Friday, March 7, 2008

Thursday Night Soccer Report

We started tonight in third place and needed a win to stay in third with the possibility to move up to second. We were playing the fourth place team GJOA (pronounced Yoah). I didn’t think it would help that we had the late game – except that we usually have a full complement of players at the late hour. Nick was missing tonight as he was a bit under the weather but we had a new substitute join us who was pretty good. It was good to have a deep bench – 4 subs, meant no one really had the right to get tired.

We started off on the defensive with GJOA pressing hard. Nothing that we couldn’t handle – we had Buyar on the right and Charlie on the left so we were pretty strong. Rolfie started on the bench – he had a bad head cold and I wasn’t sure he would make it into the game. We cleared the ball once or twice and then about 3 minutes in – we had nice pass to Wes who brought it up. Frankie was wide open on the right and Wes played it beautifully to his feet. Frankie pulled the keeper off his line and passed it to Wes in front. Wes’ first shot was blocked but he made the second one count and we were up one nil. It took us less than five minutes later to go ahead two nil on a nice pass to Aharon who was wide open on the left. He held onto the ball until the keeper moved and then placed it right under the keeper’s right arm.

Rolfie subbed in for me after 10 minutes as sweeper and he was a sight to see. Holding his head in his hands when the ball wasn’t near him and then perking up. He had a great head ball and when I asked if that made his head feel better or worse the reply was to press both sides of his head in pain and scrunch up his face. He still ripped a shot from more than half field that the keeper barely stopped.

We dominated the rest of the game. We were confident and played that way. Tony had his first goal of the season on a nice shot from the left side. He can only score when his son David doesn’t come to watch. David likes to make fun of Dad and his scoring would have ruined it. Not 3 minutes later he pulled a Del Piero move going down the wing and beating two separate players. We may have to ban his son from coming to any other games.

We scored our final goal on a great shot from Charlie that beat the keeper high to the right. We had a few more chances including one from myself where the keeper made a nice save, although I probably could have placed it better.

We started playing really sexy soccer at one point. Rolfie moved up the left wing from defense and received the ball from Wes. He passed it to me at the 25 yard line as the last man back and then we did a back and forth with Rolfie and Buyar until we found an opening. I think we looked the best we have all season as we made them run around and chase while we found open space. Looked almost professional for a few minutes and if we can do that more often we will win every game. Great communication and great passing makes great teams.

We were determined to make sure that Frank got the shutout. GJOA started pushing their entire team forward and had one good shot on Frank from point blank that he made a great save on. Other than that we refused to give them anything. I promised Frank I wouldn’t let the ball get to him and made a couple of diving saves and blocked shots. We were clearing the ball and pressuring them. In the last 7 minutes they got one of their players thrown out on a red card. He was upset at a call the ref made – and to be fair – the ref didn’t see everything but no one played dirty. Their player ran up to the referee and started yelling how blind he was and how he never moved. The ref gave him a yellow card and when he still didn’t stop a red. It was too bad since GJOA was a pretty good team and needed all their players.

We finished off the game with a 4 – 0 shutout and a guarantee of staying in third place. Not bad for a night’s work and a heck of a birthday present for me. The game ended just as my birthday started.

No comments: