MISN – Winter Lachine 07-08 game 22 (vs. Spartans)

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Hello MISN,

On Saturday March 22nd we played game nº22 of the Winter 2007-08 Lachine indoor league, vs. Spartans.

Surfing their recent wave of victory, MISN walked into the last game of this Winter regular season with renewed optimism. Fresh from the wins vs. Wood Gundy (5-4), Kelly’s Leg (6-2), and Ericsson (3-0), we now had the opportunity to test our recent progress against the first-ranked team of the Winter league.

Indeed, our opponents for the day were Spartans, a team which walked into game nº22 at 1st spot of the Division 2 standings, with only a one-point advantage over 2nd-ranked mtlsoccer.com. Needless to say, a win was capital for them in order to ensure their crown, however we had other plans. Currently 5th-ranked and 2 points away from Ericsson and FC Sorrento, a win would have improved our final rankings situation and potentially given us better odds in the playoff round.

Attendance-wise, much like the previous week we started off with some early very bad news: after Santi‘s ligament injury, it was Kevin‘s turn to walk under a bad spell: our Toronto-native center-back fractured his wrist during a hockey game, and will have to sit out the rest of the season.   :sad:

As for the rest of our gang, well everyone was pretty much nursing some old injuries (Bruno and Tim were having ankle problems, Alex was struggling with his groin, while Marco had simultaneous ankle, knee, and wrist problems), while at the same time Bardia and Imad were organizing an event and uncertain to be able to play. On the side of good news (and bad news at the same time), our keeper’s wife Jana just gave birth their second daughter Gabriella this week (congrats dude!!!), so why bad news? Well, Jan was also uncertain for this game…

Bottom line we were a few people short, but had a nice surprise in seeing last-minute confirmations Nafee and Saber show up to lend a hand. In the end, we started the game with 9 players, 7 starters and 2 substitutes, pretty much like last week, which became 3 substitutes as soon as Jan showed up late in the first half.

1) Absent long-term: /
2) Injured long-term: Tevin, Güven, Santi, Kevin
3) N/A this week: Alex, Saad

Here was our line-up:

Bruno / Jan
Eric / Marco
Nafee / Bruno
Bardia / Can

We immediately obtained one shooting chance through Bardia, as our Iranian playmaker cleared a defender in the center to find some space, but his shot off-balance was over the bar and wide. We started off on the right foot though, occupying our opponents’ half and creating danger close to goal.

However, Spartans broke through and captailized on the first chance they obtained unfortunately. The ball got shifted quickly from their left wing to the right, over to an unmarked striker who went for the shot. Bruno (subbing in goal, till Jan got to the game) tried to get to it but couldn’t; the ball rebounded onto the crossbar, hit the floor, then Bruno’s back and crossed the line. Argh. 0-1.

Spartans man-marking our strikers could not turn around for the shot, but eventually somehow managed to slide the ball sideways to the right (or perhaps it was a deflection), where Saber came on at full speed and slammed the ball home inside the right post. 1-1!

Midway through the half, we eventually went ahead. Bruno (still in goal) made a save, and immediately launched a spinning hand pass towards Can onto the left wing. Our Turkish striker let the ball pass over his head to clear his marker, then hit a powerful strike off the bounce that overpowered the keeper’s guard, and find its way into the top corner. 2-1 MISN!

Nafee had an excellent opportunity on the right wing, as he received the ball wide open following a Saber counter-attack on the left. The keeper came rushing out, Nafee dribbled him and attempted to score into the empty net but one of the Spartans defender deflected the ball into corner.

Minutes later, a good ball over the defense found Can clear on the right wing with just the keeper to beat. Once again the Spartans nº1 rushed out, forcing our Turkish striker to attempt a chipped shot which ended up way over the bar. Following that, we obtained another two very good chances through Bruno (powerful shot deflected onto the crossbar by a defender) and Tim (diving header from short-range parried away by the keeper).

It was merely the prologue to our game-winning goal: exploiting some good passing moves, the ball landed to Can on the left right in front of the goal. The Spartans keeper came out to close down the angle, but this time our Turkish striker took the ball past him and onto his left-foot, arming a ripping strike to the opposite post! Power goal and 3-2 MISN!

In the remaining minutes our defense contained the last Spartans rushes, and some good pressuring by Tim even got one of their defenders sent off, as he took away the legs from our Montreal-born player. 3-2 the final score! …

3-2 final score

Can (2)

Yellow cards:

A great performance to cap the regular season boys. We were facing the nº1-ranked team, and rose up to the challenge. So much in fact, that the concurrent victory of mtlscoccer.com over Ericsson crowned them Division 2 champions (!), but more importantly (for us) made us overtake Ericsson and FC Sorrento in the standings, and get a final ranking of 3rd spot!!

Winter Lachine 07-08 Division 2 final rankings

This means that in the April 12 QUARTER-FINALS, we will be paired with Kelly’s Leg! Our two previous encounters this season saw us defeated 1-0 in the first leg, then victorious 6-2 in the second leg (a game during which we went down two goals, and came back from behind in stunning fashion).

Playoffs will be a whole other ballgame however, and our opponents will come at us with a lot more determination. However, if there’s one thing that the last few games of regular season have shown, is that if we play our best we can beat any team in this league! Saturday will be time to prove that!




Posted in MISN Impossible |

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