Welcome to the Oceania Champions League, where the stakes are high, the fuses are short, and the goals and red cards flow in almost equal measure. The above highlights come from a match between Kiwi FC and Nadi FA, which began like any other soccer match, only to eventually devolve into chaos.
The first minute and a half of the video is your standard highlight fare, showing Kiwi jumping out to a 3-1 lead after only 21 minutes. Then things get weird. Something of a wrestling match breaks out between a Kiwi player and a Nadi one, with both men receiving straight reds. A little later, a tiny Kiwi guy just starts throwing his body into the back of a much bigger opponent, causing the ref to blow his whistle and presumably prepare to show another red. Only before the ref can sort things out, Nadi’s goalkeeper flies over and starts mushing people in the face, earning himself a red card alongside the crazy jumpy guy.
After another Nadi goal narrows Kiwi’s advantage to just one, an enterprising Nadi attacker appears to flop his way into getting a Kiwi man shown a second yellow card. In the sixth minute of a planned nine minutes of stoppage time, Nadi tie the game up at three. A minute later, a Nadi player expresses his frustration at an offside call by punting the ball goalward after everyone else had stopped. For that, he was shown his second yellow and sent off. And a minute after that, in the eighth minute of stoppage time, Nadi scored the winner.
So that was that. Seven goals, 11 yellow cards, 4 straight reds, and two more from second yellows. The BBC has a nice timeline of the insanity:
There’s no way the second leg lives up to this one.