Bunte Liga – 2nd Division – Match Day 1
Bright sunshine and boisterous optimism greeted the Pufendorfer teams as they took to the pitch for the opening day of the Bunte Liga 2015 season. The Fritz-Reuter Arena was a sea of colour as the Pufendorfer fans had filled the stadium some hours before kick off and were now creating an electric atmosphere. There were FCKP flags draped as far as the eye could see and there were even some yellow and black flares being ignited amongst some of the more hardcore sections of Pufendorfer fans.
The anticipation was understandable too as the build-up to this first match-day had dragged on for months as the FCKP teams’ preparations continued. Pre-season tours saw them traveling the globe to play glamorous friendly tournaments in exotic places like Wroclaw and Prenzlauer Berg and even to far-flung places like Altglienicke.
The waiting was over on Saturday however – the time was set for football and the stage was set for heroes. There was also the mouth-watering prospect of a local derby match to look forward to as FCKP I were drawn to play against their arch rivals FCKP II in the second round of fixtures.
The first round of games saw both teams start well, with neither defence conceding a goal. FCKP II came away from their match against Rentnerbobs with a respectable 0:0 draw. They came close on a number of occasions with shots from Nick Atkinson and new signing Jon Ruffer both drawing sharp saves from the keeper. At the other end, defender Felipe Londoño Grisales did a fine job and former ice-hockey puck-catching net-tending goal keeper Bart Pyszczek was relieved to see Rentnerbobs’ final shot rebounding off the crossbar to safety.
FCKP I were even more decisive in their opening game. Ente Cross BK were the unfortunate victims as a well-worked goal saw the Pufendorfer boys take all three points. Late into the 9th minute of the game, Stefan Godskesen’s powerful through-ball was deftly flicked home by Gianluca Bizzarro’s posterior in a move that was clearly one they’ve worked on long and hard in training.
With the first round of matches out of the way, it was time for the main event, the game that most of the thousands of supporters were waiting for: FCKP I vs their arch-rivals, FCKP II. Despite sharing a home stadium, these two teams have nurtured a fierce and passionate rivalry over the years- one that was reflected in the atmosphere generated by the fans as the players took to the field. As battle commenced, there were roars of appreciation from the crowd, crunching tackles and there was even a dog spotted* on the pitch at one point (and yes, it was a Dalmatian).
FCKP II have had the better of recent encounters between the two sides but that run of form was ended today as it was FCKP I who took the spoils. It was an enthralling contest as both teams probed each other’s defences constantly and each attack was countered with another. Nick Atkinson came closest for FCKP II with a rasping shot just over the bar while Amir Ouakour and Gianluca Bizzaro both went close for FCKP I. In the end, it was a moment of magic from man-of-the-match Stefan Godskesen that decided the game. The crafty midfielder exchanged neat passes with Ouakour before cutting sharply inside from the left and leaving ‘keeper Pyszczek with no chance with a powerful strike.
It was a tight game and one that left the watching supporters breathless. Yet another clean sheet had been kept by FCKP I as ‘keeper Marian Andras marshaled his defence well. FCKP II on the other hand paid dearly for their one lapse in concentration and failure to capitalize on some good attacking positions.
The following rounds of games saw more draws being racked up for both teams. After the full-on highs of the FCKP derby match, the fans understandably grew a bit restless as three 0:0 scorelines were served up by both teams. FCKP I drew blanks against Rotor Kreuzberg and Les Bowskis while FCKP II drew with SFK Beus. The only interesting feature on display was FCKP I’s innovative switching of goalkeeper Marian Andras with Matthias Hatzak. The former came close to scoring with a number of stinging long-range shots while Hatzak showed why he’s such an able deputy with a string of fine reaction saves.
FCKP II’s first victory of the day came next against the mighty Lambajuuun. With the teams deadlocked deep into injury-time, it took a moment of genius from Adonis El Hajj to unlock the tie. The mercurial and unpredictable defender ambled through the Lambajuuun defence like a graceful and slightly confused bulldog before coolly slotting home a fine return pass from Alex McAlejandro.
FCKP II’s next three games highlighted the roller-coaster nature of football played at this high a level. The first was a feisty and unfortunate defeat to Rotor Kreuzberg – with emotions running so high that the normally cool Bart “ice-man” Pyszczek had to be sedated after the game with beer.
Next came a rip-roaring 7-goal thriller against Kickers Else04. FCKP II came out on top thanks to 4 sublime goals but almost threw away a 3 goal lead as they conceded 2 late goals to leave the score at 4-3. James Topping, Alejandro and debutant Héctor Riversai all scored with fine, crisp strikes on the counter attack but it was Ezequiel Lauria who scored the goal of the day. After a lightning break from FCKP II involving Alexander Sjödin, the Argentine striker got on the end of a looping cross from handsome defender Brian Leonard to head deftly into the top left corner of the net.
This was as good as it got for FCKP II as, despite some fine defensive heroics from Nick Atkinson, they lost out to Les Bowskis in the final game, leaving them with a final total of 8 points for the day.
FCKP I however fared slightly better. Fine defending from Jesus Rueda and Pablo Moura Letts had ensured three clean sheets in a row. They were unlucky then to lose to two quick-fire goals against Lamajuuun, with Stefan Godskesen’s 30-yard strike into the top corner bringing the score-line to 2-1. Against Rentnerbobs, however, their class showed through and they could easily have scored more in their 1-0 victory. It was appropriate that the winning goal was a trade-mark “Kyledriver” from midfielder Kyle Curtis. The rangy playmaker was welcomed back onto the pitch enthusiastically by the Pufendorfer fans as he proved his recovery from injuries sustained in the Poland away trip was complete.
All in all it was a successful, emotional, exciting, long and fun day out for both Pufendorfer teams. FCKP I were unlucky to lose out on promotion to the 1st division by goal difference, despite posting 15 points on the table. FCKP II, however, managed to get promoted to the 3rd division with their healthy tally of 8 points.
It’s all to play for on Match Day 2 in May. Watch this space!
Report by Brian Leonard