball well, setting herself for the finish. Despite the promising buildup, her shot was awkward, lacking the finesse needed to find the back of the net, and ultimately, it drifted wide of Caramel’s goal. The sequence, while not yielding a goal, highlighted the team's fluid teamwork and tactical execution, even if the final touch was lacking.

54’ HOW HAS HE MISSED?! The non-Bibs team earned themselves a corner on the right-hand side, setting up an opportunity to level the score. Daisy took charge of the set piece, opting for a low, driven delivery into the crowded penalty area. The ball zipped across the turf, causing a moment of chaos as the Bibs' defenders scrambled to clear their lines. However, their attempt to clear the danger only sent the ball as far as Lyra, who was positioned just outside the box.

Reacting quickly, Lyra took a powerful shot, aiming to penetrate the cluster of players. Her attempt ricocheted off a green shirt, deflecting the ball into a more promising position. It fell kindly for Braeburn, who found himself unmarked just to the right of the goal. With the goal at his mercy, he quickly fired a shot, but his finish was disappointing. The ball sailed harmlessly away from the goal, failing to test Caramel, the goalkeeper.

Amelia stood at the edge of her goal area, her fists clenched tightly as another attack fizzled out in front of her. Her frustration was palpable—these were opportunities that should have been converted, clear chances to put her team ahead. Although it was aggravating to watch such potential go to waste, she could not help but feel a hint of relief; the intensity her teammates exhibited was a promising sign. They were pressing hard, and with the current pace and relentless pressure, Amelia felt a goal was imminent.

Amid the mounting tension, Amelia's keen awareness of the game's dynamics spurred her into action. She recognised the vulnerability that came with their aggressive play. Raising her voice, she called out to her defenders, urging them to maintain their high line but to stay vigilant. "Watch the high line! Stay sharp!" she shouted, ensuring her instructions cut through the noise of the stadium.

Her directive was clear: they held the upper hand for now, but a single misstep—a careless pass or a mistimed tackle—could swing the momentum in favour of their opponents. Amelia knew all too well how quickly control of the match could slip away, and she was determined to keep her team focused and defensively sound as they hunted for that crucial goal.

Suddenly, her attention snapped to a new development on the field. Octavia was subtly positioning herself among the center-backs, a strategic move that didn't escape Amelia's vigilant eyes. Just ahead, Scootaloo was poised, facing Octavia, looking ready to spring into action. The pair's positioning and focused demeanour hinted at a planned play that was about to unfold.

Amelia's gut churned with a mix of anticipation and concern. What were they planning? Her instincts told her it wouldn't be good for her team. As she adjusted her stance, ready to react, her eyes darted between the players, trying to anticipate their next moves.

55’ GGGGOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL! 2-0! In an exhilarating sequence of play, the goalkeeper launched a powerful kick deep into the midfield, directly targeting Octavia. Her robust earth pony strength proved invaluable as she fended off Meadow Song, securing the first touch on the descending ball. Octavia's flawless control allowed her to swiftly tap it off to Scootaloo, who was strategically positioned nearby.

Scootaloo caught sight of Vinyl sprinting into open space and executed a masterful pass using the outside of her boot. The ball spun beautifully, curling directly into Vinyl's path, setting her up for an impressive advance. Minuette was quick on her heels, attempting to thwart Vinyl's charge. However, Vinyl's agile footwork and a series of sharp stepovers left Minuette trailing, giving Vinyl just enough time to eye her next move.

Vinyl spotted Thunderlane near the edge of the penalty box and slipped him the ball. Without hesitation, Thunderlane took the shot first-time. The ball rocketed toward the goal with such force that even Lyra and Comet Tail, who threw themselves in an attempt to block it, couldn't alter its course. The shot flew towards the bottom left corner, the goalkeeper Amelia stretched to her limits, fingertips grazing the ball. Her touch redirected it slightly, causing it to ricochet off the post. Despite Amelia's desperate dive, the ball bounced into the back of the net, culminating in a spectacular goal.

Frustration seethed through Amelia as she pounded her fist against the astroturf, her expression one of pure vexation. "Damn it!" she growled audibly, the anger palpable in her voice. She had been agonisingly close to stopping that shot, her fingertips barely brushing against the ball, yet not enough to divert its path decisively. Such goals were her nemesis—those that teased her grasp, leaving her with the haunting sense that she could have altered the outcome. Each time the ball found the net in this manner, it ignited a fire within her, a fervent reminder of the razor-thin line between a save and a goal. As she pushed herself up, her determination hardened; this moment of defeat would only fuel her resolve to stop the next one.

All throughout the game, Amelia had been keenly observing her opponents' positioning, particularly noting Big Mac and Thunderlane's tactical play. Both players consistently positioned themselves on the edge of the box during the final third, strategically waiting for any loose balls to emerge that they could quickly turn into shooting opportunities. Although ideally, the midfielder should have been marking them, the rapid pace of the counterattacks often left little time for proper defensive alignment.

Thunderlane, in particular, showcased his striking prowess with a powerful and low shot that was tremendously difficult to execute. His ability to fire such forceful long-range shots reminded Amelia of a former Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard, known for his own spectacular strikes from distance. Thunderlane's technique and precision in those critical moments not only challenged Amelia but also elevated the threat level every time he was in possession near the goal area.

As the teams regrouped to restart the match, Scootaloo couldn’t help but let a smug grin creep across her face. Walking back to her position, she glanced over her shoulder, catching Amelia’s eye. Her grin, self-satisfied and taunting, was like salt in the wound for Amelia.

Amelia's face flushed with anger at the sight, her frustration from the goal compounded by Scootaloo's gloating expression. The goalkeeper’s hands clenched into fists at her sides, her breathing heavy. The sight of Scootaloo’s smirking face not only fuelled her anger but also ignited a fierce determination within her to not let any more goals slip past. As the game resumed, Amelia’s eyes narrowed, her focus sharpened—this match was far from over, and she was ready to prove her mettle.

62’ DOUBLE BLOCK! The game's intensity escalated as Octavia whipped in a dangerous cross from the flank, aiming to disrupt the defensive structure. However, Comet Tail was quick to react, leaping to intercept the ball with a critical header. Unfortunately, his attempt at clearing the ball didn't travel far enough to alleviate the danger. Instead, it fell perfectly to Big Mac, who was lurking just outside the box, ready to capitalise on such opportunities.

With little time to adjust his stance, Big Mac fired a swift shot towards goal. Meadow Song, recognising the imminent threat, lunged forward in a desperate bid to block it. His effort was successful, and the ball deflected off him, only to fall into the path of Thunderlane. Without hesitation, Thunderlane unleashed a follow-up shot, trying to catch the goalkeeper off guard.

Meadow Song, still recovering from his initial block, threw himself in front of the shot with remarkable bravery and determination. His body hit the ground just as Thunderlane's shot connected, significantly dampening the ball's momentum and allowing the defence a crucial moment to regroup and clear the danger.

67’ GREAT CHANCE! As the match continued, the team in bibs began to dominate, relentlessly pressing the non-bibs and dictating the pace of the game. In a particularly aggressive attack, Bon Bon leaped high, meeting a cross with a powerful header. However, her effort was deflected by a defender, arching away from the goal and out for a corner kick.

Noteworthy stepped up to take the resulting corner, opting for an out-swinger that arced temptingly into the box. The ball swirled through the air, meeting a cluster of players jostling for position. Despite the promising delivery, the defence stood firm, managing to clear the ball out of the immediate danger area.

The clearance, however, didn't travel far enough to relieve the pressure. It landed just outside the box where Scootaloo was perfectly positioned. Without a moment's hesitation, she took the shot on the volley, her technique flawless as she struck the ball cleanly. The shot soared powerfully towards the goal, capturing the essence of precision and timing in her strike. Unfortunately, it just missed its mark, rising slightly too high and whisking over the crossbar.

71’ PENALTY! In a tense moment deep within their own half, Apple Cobbler attempted a critical pass back toward the safety of her penalty area. Unfortunately, the pass lacked the necessary strength and precision, instead falling short and setting the stage for a dramatic shift in the game's momentum. Thunderlane, quick to exploit any mistake, pounced on the opportunity, darting forward to intercept the poorly judged pass.

As Thunderlane bore down on the ball, Meadow Song found herself in a precarious position, forced to deal with the immediate threat inside her own box. The pressure from Thunderlane was intense, and in a desperate bid to contain the situation, Meadow Song reached out, grappling with Thunderlane in an attempt to halt his progress. Her actions, however, were too forceful and clear within the confines of the penalty area, pulling Thunderlane down and prompting the Applejack to point to the penalty spot.

Amelia was visibly agitated as she debated the referee's call with Applejack, arguing that the foul Meadow Song committed on Thunderlane was too soft to justify a penalty. "It was a soft foul, shouldn’t have been a penalty!" Amelia insisted, her frustration evident as she gestured toward the spot where the foul occurred.

Applejack, maintaining a stoic expression, disagreed but kept her true intentions to herself. Internally, she saw this as a perfect test of Amelia’s capabilities under pressure, curious to see how the goalkeeper would handle such a critical moment. However, she chose not to voice this thought. "It looked clear enough from here!" Applejack countered firmly, avoiding any indication of her underlying motive. "You just focus on the save. You've got this."

Amelia, not one to shy away from mental games, decided that if a penalty was to be taken against her, she'd make every effort to disrupt the shooter's composure. Seeing Scootaloo stepping up to take the shot, she couldn't help but unleash a bit of mischief to tilt the odds in her favor.

With a wicked grin, Amelia approached Scootaloo at the penalty spot. She leaned in close, her voice dripping with mock curiosity and challenge. "So, which side will you go for?" she taunted. Amelia then boldly announced her own intentions, "I'll be diving right, just so you know." She watched Scootaloo closely, gauging her reaction before pushing further. "You sure you're up for this?" Amelia prodded, her tone edging on playful arrogance.

Taking her psychological game one step further, Amelia pointed decisively at Thunderlane, adding a taunt aimed to undermine Scootaloo's confidence. "Maybe Thunderlane should take it instead. I want a real challenge!" she declared, loud enough for others to hear, injecting doubt and stirring the competitive spirit.

Scootaloo's frustration peaked as she responded not with words, but with a shove, pushing Amelia back with her hands—an indication that Amelia's tactics might have hit the mark.

Seeing the tension escalate, Applejack hurried over to defuse the situation. She firmly separated the two, her demeanour serious and authoritative. "Enough, both of you. Let's get on with the game." Applejack insisted, ensuring that the game's integrity and flow remained intact. Her intervention was timely, preventing further conflict and setting the stage for the penalty to be taken, with all eyes now on Scootaloo and Amelia as the duel at the spot was about to unfold.

Amelia's attempts to disrupt Scootaloo's focus seemed to falter against the younger player's calm demeanour. In the quiet of the training ground, surrounded by the attentive eyes of staff, coaches, and media, Scootaloo displayed a poise that belied her years. Taking a deep breath to centre herself, she methodically placed the ball on the penalty spot. This simple act seemed to fortify her resolve, grounding her in the moment despite the psychological games at play.

With the ball set, Scootaloo took a few deliberate steps back, her eyes alternating between Amelia, poised and ready in goal, and the net behind her. The tension was palpable, yet her calmness infused the scene with a sense of serenity. It was clear that she was visualising the path she wanted the ball to take, mentally rehearsing the shot before physically executing it.

This focus and preparation were crucial, especially in such an intimate setting where every move was closely watched and would likely be analysed later. The quiet encouragement from her coaches and the occasional click of cameras added layers to the moment, making it about more than just a training exercise. This was a test of skill, nerve, and mental strength, with Amelia ready to respond in kind from her position on the goal line.

In that drawn-out moment, as Scootaloo lined up for the penalty, Amelia's world narrowed down to the stretch of turf between them. The statistics ran through her mind: a mere 33.3% chance of saving the goal if she guessed correctly, a sobering reality of her slim odds. But her earlier tactics might have paid off, planting the seed in Scootaloo's mind to attempt a panenka, a bold and somewhat mocking choice, chipping the ball right down the centre. This could be Scootaloo’s way to assert dominance, to turn the psychological warfare back on Amelia with a show of cheeky confidence.

Yet, the possibility that Scootaloo would revert to a straightforward powerful strike to her right—the natural choice for a right-footed player—lingered in Amelia’s calculations. This would be the safer, more predictable shot, possibly chosen to mask any underlying nerves.

Amid these tactical assessments, Vinyl’s mysterious gesture added a layer of intrigue. Her wink and the subtle point to Amelia’s left could be genuine insider information, an unexpected assist from an unlikely quarter. However, it could just as easily be a ruse, a deliberate ploy to mislead Amelia and ensure Scootaloo’s success. Why would Vinyl, not her teammate, offer any hint at all unless it was a trick?

As Scootaloo took her final preparatory breaths, Amelia had to make a decision. The odds, the potential strategies, and Vinyl's confounding interference swirled in her mind. Was it a double bluff, or a straightforward hint? Amelia's response would need to be a blend of instinct, psychological insight, and bold guessing. With the pressure at its peak, she centred herself, ready to make a leap not just of physical agility but of strategic faith. Whatever her choice, it was a gamble on her ability to read the situation, the players, and perhaps most crucially, her own resolve in the face of mind games now turned against her. The whistle blew, shrinking the world to just the ball, the goal, and her decision on where to dive.

So what’s its gonna be?

Trust Vinyl and dive left?

Choose the safest option and dive right?

Or stay centre for the Penanka?

You choose!