Or What Torino’s Winner Against Lazio Looked Like To Me
The weather in Turin was bleak. The snow had been falling for a long, long time already and the pitch was covered well before kick-off. It was rumoured that it would be postponed and, even at half-time, that would have been a sensible decision. The stadium was still ensnared in blizzard and they had to get heaters to blow away the snow from the lines, and even then the orange ball was barely visible to the TV cameras. During the second half, as parts of the pitch were used in play, and the ball, or boots, cleared paths, there were little streaks of green visible, but they were just as quickly covered again. Players were unrecognisable, passes were regularly going astray and Lazio may well have had 11 men on the field, because there’d be no way of counting them. This is how we were up to 80 minutes into the game.
Torino won a corner with about fifteen minutes to go. Somebody went across to take it, but I’ve no idea who. Because he was so far away, the ball was utterly invisible. The figure at the far side moved forward a little, and so we knew the corner had been taken, and a couple of seconds later there was a flurry of movement in the penalty area, white shirts and crimson figures moving together as, presumably, the ball came across to them. I waited for the orange dot to hove into view or, as had been a tell-tale sign a few times, the bright green of Lazio’s goalkeeping jersey to fall to the floor clutching the ball. None of those things happened. A second or so after the movement, the white shapes stopped, while the crimson ones all continued, as if running towards the goalpost.
The cameras cut to a player who, as my eyes found focus on the sharper figure, I could tell was Jonathas and his arms were outstretched. The caption said ‘1st Goal For Torino’ and it was only then that my suspicions were confirmed .Torino led, somehow. I presumed it would be a header, as we cut to the replay. The players were all bustling one another in the six yard box, Lazio men grappling with Torino, and vice versa. Automatically I tried looked for Jonathas, but as usual I could only find Rolando Bianchi, making a nuisance of himself. After a few seconds, an orange shape appeared, growing larger as it came, looking not unlike the sun hurtling to earth, thrown by Gods angry at the spectacle afore their eyes; unwilling to turn away but unable to properly decipher what they could see. A head came out of the gloom and flicked it slightly, directing it to the left of the screen where, after a short while it stopped with a jolt, as if being caught in a basket. That shot merged into the cut away to Jonathas and then we all knew. Torino led. Jonathas had opened his account with a header and we’d all seen it, despite seeing practically nothing at all.
All of this took less than five seconds, yet it felt an eternity. Torino went on to win the game one nil, though in fairness it should probably never have taken place.