With the AEM in Galway, Ireland in July in our sights, we scheduled some 11-a-side games and the first one of the year was hosted by BSG BSR over 18s, one of the football teams of Berlin’s waste disposal service providers that is well-known for it’s bright orange colour. Their kit didn’t disappoint, and was a lovely shade of orange. The game was hosted near Südkreuz.
Our preparation wasn’t ideal as we just about scraped 11 players in time for kick-off due to many struggling to get there in time for the early kick-off. The start was a disaster, as combination of our disorganisation and their ruthlessness led to us conceding 2 goals in the first 5 minutes. The first was a powerful deflected shot which cannoned off Pablo and left debutant Tolga with no chance, while the second was a piercing ball in behind our defence to find the good run of their striker and put him one-on-one with Tolga.
We didn’t let our bad start discourage us in what was essentially a practice game and improved as the game progressed. With many of us having played in the FCKP Winter Cup the day before, it took some time for us to get going, but once our aching muscles warm-up, we started to get into the game and eventually carve out some chances. Stefan and Alex, who both had good performances in the first half, had good shots to test the BSR goalkeeper, while Toni had a smart low effort that was heading for the bottom corner saved on the stretch.
Amir also had a long shot on edge of box which he couldn’t quite control and sent high and wide, but the signs were promising and it wasn’t the only time we were able to find the playmaker in dangerous areas with good passing build-up play.
Jon also had a long shot but wasn’t really able to trouble the keeper and Alex had a great chance to head the ball into the goal from a few metres after a good Adonis cross. Under pressure from the defender, he was unable to find the target and headed just wide.
By far our best chance of a goal was when some more good build-up play led to Amir finding himself in space in the area and with the ball at his feet. Possibly even having too much time to think about it, his chipped shot over the keeper was cleared off the line. We were unable to score however, and BSR’s scored a 3rd at some point in the second half during a good spell for FCKP. BSR won a free kick slightly outside of the area, and were able to score directly from it. There might have been disagreements between those in the wall as to whether it could have been blocked, but the fact was that it was an excellent free kick with curve and dip over the top of the wall and into the bottom corner. Tolga did well to get across his goal and get fingertips on, but the shot was too well placed.
BSR cleaned up with final result of 0-3 and an excellent performance in particular by their sweeper. They were a well organised and drilled team with some very good individual players. The game was also extremely fair, with few fouls and the promise of a rematch in the near future.
Despite the bad result, our performance was promising however, as we showed good shape and positional discipline. Stefan and Amir showed good passing in the build-up, while Alex offered good running and combination play with Clement, Daniel K, Toni and Edoardo. We were also solid in defence for large periods of the game, with our defence well protected by our midfield, particularly Kyle.
The biggest room for improvement was our decisiveness in passing and shooting after getting into dangerous areas. Even after the nightmare start, we had enough chances to get back into the game. Most importantly, our team spirit was excellent and we stay positive throughout the game.
The post match pundits discussion with Kyle’s dad was less generous with the praise, however! Reputedly having travelled to Berlin especially for the game, we’re sure he’ll have plenty of feedback for Kyle.
Players: Tolga, James (c), Pablo, Adonis, Jon, Brian, Kyle, Stefan, Amir, Toni, Clement, Edoardo, Daniel K, Alex MC