DBFC 3 – 1 Club Tropicana

9th December 2017 at Happy Valley Pitch 2 with 4:30 pm kick-off

Squad: Yanou (GK), David and Nathan S (CBs), Christian (LB), Rodders (RB), Kieran R (CM), Pascal (CM and Captain), Jamie (LM), Darius (RM), Matt H and Sabian (Forwards): subs: Matt Z, Morse, Robbie and Matt Mills

Scorers: Matt Hoare x2 (assists Sabian Cooper x2) and Sabian Cooper (assist Matt Zoeller)

This was the second round of the Champions League Cup and DBFC now qualify for the quarter finals against the league leaders (Forward FC) to take place on 20th January 2018. The match day was one of extremes for DBFC management: from a low of only having 10 players at 1:00 pm to having 15 players for kick-off at 4:30 pm at Happy Valley Pitch 2. Pascal was the first to come forward having recovered from flu, then Matt H and Sabian Cooper shortly after following Sabian’s arrangement with a late flight back to Spain and then both Robbie and Matt Z were convinced by David to shelve their hangovers and to help. So in the end we had a very strong side to play this cup game.

The game started at a frantic pace with both sides struggling to get their passing going. However, DBFC soon got going and put the pressure on the Tropics goal but like a true arm wrestling competition, the pressure was soon reversed to be on the DBFC goal. The breakthrough came from DBFC when a good passing move got the ball down the left between Christian and Jamie and into the Tropics box to be cleared but only to the DBFC midfield that sent it back round to the right side. Rodders played in Darius for a bit of trickery back into the Tropics box to pass to Sabian who sent the ball back to just outside the Tropics 18 yard box for Mathew H to crack a great shot into the corner of the Tropics net giving their keeper no chance. Tropics pressured in the remaining 15 minutes of this first half in search of an equalizer and came close when a Tropics midfielder picked up a loose ball at about 20 yards out to rifle a shot against the DBFC cross bar. However, DBFC did enough to see out the first half with a 1-0 lead.

At half time Gazza praised every player’s performance and commitment and asked for the same energy levels and to keep talking to help each other and shouts of encouragement. Rodders (feeling a little run down pre-match) came off and Christian went over to right back and Morse on at left back. Darius came off and Sabian moved to right mid and Matt Z to CF. David (needing to get ready for his company party) came off to be replaced by Robbie at Centre Back. Matt Mills (not fully recovered from his ankle injury) agreed to hold off coming on in case of injury replacement.
The second half DBFC were on top and pressured the Tropics goal regularly but it was Tropics to score an equalizer from a soft penalty awarded by the referee who, having ignored the first blatant dive by the Tropics forward, blew his whistle for the same player going down for another arguable dive just seconds later. Yanou had no chance against a well taken penalty to make the score 1-1 after only 10 minutes of play. DBFC immediately resumed the pressure play and were eventually rewarded with their second goal when Matt Z received the ball from Pascal and turned out to the right to play Sabian down the right wing and go past his player to rifle in a low cross just inside the Tropics box that Matt Hoare met and got his foot over the bouncing ball to guide it into the corner of the Tropics net and put DBFC 2-1 up. With only 10 minutes left to play Tropics went all out in search of the equaliser and in doing so left themselves vulnerable to a counter attacks. DBFC, having missed some great scoring opportunities to put this game to bed, got their third goal with the last play of the game when the tropics Centre Back under pressure messed his clearance straight to Matt Zoeller who turned to play in Sabian coming in off the right, to bang home the goal for a great win and a fitting end to Sabian’s guest appearance to his Discovery Bay home club.

Only 4 of us made it back to the pier bar with Gaffer Gaz noting some understandable excuses from the others: David suited and booted for his Company do, Rodders feeling under the weather, Yanou too young to drink, Matt H and Sabian dashing off to the airport to catch a flight, Kieran and Matt Z never going to drink again after the German’s xmas party the night before, Christian and Jamie dating, Darius a long journey home to Sheung Shui, Nathan having to finish Uni work and Matt Mills meeting friends. So Gazza, Morse, Pascal and Robbie flew the flag with some celebratory beers.

MOM: A number of shouts here not least those guys that changed arrangements to help out at last minute. Matt Mills for coming even with a sore ankle and agreeing to be standby when enough players showed, Sabian back in Hong Kong showed fine form with 2 assists and a Goal. However, this week’s honour goes to Matt Hoare for a non-stop energy performance and two great goals.

DOD: Now straight to mind is the 3 players that were pulled up by the referee for foul throws: Nathan, Rodders and Christian need refresher lessons on google. However, the award goes to Christian alone for having watched Nathan and Rodders getting pulled up in the first half and then listening to Gazza at half time saying it was silly and more care needed but still committing a foul throw.