DBFC 2 – 1 J Leaguers

Venue: Tin Yip Road Park, Tin Shui Wai.       Time: Saturday 16th April 2016 Kick-off 16:30.

Squad: Gianluca, Morse, David, Phil, Alessio, Sahil, Syd, Stefano, Jonny, Scott, Matt Z, Reto, Sam and Michel.

It wasn’t the easiest week getting a team together, but we’ve had worse. By Friday we had 13 players, a pretty solid team. Unfortunately on Saturday morning Ben failed a late fitness test and Sahil was feeling dodgy with the flu.  Fortunately, Morse agreed to come and help us out last minute and Sahil was able to pop a few pills and help out.

It was a first time for most at this new state of the art astro (4G) pitch, which is in the backend of nowhere with the high-rise of Shenzhen in the back-ground. However, it was later concluded that the ten minutes extra travel time was worth the effort for the very nice changing rooms and a very nice large open pitch.

Matt Z took the warm up and manager Gaz outlined the team in the traditional 4-4-2 formation: Gianluca (GK), Morse (LB), David & Phil (CBs), Alessio (RB), Sahil (LM), Syd and Stefano (CM), Jonny Haines (RW), Scott Holmes (AMC) and Zol (up-top). The substitutes being Reto, Sam and Michel.

DBFC started the game well. Little Syd controlling the ball well in the midfield and Stefano breaking down most of the J-Leaguers’ attacks. These attacks were mostly confined to long balls over the top to their talented striker, but the defense worked well to largely mark him out of the game. DBFC had a few chances to score in the opening 30 minutes, with Jonny, Scott, Matt Z and Sahil all coming close. However, it was J Leaguers who opened the scoring after about 25 minutes, against the run of play, following their corner. The DBFC clearance broke to Syd at the edge of the 18 yard box and he saw the opportunity for a fast counter attack but as he flicked the ball up and quickly turned, it hit his hand. The referee blew for a penalty, which was a very harsh decision, and no matter how the DBFC players complained and tried to explain Syd’s arms were firmly at his side, the referee was not changing his mind. DBFC got on with it and the J-Leaguers’ striker took his penalty. Gianluca dived the right way but unfortunately the shot had just too much power on it. JLeaguers 1 – 0 DBFC.

From the resulting restart, DBFC scored a contender for goal of the season from fantastic quick interplay mainly between Matt Z and Sam Riley, who had come on 5 minutes early on the left of mid-field to replace Sahil. Matt Z taps the re-start to Michel, Michel passes back to Stefano, Stefano passes to David, David passes to Syd, Syd passes to Stefano, Stefano passes it out wide left to Sam who holds it for a few seconds, Sam then plays a pass and move down the line with Stefano, runs down the line, plays a one two with Matt before skinning his man and putting Matt one on one with the keeper to finish off a fantastic move. J-Leaguers didn’t touch the ball and it was 1 – 1. Another change just before this goal was that Jonny came off from the right mid-field, Scott went to that position and Michel went up front with Matt.

For the remainder of the half DBFC continued to press pushing for another goal before half-time. This left DBFC open to the counter attack, mainly down the opposition’s right, but Morse was more than equal to the task. Good defending became DBFC’s platform to attack – again Syd and Stefano pulling the strings and playing some nice passes up to Matt via Sam. Matt lays off the ball to Stefano who shoots from the edge of the box, only for it to be blocked by a J-Leaguers player. To the surprise of most, the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the spot. He had adjudged the J-Leaguers’ defender to have handled the ball when blocking —- again a very harsh decision but DBFC saw it as atonement to the hand ball decision against them.  Up steps Zoeller to score his second goal and prance around in celebration like a gay Egyptian Pharaoh.

Half Time – Team talk focused on positives but with advice for the defence not to sit so deep and to push up more. Scott came off for a breather and Reto went on at right midfield. The subs for the wing men would continue given the amount of work they were seeing and the hot humid conditions. The recovering Sahil looked like he may be sick at any time J

The second half was mainly one way J-Leaguers’ traffic, with DB only getting a few opportunities on the counter (some they should have put away and sealed the game). The J-Leaguers had changed formation and pushed Nakamura san higher in attack, resulting in the DBFC defence being pinned back and unable to push up. Alessio was on a yellow card and Nakmura san was operating on his left side up against Alessio. Alessio saw that it would be inevitable he would foul at pace so called to Gazza for a substitution. After 10 minutes Jonny came on at right back and alessio off. The DBFC defence was working very hard and after 20 minutes cramp had set in on Phil’s calf so Alessio returned back-on to replace him at centre back. DBFC did well to soak up the pressure, winding down the clock, with Gianluca making two great saves from the J-leaguers Nakmura san. At about 15 minutes to go Scott came back on for Michel and Sahil came back on for Sam. The J-Leaguers’ African forward was getting desperate, as the clock ticked down and they couldn’t find a way through the solid DBFC defence, he made what could only be described as the “dive of the century” – the most embarrassing, pirouette thing human kind has ever seen. The sound he made would remind someone of a goat being electrocuted. Morse was not pleased and luckily for us the referee was not convinced. In the aftermath, David got a yellow card for doing nothing; perhaps the referee thought he was Morse.

As the half came to a close, Zoeller had one or two good opportunities to seal the deal, but they just flew wide, much to his frustration.

A good win on a hot day and once again the beers tasted so much better at the beer bay.

MOM – Stefano

DOD – Jonny Haines for washing an elephant on his honeymoon.

Reported by David.