Senior team still looking for the right recipe

Last Saturday, senior team was had an important game vs. Shanghai Cosmos FC given our SIFL league ranking so far. Coach Medhi highlighted before the game that only a win “will do” in order to launch our season. The recipe for that game consisted in a 4-2-3-1 with David and Peter as defensive midfield while Houssam was given the striker role for the 1st time of the season.

In the 1st 20 minutes, the game was balanced with both teams battling for the ball-possession in the midfield. Cosmos’ tactic was clear trying to play long balls towards the head of their “pivot” striker to launch 2nd forward who had the speed. The bet on our side was to play on the wings… However, we were not making the right choices rushing our passes instead of playing simple in 2 or 3 touches.

In the 2nd part of the first half, we started to suffer more with many mistakes in our controls and our passes. Our collective pressing (without the ball) also was not good enough… As a consequence, space was too wide for our defensive midfields who had no choice to get lower on the pitch close to our defense. 5mn before halftime, the inevitable happened… On a cross from Cosmos Romain arrived 1st, cleared the ball but it got deflected by the feet of their striker into our net. Unlucky!

During halftime, emphase was given on a few recipe:

  1. Better control & passes
  2. Better use of the speed of our strikers as Comos defense was their weak point
  3. Try to press more collectivly to avoid our team being cut in two
  4. Improve our physical impact on 2nd balls

[ SIFL ] Shanghai Lions FC 1-3 Shanghai Cosmos FC

This is what we did in the first 15mn of the 2nd half. Unfortunatly, on a trivial construction starting from the defense, Hira tried to give back the ball to Tim our goalkeeper… The ball got intercepted by Cosmos’ striker for the 0-2. We kept on fighting but Cosmos scored again 10mn later by one of their subsitute… The guy was probably the smallest guy on the pitch and managed to score between 3 of our guys. Just too easy! It’s hard to win when you gift away 2 goals like that 🙁

In the remaining time, we kept on trying but Cosmos were kind of “in control” and as usual the referee level didn’t really healp. On the positive side, we managed to score one with Ryan on a close range. Too late for a coming back…

Let’s be honest, this defeat is a bit hard to swallow… As Michel Platini used to say:

What is fundamental in the game is control and passing.

For a team like us, the fundamental recipe is our football technic being to the minimum standard… If not, it’s hard only to compete on the physical dimension  with teams such as Cosmos.

Let’s focus on training then next Tuesday. We will have another extremely important game next Saturday vs. Shanghai Pures FC. Once again, only a win “will do”.


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