24th October 2013, 20:00, Berlin FC Kickers Pufendorfer 5 – 4 FC Milda FT (70 mins) Daniel 12’ Ezequiel 34‘, 52‘ Marian 49‘ Alex P. 67’ – opponent: 18’ 54‘ 55‘ 61‘
Lineup: Deen, Marian, Nick, Gianluca, Jesus, Kyle, Pascal, Oscar, Adonis, Ezequiel, Daniel and Alex P.
We needed a late goal from Alex to secure victory a physical encounter against a very direct Latvian side. The game took place on an atmospheric night, with dark, misty air and a greasy pitch with an electric crowd of 7 people.
The contest started off slowly with both teams feeling each other out and with little fluent play from either team. We had the most possession but there weren’t really any clear-cut chances in the first 10 minutes as both teams managed to deal with the other’s attacks. Our possession paid off after 11 minutes when a fast ball into the box couldn’t be taken under control by Ezequiel, but fell kindly for Daniel, who was in space and hide time to place his low shot into the back of the net.
We continued well and had some success down the right hand side of the pitch with the ball finding Adonis in lot of space on more than one occasion. Unfortunately we didn’t make the most of our superiority and were made to pay in the 18th minute, when one of many hopeful balls behind our defence wasn’t cleared and fell kindly for one of their players. Despite Deen doing his best, the opponent brought the scores level with an easy conversion. Although the goal was initially ruled offside, the referee changes his mind after protests from the other team.
We continued to find space in their half but the Latvians were always dangerous on the counter attack, either with fast attacks through the middle of the pitch or with long ball in behind our defence aimed in the general direction of their tallest player. We managed to regain the lead just before half-time after a through ball took Ezequiel wide of goal. A well placed shot beat the keeper at his near post and took the ball into the net, sending us into the break with a score line of 2-1.
The second half saw more action down the left of the field, including a diagonal pass from Marian almost finding Ezequiel in behind the defence and free in front of goal. Unfortunately there was just a bit too much weight on the pass and it harmlessly rolled behind for a goal-kick. The other team also had chances, including a great chance on 47 minutes when an opposing attacker found himself through on goal with plenty of space, but Deen was quick off his line and did well to block the shot.
The opponent was made to rue their missed opportunities a minute later when we managed to double our lead to two goals with a free kick. Although it was from quite a distance, Marian chose to shoot and although his effort looked like it might be dealt with by the opponent’s keeper, he totally misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing it to fly straight in, comically bouncing past as sprawed to reach back in opposite direction. We then extended our lead to three when Ezequiel finished well into the top corner in the 52nd minute.
The other team weren’t ready to give up, however, and quickly responded a minute later with a goal which looked offside, and this was quickly followed another minute later with a nice lobbed finish into the top corner from the outside of the box. We managed to stabilise, but they weren’t finished and battled for the equaliser, which came 61st minute. It again looked like it could have been offside, but the neither the opponents nor the referee were willing to disallow it. After drawing equal for a second time after being behind by three goals, the other team surprisingly began to slow their momentum and we were able to dominate possession again for the next five minutes, as we had our first real slow build-up play of the match and probed for a winner. The goal finally came with three minutes to go when Alex was found on the left of the penalty area. He didn’t panic and waited for the keeper to commit, and coolly took the ball inside onto his right foot and placed it past the helpless keeper.
We were under a lot of pressure from the other team in the final three minutes but we held on well to claim the victory, with the score finishing 5-4. Everyone fought hard for the victory and we learned a lot from the game. Next time we will be even stronger!
Thanks all for coming!
– written by James –