On Saturday November 24th we played game nº6 of the Winter 2007-08 Lachine indoor league, vs. R.R.C.
After last week’s victorious 3-2 bout against Hellas, MISN Impossible was back on the winning track ready to continue their assault on the Division 2 champions title. Our opponents for the day were R.R.C, a team with more or less the same record as us (3 wins and 2 losses). We were expecting a pretty open game.
Attendance-wise, it wasn’t one of our best weeks but we managed. Ludo was still M.I.A in France, Can still in Abitibi, and Danny had a work commitments once again. In addition, Jon had picked up an injury in the last game that will probably keep him out for at least 2 weeks, and Bardia was unavailable.
|1) Absent long-term:||Can, Ludo|
|2) Injured long-term:||Tevin, Alex, Jon|
|3) N/A this week:||Danny, Bardia|
Here was our line-up:
Logistically, this was a very early morning game and when I mean early, I really mean early. Like 9am-Saturday-morning early. Nonetheless, all of us were there and ready, except Jan, who fortunately came right on time to begin the match at kick-off.
We started with a clear control of ball possession in midfield, building up our offense progressively and trying to find penetrating runs and passes to set our strikers in front of the net. It was quite difficult however, because R.R.C. kept their defense under tight lock and was always ready to set off a counter-attack by keeping one or two forwards close to the midfield line. We kept the ball inside their own half most of the time, but unfortunately got punished on the first mistake we committed.
On an intercepted corner-kick, R.R.C launched the counter towards the left wing. Combining passes in our half, and eventually landing in front of our goal in superior numbers, a striker got loose of the marking and deposited into the net, sidestepping Jan. 0-1.
This was really tough luck because (as usual), we had been producing most of the chances in the game. A few minutes after conceding the goal, a corner-kick for MISN was taken by Marco, who waited to spot Santi’s run inside the box. Marco’s low passes was hit by our Argentine winger, but his right-footed shot was over the bar! Meanwhile, Güven was trying his best to hold the ball on the edge of the box, and feed it to the sides (or fooling the pass and attempting the shot), but the R.R.C defense/keeper was doing a hell of a good job in deflecting/parrying the shots away. And once again, despite our domination, we conceded a goal on our next immediate defensive mistake.
In R.R.C‘s offensive zone, a misjudged pass by one of our players immediately set off the counter-attack. With a pass to the center, a 2 vs. 2 situation soon became a 3 vs. 2 with the addition of yet another R.R.C striker. Kevin had to lose his man to go challenge the ball, ensued a pass to the left, then back to the right for an open man in front of the net. Nafee couldn’t get back on time, and the R.R.C striker executed a low instep shot on Jan’s first post. 0-2.
At this point, we were undeservedly down by 2 goals. Rage and frustration was building up amongst our troops, which eventually resulted in yellow cards for Nafee and Marco. Nevertheless, our repeated efforts on the opponents’ net eventually came to fruition, and we cut back the goal deficit by one.
From a kick-in from the right by Marco, a looped cross was sent in to Santi on the 2nd post. Santi’s header was parried away by the keeper, however our Argentine winger managed to on the rebound and have another stab at goal. Once again, saved by the keeper (!) but this time the ball looped up, and Santi lunged at the free chance, slamming it home from point-blank range with an open net. 1-2!
Eventually, the half came to a close on the 1-2 scoreline to the advantage of R.R.C. We were still very much in the game, especially because in terms of ball possession and scoring chances, we were dominating our opponents. We just needed to focus more in defense, and take our chances on goal.
At the restart, we continued pushing forward and eventually got our reward. With Güven obtaining a feed on the right wing, deep into enemy territory, our Turkish striker faked the pass to the center, utilized the dummy to dribble his marker, got towards the goal line, back on his right foot, and BAM! Slammed a ripping shot towards the opposite post! A great goal from an almost impossible angle!! 2-2!!
Minutes later, we made it 3-2! Out on the right wing, Güven faked a run to go deep to fool his marker, came back towards the center and armed a precise left-footed shot low into the right bottom corner! Olé!! We finally had the lead!!!
Our lead however, was unfortunately short-lived. With R.R.C attacking in numbers in the MISN half, the ball dropped back for a long-range shot. The attempt was deflected to R.R.C‘s main target man, who tried to turn around and shoot again from our right side. Another deflection ensued, Jan came out to challenge but missed the interception, the ball spun out of control and, believe it or not, with the backspin (unless some defender/striker touched it… I didn’t see it very clearly) slowly rolled into the net as everyone watched dumbfounded. A last-ditch tackle by Kevin couldn’t keep it from crossing the line. 3-3. ARGH!!
But wait, we still had momentum going to our advantage. That last goal could have stopped us dead in our tracks, but on the contrary it fueled the fire that was already burning in proximity of the R.R.C penalty box. With MISN breaking through into their opponents’ defenses, a first shot was deflected, prompting the keeper to come out to challenge Santi in the center. Our Argentine winger attempted a flick and the keeper saved again, but couldn’t prevent the ball from dropping to Güven on the left side! Powerful low shot into the bottom left corner, and 4-3 MISN!!!!
It was now a matter to stay very concentrated in defense, to stop the hemorrhage and not allow any more stupid goals. With R.R.C in our zone, the ball cycled through a series of players, eventually dropping to a striker on the right. The R.R.C man tried to place an accurate shot onto the far post, but Marco’s header was there to keep it out, one meter away from the line!
Minutes later, a great combination forward brought Marco towards the left wing, with Nafee dropping the ball back with a dribble, and then looping it over towards our Italian wing-back. Güven made a run in the center and Marco promptly flicked him the ball on the volley, but our Turkish kebab… ehm striker couldn’t control the pass in time for an accurate shot.
It was then that Nafee earned his 2nd yellow card of the match. Deep into our defensive zone, MISN was under pressure and trying to clear the ball away from danger. It landed on the right wing to Nafee who, instead of clearing it away, attempted to control and dribble but was dispossessed of the ball. Running after his “thief”, Nafee clipped him in the legs and forced Bryan to send our Moroccan playmaker take an early shower. With 10 minutes to go in the game, this was a set-back which we decidedly didn’t need.
Now, for many teams (and against stronger opponents) this could have meant physical and psychological collapse. For MISN, surprisingly this meant the opposite: within less than a minute after conceding the red card (in fact, on the ensuing free kick taken by R.R.C, if I’m not mistaken), we made it 5-3! On the ensuing FK, the ball was deflected away and immediately set up Santi for the counter-attack on the left wing. Our Aregntine winger ran like Speedy Gonzales (Santi will tell me that he’s Mexican, not Argentinian, but I don’t care I’m still using him as a metaphor ) and at the end of his run, poked the ball onto the keeper’s first post!!! GOOOOOOOLAAAAAZOOOOO!!
We now had a 2-goal advantage, playing 6 against 7, would you believe it? No? Good, because it didn’t last very long: with R.R.C continuing to push, pass, and shoot, the ball was deflected by our defense, eventually prompting a pass back for a long-range shot. The R.R.C defender armed an instep right-footed effort, whose outswinging trajectory ended into the left side of Jan’s net. Bummer. 5-4.
Again however, with still one man down and against all expected odds (despite the fact that we were still the better team though), we managed to break our opponents’ defenses once again! Another lightning counter-attack by MISN set up Güven and Eric with a good 2 vs. 1 opportunity. Leading the defender believe he was going to pass, our Turkish striker held the ball and got to the edge of the box, ripping another accurate shot past the keeper into the left bottom corner. 6-4!!
The final 2-3 minutes of the game were intense. MISN obtained yet another chance on a counter-attack, advancing towards the goal: from Marco to Santi, trying to spot a pass, to Güven, holding the ball, and dropping it back to Marco. Our Italian wing-back was however on his weaker left foot, resulting in a bad shot over the bar.
In the final minute, MISN conceded a foul on the edge of the box. The wall was formed, but the ball surprisingly passed toward the right! Kevin threw his leg forward to deflect, managing to thwart the chance. It is then that ref called the end of the match, giving MISN the victory and a well-deserved 3 points in an intensity-laden emotional match!
6-4 final score
An incredible match boys! We established our domination right from the beginning, but due to a tight defense by our opponents we couldn’t produce. Instead, we conceded two goals on coutner-attacks, which could have put this game heading decidedly the wrong way. We never gave up however, and through incredible determination pulled back from behind to win the game, scoring even two goals undermanned!
At the end of the day, while we can be happy about the 3 points, we should auto-critique ourselves and conclude that:
- Getting a player sent off (and therefore suspended) shouldn’t happen.
- Over the past few games, we are conceding way too many goals. It is time to patch up our defense, and stop making mistakes that may eventually be very costly.
Cya next week.
Posted in MISN Impossible |