9 January 2006

Clyde Beats Celtic in Scottish Cup David and Goliath Match

The English FA Cup is the oldest knockout tournament in soccer, and its Scottish cousin has a pedigree almost as impressive. As in England, every soccer team in Scotland regardless of its standing in the tables, regardless of whether it is top flight or third division is eligible. For the big guys, itís a break from the regular season. For the smaller clubs, itís a chance to earn some extra money along with a little respect. This week-end, though, David slew Goliath as mighty Glasgow Celtic came away losers to Clyde 2-1.

Glasgow is blessed with two of the finest sides in Europe, Catholic Celtic and Protestant Rangers (yes, it really divides the city that way). Both have won more silverware than one imagine. Celticís website proudly lists its accomplishments: league champions 39 times (the New York Yankees havenít won the World Series as often), Scottish Cup winners 33 times, League Cup winners 12 times, and a European Championship back in 1966-67. Their manager is the great Gordon Strachan, and the roster is a global amalgam of talent. Celtic is currently at the top of the Scottish Premier League, 7 points ahead of Hearts, from Edinburgh.

Clyde has a less glamorous history. A permanent resident it seems of the second division, which for reasons known only to marketing people is now called the Bellís Scottish League First Division, Clyde has nowhere near the trophies. Its roster is comfortable, but a great many Macs appear Ė it is a national, not an international, side (Romauld Bouadji notwithstanding). Quite literally, they arenít in Celticís league.

Yet, that is the beauty of the Cup on either side of the Cheviots; David gets to play Goliath on the same field, using the same ball and the same referees. Clyde came out to prove something, and they had two goals disallowed before the 30-minute mark Ė one for a push and the other for an offside call. Then, Craig Brysonís header found the back of the net in the 32nd minute. Shortly after that,Celtic's goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved a penalty from Stephen O'Donnell, but Eddie Malone volleyed the resulting corner into the goal with a finesse that will make it one of the best goals of the season. It was positively Brazilian in its elegance. Celtic came back with a goal in the 82nd from Maciej Zurawski, the Polish star. Yet it wasnít enough. Manager Strachan graciously and accurately said, ďClyde were the best team, they used the conditions well, played with common sense football and we did not.Ē

Celtic now goes back to its Premiership campaign with visions of more silverware and the European Champions League again next year. Clyde goes on to a match against Second Division leader Gretna, a club founded in 1946 but which didnít get accepted into the Scottish League until 2002. One would like to say Clyde is sure to advance, but soccerís a funny game that way. Gretna is now the David and Clyde is Goliath. The Kensington Review intends to report on the match to be played the first week-end in February.

© Copyright 2006 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.
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