Archive for April 26th, 2008

MISN – Winter Lachine 07-08 FINAL (vs.

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Ricard, unofficial sponsor of MISN Impossible

MISN? What’s this?

Hello MISN,

On Saturday April 26th we played game the FINAL game of the Winter 2007-08 Lachine indoor league, vs.

Here we were. After a 7-month-long  season of intensive indoor soccer performances, our team had made it to the PLAYOFFS FINAL! For MISN Impossible, this was essentially the time to redeem ourselves. We had started the Division 2 season with big aspirations, convinced to repeat our Division 3 glories the previous year and rank at the top of the regular season standings. Unfortunately (as I mentioned too many times already), mid-season injuries coupled with some very poor performances had cost us a considerable amount of points, so many in fact that in the end, we could only manage to rank 3rd in the final standings (behind champions and runners-up Spartans).

Winter Lachine 07-08 Division 2 final rankings

So today, it was time make amends for our sub-par overall season performance and prove that when it came down to the single match, we were the strongest team in the league. This 3-match mission was already 2/3 completed: step one was QUARTER-FINALS on April 12th (4-2 victory over Kelly’s Leg), step two was SEMI-FINALS on April 19th (6-5 win over FC Sorrento… sorry, no match report because I was suspended for this one). Today was time for step three

Our opponents for the big final were, none other than the regular season Division 2 champions. Finishing the year with 50 points (16 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses), as well as a goal differential of +48 (95 goals scored and 47 conceded) and the best defense of the season, our opponents were looking strong and we were undountedly in for a big challenge. Especially because our previous two encounters had both finished to the advantage of our opponents: we were defeated 3-4 in the first match (a freak game during which 3 of our players got injured, and where we had to finish the match 5 vs. 7) and 0-4 in the second (a match where we played so badly I was too depressed to even write a game report).

However despite match history favored our opponents, recent form put us at a slight advantage. We had not lost a single game since that famous 0-4 back in February, while in contrast, our opponents had to resort to penalty kicks in order to advance from their Semi-Final fixture. As a result, it was anyone’s game for the big final… but we wanted it more!!!

Attendance-wise, no change since our first playoff match. Kevin was still out with a wrist fracture, Santi still had not recovered from damaged knee ligaments and Eric had left town for an out-of-province Summer job (besides, he too was out injured still).

Fortunately however, everyone else reported for duty for the big game. Marco was back from suspension, Tim got rid of his work obligations, and we even had the last-minute surprise to see Danny present, as our Québecois wing-back postponed his flight to Miami for one day in order to play in the final game. That’s the MISN spirit!!!

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

Here was our line-up:

Keeper:   Jan  
Defense: Bruno / Marco Jon Alex / Danny
Offense: Tim / Can Bardia Nafee / Saber

We started the game with 8 players actually because, get this, one of the car groups (Marco, Can, and Danny) had to drop by Tevin’s place in order to return the Division 3 trophy from last year. Yeah, that’s Tevin’s new place all the way over in Bleury & St. Hubert!!! Fortunately, we arrived only 5-10 minutes late, with the game score still tied 0-0.

In the initial minutes of the match we had good ball possession throughout, passing the ball quickly, opening up on the wings, and shifting the ball back when necessary. Unfortunately despite our good plays forward, mtlsoccer scored on the first big opportunity they had, really, as we paid the price for not closing down their strikers sooner.

Dribbling with the ball from the midfield line one of the mtlsoccer players advanced forward, faked a pass to get by one of our defenders, then got within 15-20 yards and executed an accurate left-footed instep towards Jan’s left post. Our keeper couldn’t reach it, and it was 0-1 after only 10 minutes.

Tough break, but this was only the beginning. We continued to move the ball around, creating space with our quick overlaps and putting our players in good position to create danger. The through passes between Nafee, Can and Saber notably were keeping the mtlsoccer defense on their toes, and the added support of Alex, Danny and Marco on the wings gave us additional solutions where to pass the ball. Saber, Can, and Marco tried their luck from distance a few times, before we finally pulled through the mtlsoccer defense and re-established the tie. A good passing combination on the left side between Nafee, Can and Bardia (I think?) ended up with the ball being passed across goal, and as a mtlsoccer defender tried to intercept it, he ended up clearing it into his own net! 1-1!!

Following our goal we were really carried forward by momentum, as our opponents were being pressured back into their own half. Sometimes their strikers would occasionally pierce through our midfield (and put our defense and Jan in tricky situations) but we generally got the best of them. Meanwhile however, we continued to pound on the mtlsoccer goal, getting successive scoring chances that were kept out of the net by sheer luck (for our opponents!) alone. We must have hit the post like at least 2-3 times, and every time the mtlsoccer defenders managed to clear the danger before we could go for the winning tap-in.

The half thus ended on a 1-1 scoreline, with everything still left to play for in the second period. We were playing well however, our movement and passing had made us dominate the first 25 minutes, so all we needed to do was keep up what we were doing, and perhaps pay a little more attention in defense.

In the second half we really got things going, multiplying our runs and offensives at the opposing goal. On a few counter-attacks notably, we had what can only be defined as “golden chances” to get in the lead, in particular through Tim and Bardia.

On the first chance, a great turn-over run by Tim brought him to exchange passes with Can on the right wing, and receive the return pass wide open in the center (the control, turn, and poked flick by our Turkish striker was awesome by the way), but Tim‘s one-time finish towards the bottom-left corner was deflected into touch! Minutes later, another good Can pass from the right wing set up Bardia in front of the goal (all alone, 5 yards out!) but our Iranian playmaker’s finish was over and wide!!! In his defense, Can’s pass was bouncing and hard to hit one-time, but what a huge miss that was!

With all these missed chances, one had to wonder if we weren’t going to be biting our nails later on. We almost did in fact, as mtlsoccer started hitting back and create a few opportunities of their own. On a scramble following a set pieces, they even managed to hit the post before our defense cleared the danger, but otherwise we were really starting to feel the pressure on counter-attacks. Nafee got even very close to being sent off, as he tripped one of the mtlsoccer players from behind during a breakaway, and almost picked up his second yellow card of the game. MISN dodged a big fu**ing bullet right there.

Our worst fears were however realized in the final 5 minutes, when Jon attempted a dangerous dribble, lost the ball in offence and set up the mtlsoccer counter. Getting loose on the left wing, one of their strikers managed to make a run all the way to the edge of our box, and put the ball across in the middle. Trying to intercept it, Jon ended up deflecting it into Jan’s net, leaving our Slovakian nº1 helpless. 1-2.

We were speechless. Having dominated the entire game, we were now trailing by one with less than 5 minutes to go, because of a stupid mistake. However this was no time for a mental collapse, and even with a few minutes left to play we needed to try. We subbed off our defensive players, leaving only 2 defenders at the back and pushing everyone else forward. These were really the final minutes, so there was not much we had to lose.

Just when we were thinking of substituting Jan for an extra field player, we finally caught a break!!! On the developments of a corner-kick from the left side, the ball bounced back and forth, eventually landing towards Bardia right in front of the goal. Before the ball dropped to the ground, our Iranian playmaker somehow managed to get a touch on it with his foot (call it a new Persian kung-fu technique or something) and send it past the goalkeeper’s arms into the net!!!! With less than 30 seconds to go, we had managed to tie the game 2-2!! The referee called full time practically right after, sending the game into a one-half 5 minute overtime!

We had momentum back on our side now, so it was time to go for the kill. Unfortunately though, not much happened in the ensuing 5 minutes of extra time, and the game eventually proceeded to PENALTY KICKS. Winning the coin toss, mtlsoccer decided to shoot first (and remember: in Lachine matches there are only 3 kickers, not 5).

The first shooter for mtlsoccer stepped up, and it was a player who had been complaining the entire match. We had the feeling the badmouthing was going to come back to haunt him… and it did!! His low strike on the ground was off the mark and wide!! Still 2-2!!

Can stepped up to take the first kick for MISN… and scored towards the right, sending the keeper the wrong way! 3-2!

The second mtlsoccer shooter stepped up, their nº9 player (who had played a very good game, running everywhere and dictating pace). Keeping his cool, he sent the ball towards the top-left corner. Jan had dived the right way, but couldn’t reach the shot. Goal3-3.

Our second shooter was Alex, and just like Can did for the first shot our player sent the keeper the wrong way, this time shooting towards the left. Goal!! 4-3!!

The last shooter for mtlsoccer had a big weight over his shoulder, and from his run we could tell he wasn’t exactly radiating confidence. Short run, shot… wide!!!!!!! 4-3 and game over!!!!!!!! MISN Impossible were Division 2 PLAYOFF CUP CHAMPIONS!!!!

Oleeeeeeeee oleee oleee oleeee… oleeeeeeee oleeeeeeee!! :) ))))))))
.MISN Impossible 4-3

4-3 final score

(own goal)

Yellow cards:

Awesome come-back boys, a victory in pure MISN-style! I really wish one of these days, that we’d manage to win a cup without going through all the drama, but I guess that is… impossible! We have really chosen our team name well huh? :)

I’d like to thank everyone for your participation, contribution, and efforts to the cause! Some of us got lost on the way due to injuries and various other reasons, but this victory today is as much yours as it is ours! After a rocky regular season we have proven that in the end, we were the better team. We just lacked a little bit of consistency that’s all.

For those of you who aren’t staying in Montreal in the coming months, have a great Summer (particularly Danny, who has been given the mission to create a MISN-branch down in Miami, Florida) and be sure to come back visit us some time. For all the others, I’ll be seeing you soon for the Summer league!

Take care guys, and long live MISN!!