There are times when I am convinced that to be a Liverpool supporter is to know what it means to suffer. Beyond the dry spells and frustrations, the club’s most memorable wins are never easy (the Miracle of Istanbul in 2005 is always top of mind when one thinks of suffering to reach the stars—ad astra per aspera!). Wembley 2012, for the Carling Cup final, is another one reminiscent of such suffering. And sometimes, to suffer is to be convinced that one has experienced major heart attacks because of football.
Liverpool faced Cardiff City in the 2012 Football League Cup Final, and truth be told, while Liverpool were the heavy favorites, how Cardiff City played just meant that the Carling Cup was any team’s for the taking.
In the first half, Liverpool dominated possession and chances, but all these went for nothing as Cardiff City scored the opening goal in the 18th minute, with Joe Mason scoring against Pepe Reina, after Cardiff split the Liverpool defense.
Liverpool equalized at the 60th minute, with Martin Skrtel disposing the ball that rebounded from a Luis Suarez header that hit the post. After the 90-minute regulation time, the score stood at 1-1.
Liverpool made an inspired substitution with Dirk Kuyt coming on, scoring at the 107th minute. You’d think by then that Liverpool would have already won, but Cardiff City still equalized with Ben Turner scoring at point-blank range. The score stood at 2-2 after extra time.
Then there was the bizarre penalty shootout, which didn’t start well for Liverpool, with Steven Gerrard’s shot easily saved, while Charlie Adam blasted the ball to the moon. Thank god Dirk Kuyt, Stewart Downing (who was rightfully named Man of the Match—I’m not his biggest fan, but he showed effectiveness in both the left and right wings), and Glen Johnson converted their penalties, beating Cardiff City 3-2.
And there we were, cheering our hearts out at past three in the morning, singing the songs that made us dream in the middle of a city fast asleep. There are no words to adequately describe the frenzy experienced by a small group of Liverpool supporters in Makati City in the wee hours of Monday morning.
This is indeed the value of suffering—to understand what euphoria truly means. Walk on, walk on! There’s still a lot more to achieve! YNWA!