Last Saturday, our senior team had an important match vs. Japan as our goal is to end in the top 6 of the league… Obviously, a loss would have put us into trouble. As Japan FC is usually well organized (most teams struggle against them), we came up with a special game plan and strategy. We opted for 3 at the back and 2 wing backs going forward and only two players up top. By doing so we knew we could withhold Japan’s counter-attacks. We were very happy to have Juliano back in the goal after a 3-month long injury as his experience and involvement in the game are essential to give our defense confidence.
Japan did get several corners but with the whole team back to defend them we could prevent any danger. It was our pressing with the whole team that caused problems for Japan and we get stronger and stronger as the game went on. It was a super straight pass from George flying over the two Japanese central defenders which gave Junior a chance to shoot his shot was weak but just hard enough to roll the ball over the line as the Japanese goalie came out at first. That goal boosted our spirits going into halftime.
With a new coach board supplied by Masa-san Pat tried to explain what needed to be done in the second half. Japan was very disciplined in the way they played… Never rushed or panicked and just waited for the one or two opportunities and they did get a few! One time it was the post that helped us and the other time it was Juliano who saved us. Our legs were getting tired but we had several youth players on the bench and the fresh legs helped. Romain as well saved us coming on as a late sub with a super tackle in the box.
The match was about our team spirit as ONE team and it was great we got rewarded with a victory and three points after our hard work. Let’s keep this momentum and work hard at the training and be ready for our next important match against Voodoo Child. It is a must-win game for us to end in the TOP 6 after the first round of the league.
Freek & Pat