It’s a typically mild Sydney winter’s day. The sun is beating down. After 12 regular season games of 11 a–side football today is the Semi-Final. Second versus third to decide which team goes to the ‘Grand Final’ – a concept and format so alien to me five years ago but of one that I am now the biggest fan. The game is locked at nil-nil (or “nil-all” in the Australian language). My team are buoyant after dominating the game, playing impressive flowing football but to be denied several times by an acrobat of a keeper. Our last regular season game against this team finished with a 1-0 loss as they scored with the last kick of the game. It was heartbreak as we had outplayed them in a dirty contest. The first half of ‘Golden Goal’ extra-time is almost up and we break away yet again down the left wing. Our left midfielder gets to the by-line and crosses to the far post. The ball bounces awkwardly across the six-yard box and steaming in like a runaway train is our right midfielder, a stocky engine that somehow jumps like a ballerina. Time slows to a crawl as his right foot rises the highest it ever has to push the ball into the roof of the net. Cue pandemonium. We scream, punch the air and my fellow centre-back and I sprint downfield to hug, wrestle and jump all over him. His face is one of absolute shock and happiness rolled into one. Forget Mandela, this is our hero.