*** Both FCKP Teams Promoted To 1. Bunte Liga! ***
Report – FCKP I
In spite of the hot temperatures and the absence of some important players, FC Kickers Pufendorfer I showed a great performance leading the team to the promotion in the 1st Division for the first time in the team’s history.
Rentnerbobs (2-2): FCKP I start with only 6 players and concede a goal to the opponents after some seconds. The Yellows don’t get discouraged and with a nice team play manage to quickly turn the score around, first with Amir, then with Stefan. The celebrations for the second goal with the fans last too long for the goalkeeper (Gianluca) and Rentnerbobs don’t miss the opportunity and shoot directly from the midfield, leaving the goalkeeper only able to watch the ball fly in the goal.
Lambajuuun (0-1): FCKP I start again with 6 players, and concede an unlucky goal after 1 minute. After the goalkeeper saves, the ball rebounds quickly against Edoardo, who can’t control it and offers the chance to the opponent for an easy tap-in. Lambajuuun try repeatedly to score a second goal, but our defence is solid and concentrated and doesn’t give them many chances. We think only about defending against a team who are clearly more organized than us and who leave us the chance to shoot only once with Stefan.
Roter Stern (2-0): We finally start with 7 players on the field and the difference is immediately noticable. Our tactics change from our classic 3-2-1 to an offensive 2-3-1 with a strong midfield composing of Steffen, Stefan and Amir. The opponents are dangerous only twice, but Mazeo is attentive and neutralizes their attacks. Solid defensive play from Philipp, Jesus and Gianluca completes the job well. Eze P. scores two almost identical goals, taking advantage of his speed and his great dribbling skills.
Mucha Maracas (0-1): Probably the best game played by the Pufendorfers I so far. Great passes between defence and midfield and a great performance from everybody. We are close to scoring again and again, but a Mucha Maracas’ goalkeeper denies us. We then decide to intensify our attack, pushing also with our defenders. Unfortunately we get a brutal counterattack in the last minute which gives the victory to Mucha Maracas.
Pufendorfers II (0-2)
SFK Beus (4-2): Another good performance from our team. Already knowing we have to score at least 2 goals to get promoted, we start this game motivated and focused. We score after two minutes with a cannon shot from a long distance by Stefan. Amir plays his best football and offers precise passes to Steffen, whose usual determination leads him to score twice after easily dribbilng the defenders. Final goal scored by an inspired Stefan, who gets the crown of the matchday’s top scorer.
Mazeo, Jesus, Edoardo, Philipp, Gianluca (C), Steffen, Stefan, Amir, Ezequiel P
Julian (Gianluca’s son)
Amir, Stefan (3), Ezequiel P (2), Steffen (2)
Report – FCKP II
In the early hours of Saturday morning, as the sun rose over a quiet Berlin, not many of the locals could have imagined the levels of heat that were about to be lavished upon their peaceful, sleepy town. Most Berliners, safely tucked up in bed since early the night before, were blissfully unaware of the slowly-rising thermometers that would indicate a taste of things to come. There was, however, one small group of hardy athletes who were well aware of the heat that was building up. These were the brave and determined members of FC Kickers Pufendorfers II football squad and their arch-rivals FCKP I who were solemnly lacing up their boots and preparing to enter the field of play on a momentous day for German football.
As both Pufendorfer teams prepared for the day’s competition, they knew that promotion to Bunte League Division 1 was the main prize up for grabs. What was generating the most tension and causing the heat to increase even further, however, was the mouth-watering prospect of a Pufendorfer derby match in the second-last fixture of the day. “Der Klassiker” is always a fiery and hard-fought game and something the fans of both teams look forward to with relish. If either team could achieve promotion today, then it must have been the hope of every supporter in yellow or black that their rivals could also gain promotion, ensuring another such clash on match day 4.
When the football finally started, it looked instead like both teams would have to worry more about relegation than promotion. FCKP II started in terrible form, losing their first two games 3-0 and 1-0 respectively. FCKP I didn’t do much better, earning just one point from their opening two games. There were, however, some promising signs: FCKP I had earned their point while playing with a man short, showing remarkable battling qualities and performing well even in defeat. Steffen Häußler and Amir Ouakour led by example, covering vast areas of the pitch, despite the rising temperature which was by now up to 30 degrees.
Pufendorfer II, although having started badly, began to show some sparkle and finished their second game in good form. This seemed to be inspired by the all-action defending of Nick Atkinson who at one point managed a thrilling sliding tackle with his face to dispossess an opponent. Hector Perdomo Nogales provided some class in midfield and delighted fans while performing his trademark túnel through one hapless opponent’s legs twice – a humiliation known all too well to his FCKP teammates in training.
What followed next were victories for both teams which set things up nicely for the big FCKP face-off and also bringing promotion to division 1 within reach. FCKP I had the arrival of Stefan Godskesen and Jesus Rueda to thanks for their revival as they were able to field a full team and capitalise on their earlier hard work. Godskesen’s presence was particularly useful in taking some of the heat off the existing midfield engine of FCKP I which by now had steam bellowing out of it in the 35 degree heat. FCKP II had the goal-scoring prowess of Clément Adam and Hector to thank for their points, with both players adding assured finishes to some fine build-up play.
By the time El Classicito arrived, the pitch-side temperature was at 38 degrees officially. Unofficially, it was closer to 100 degrees with the atmosphere erupting as both teams took to the pitch to rapturous applause. Those cheering fans weren’t to be disappointed: both FCKP teams produced a thrilling display of committed, enterprising and full-blooded football and left absolutely everything on the pitch. In many cases this included body parts and brain cells which were evaporating as the temperature rose above 102 degrees in the midfield cauldron. Amongst this searing heat and fierce competition, it was the intervention of two of the coolest customers on the pitch which decided the outcome. Alexander Sjödin and Ezequiel Lauria combined beautifully to cut through the FCKP I defence – with Sjödin netting first with a sweet strike and then delivering the final pass that allowed Lauria to double the lead. It was a crushing defeat for FCKP I but evidence maybe that the extra effort of playing with a man down in the first games finally caught up with them. Their midfield engine finally overheated and had to be doused with water at the side of the pitch. Lauria and Sjödin, on the other hand, played with ice-cubes in their brains and ruthlessly secured victory for FCKP II like a pair of lethal footballing machines.
After this thrilling game, the temperature naturally began to cool down to a more normal level of around 52 degrees. This allowed both FCKP teams to recover and to secure the final victories they needed to win promotion to Division 1. This will delight football fans the world over as we will get to see a replay of this age-old rivalry on Matchday 4 of the Bunte Liga. Victory for FCKP I in the final game was particularly impressive considering the energy they had expended all day and the emotional drain of losing to their local rivals. For FCKP II, victory was secured thanks again to the coolness under pressure of Ezequiel Lauria who ended the day as top scorer, netting twice as many goals as anyone else on the team.
There were fine performances and some fine goals on display from both teams today. Mazeo Rogerio netted one spectacular volley for FCKP I and Ross Angus and Alejandro Marquez Cuerpo were both impressive in linking defence and midfield for for FCKP II for example. Special mention should also be given to Adonis El Hajj, a product of the FCKP II youth system, who is maturing into a fine player, despite his young age.
Bart, Nick, James (C), Brian, Adonis, Clément, Héctor, Alex MC, Alexander S, Jon, Ross, Ezequiel L
Héctor, Clément, Alexander S, Ezequiel L (2)
Reports by Gianluca and Brian