Senior team into Hebiguchi Cup quarter-finals
While our defeat 2 weeks ago against Japan FC still feel bitter, we were facing Japan again in SIFL Hebiguchi Cup for a spot in quarter-finals. We did come up with a strategy and the key was that all the players would listen and execute the plan.
We decided to defend first from top to bottom and sit back instead of pressing forward. Japan struggled to find their free players on the wings and got lost in the crowded midfield. Therefore they started to play with long balls which beside one time when the ball landed behind our defense were easy for us to defend.
We ourselves created opportunities through our defensive wingers Hira-san and Hugo but our youth forward JP unfortunately missed from close range. It was a warning sign for Japan that more trouble was to come for them. Most of the time Peter and Cyril (our 2 defensive midfied) were able to intercept Japanese play and intitate our counter-attacks.
After good combinations from the midfield it was Hsam who in a split second thought he was Ibrahimovic and was set to make a bicycle kick however his body didn’t come of the ground instead his effort ended up on the right side where Hira-san was happy to score with a low strike and he gave us a deserved 1-0 lead.
Luckily we had a solid bench with fresh legs which is always handy against Japan and we started the second half with the same style of play. Ryan took the place of JP upfront and he looked sharp and hungry he had a great left foot strike which was just kept out by their goal keeper. We got several corners and caused more trouble to Japan. It was from scramble after a corner that Peter found the net and gave us a 2-0 lead.
Soon after it was an act of brilliance of Cyril who with one super pass put Ryan alone in front of the keeper behind the Japanese defenders he didn’t hesitate to take the chance and scored our third goal.
Obviously our mood was getting better as the game went on and we tried to push forward and score another goal but a misunderstanding between Pat and Jay our youth keeper who replaced the injured Tim let Japan get back a goal. In the end when the final whistle blew we were all smiles as we almost forgot what it was to win a game.
On January 15th 2022, we will play the quarter-finals against Fireballs. Before that, we will pay against Reunited on Saturday. We are looking forward to a great game of football followed by our Christmas Party at RAC.