On Saturday February 9th we played game nº16 of the Winter 2007-08 Lachine indoor league, vs. McKibbin’s Pub.
“4 out 4, going on 5″: our run of victories continued last week, as MISN Impossible defeated FC Sorrento 3-0 and is now slowly approaching the top of the league. Could a miracle come-back be in the works?
Our opponents for the day were McKibbin’s Pub, one of the teams “gifted” with 3 points early in the season (we arrived late to the game, started with an automatic 0-2 deficit, eventually losing the game 4-1). Incidentally, Marco and Bruno were also playing against their ex-team from the Summer outdoor season, so they knew their opponents quite well. Today it was time to prove who was indeed the better team.
Attendance-wise, we were scared that the early game-time (9:00am… yikes!) was going to leave us with very little attendance. Kevin was still busy with his thesis, and while Saad‘s snowboarding trip was cancelled you can never rely on him for such an early match. Moreover, Santi was off to London to watch the Chelsea-Liverpool game (which unfortunately for him, was an absolute bore and ended 0-0) and Tim was still away to Mexico.
Fortunately, Saber was back amongst our ranks once again, and we recruited the emergency services of Imad for this one. In other words, we were expecting to be 11 players today: 7 starters and 4 substitutes! Not bad for a 9:00am match!
|1) Absent long-term:||Tim|
|2) Injured long-term:||Tevin, Güven|
|3) N/A this week:||Saad, Santi, Kevin|
Here was our line-up:
As I mentioned, this was a very early game for a Saturday morning, so needleed to say some people were still half-asleep when the match started. The smell from the unwashed shirts (thank you Alex) was going to be of great help in lifting our spirits…
The first couple of minutes each team studied their opponents, remaining cautious in their initiatives and not pushing up too dangerously. Eventually however, as both MISN and McKibbin’s Pub grew in confidence, the ball started to get a lot closer to the goals on each side. Jan had to deal with a few close-range headers (which fortunately were off target), and McKibbin’s came close to opening the score early into the half (we lost the ball on the left wing, and allowed a striker to get behind the defence for the cross) but their finishing shot was wide. Eventually MISN were the first to get on the scoreboard.
Receiving the ball forward on the right wing, Can found himself battling with a McKibbin’s defender. He held firm on his feet though, and managed to arm a shot which found its way into the top right corner, for the first tally of the game! 1-0 MISN!
We now had the lead, but had to remain very vigilant because our opponents were moving the ball around quickly, and often creating some problems for us through their left-footed nº10. We held tightly in defense, neutralizing their initiatives and eventually got goal nº2.
With the ball on the left wing, Alex pushed up from his defensive position to exchange passes with Marco close to the box. With Alex shifting it all the way to the right side, Can received the ball under the close guard of a McKibbin’s defender. Controlling it, our Turkish striker managed to turn around and slide a pass back to Alex on the edge of the box, and our Greek defender applied a precise left-footed instep finish into the bottom left corner! 2-0 MISN!
We had a few more half-chances with Saber on the right wing (choosing to pass instead of shooting) and Jon (long-range free-kick narrowly wide), and an enormous chance with Bruno (narrowly missing the finish, as he received a Can pass from the left completely unmarked at the 2nd post) but eventually the half came to an end, on a 2-0 scoreline. We were playing well, and just had to continue our good work in order to put the game on ice.
Before the 2nd half restarted, our last-minute emergency sub Imad finally arrived to the game, but due to a mix-up with the names on the team sheet, the referee did not permit him to play. Fortunately for us though, we had plenty of substitutes despite the very early gametime.
We thus continued the game, and were actually fortunate enough to find the 3rd goal very early into the period. A few meters outside the box, Bardia received the ball with his back to the goal, and despite the close marking managed to turn around and slide an instep shot in the bottom left corner where the McKibbin’s keeper could not reach. 3-0 MISN!!
It is then that we started suffering a bit of pressure from our opponents, and got a bit lax/lazy in our defensive marking. We were allowing a bit too many shots from the McKibbin’s players, and it was really out of sheer luck that we didn’t concede a goal during the ensuing 10 minutes. Our opponents missed a few open-net chances by failing to connect with the ball, Eric and Jan made a few last-ditch tackles/saves to prevent a nasty situation, and at some point our opponents even pushed up their keeper to try and get at least a consolation goal.
The McKibbin’s nº1 actually came very close to getting on the scoreboard, as he obtained the ball inside the box and armed a right-footed instep finish, but Jan saved the shot right on the line! Ironically, with the opposing keeper out of the net and trying to score, it is actually MISN‘s goalie which ended up on the scoresheet: immediately after making the save, our keeper Jan released the ball in front of him, ran a few steps, then shot-tackled it (in the way only he knows how) far far away. The ball took a low trajectory past all the McKibbin’s players, and ended up rolling into the opposing net from our own half!! 4-0 MISN!!
A great way to cap a very good MISN performance, as the referee brought the game to a close.
4-0 final score
A great game boys, coupled with a great victory!! 4 unanswered tallies means we increased our winning streak to 5 games, and have now played two consecutive games without conceding a goal!
The situation in the league standings has drastically improved, and it’s time to take a serious look at the action:
We are now 9 points from the top-ranked team (Mtlsoccer) with 6 games left. That’s 9 points out of a possible 18 (if we win all our games), but remember that we still have the games vs. Mtlsoccer and Spartans left!
I won’t lie to you guys: that 1st-rank spot is still looking pretty far away, and reaching it is going to be very very hard given our situation. Our most important objective, let’s keep that very clearly in mind, is to win the PLAYOFFS CUP so let’s not get carried away with the improvement in our league standings.
However I will tell you this: if any of these teams wants to win the regular season title, the least we can do is make them really earn it. Let’s make sure that when those boys step onto the field to face MISN, they know they are gonna have to break a major sweat to get the 3 points and that in fact, in all likelihood, we are not going to let them!
Posted in MISN Impossible |