Reserves Impress, First Team Draws - 10/21 Weekend Recap

First Team

The Kickers team started off on the right foot 10 minutes into the game, with a goal by Brian Morris. The goal was orchestrated by a dangerous transition play that started from the Kickers’ defensive end and led to a great through ball by Mathias. The team struggled for possession due to simple mistakes which have plagued them this year. Soon after the opening goal goal, the Kickers conceded from a shot from the top of the box that seemed to come out of nowhere. After reverting back to a 4-4-2 to shore up the back line the Kickers continued to push forward. A long ball from GK Ryan V found Brian Morris, who got a shot off that took a weird bounce and made its way into the goal for the 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, as it happened against Stal Mielec, FC Uliqini tied the game with ten minutes left when a counter led to a cross from the left side and a very nice finish by the opposing forward. Ryan V came up with a few big saves throughout the match to earn MVP, and the Kickers left with a 2-2 tie.

Reserves

The reserves were in the unfamiliar position of looking up the table at their opponents and played as if they had something to prove. It proved enough for a 2-1 victory for the Kickers to flatter FC Ulqini; Kickers dominated throughout, allowing only a two shots on target and peppering the Ulqini goal with shots and pressure. Antonio looked to continue where he left off last week (a two goal performance) when he forced the Ulqini keeper into an exceptional save within the first ten minutes. The pressure didn’t let off with close calls coming off of corners, open play, and even throw ins. Incredibly, the athletic Ulqinians managed to withstand the pressure for the entire half, and even created one chance of their own, that stand in keeper Jared Hirschowitz made light work of.

The second half proved more eventful, as a run by Pat Robak carved the Ulqini defense open before laying the ball off for Gio LoMonaco to expertly finish from the top of the box. Five minutes later, the Kickers went route one with a goal kick by Jared being flicked on for David Anderson to run on to. Composed and calm, David took his time before beating the keeper with a low shot into the far left corner.

Then things took a turn for the worse. The fitness of the opponents lead to late challenges by the Kickers, and a miscommunication with the referee caused a player to be sent off for a second yellow, even though it was unclear that he had received a first one. The ensuing free kick was finished off expertly by the best player on Ulqini, with an outside of the boot curler beating Jared. If anything, this focused the Kickers up, and Ulqini didn’t get a second chance to tie the game up. Final score, 2-1.

Over-30 Premier

The Over-30 Premier team only had 11 players which required a few players to play out of position against the CP Old Bhoys. A giveaway in the defense zone lead to the chip of our GK assisted by the wind and the Kickers were down 1-nil in the 15th minute. Khouri Mullings (MVP) attacked the oppositions defense and scored the equalizer a few minutes later.

In the second half, the Kickers needed to take better care of the ball and play simple defense to have a chance to come out on top, but they did not, CPR to score an easy goal in the 50th minute. The one bright spot was the goal scored by debutant Kristian Tirri in the 55th minute (assist by Khouri), but the Kickers struggled to create more of a threat after that. In the remaining minutes, CPR was able to find space and time inside the penalty area to strike home two more and put the game out of reach. CPR also missed a few late breakaways which kept this game from getting ugly.

Over-30 Legends

Kickers Legends played their best game of the season to date against the one the top teams from last season.

Playing America FC 1927 deep in New Jersey, Legends outplayed their opponents, whom they had never beaten, to an emphatic 4-0 win.

The Jerseyites started the game on the wrong foot, pinned in their half by the onslaught of attacking runs by Joe, Wale, Yadh and Dan. Wale was taken down in the box for an obvious penalty, but it was not given. Perhaps realizing his error, the referee promptly gave one when Dan was soon fouled as well, this time a bit gentler. Wale stepped up to the spot, kicked straight at the keeper, then stepped forward to bury the bouncing rebound, but crashed it off the top of the bar. There were immediate fears that this was going to be ‘one of those days’ quickly dissipated when midfield maestro Kevin sliced a pass through to an unmarked Joe, who, unchallenged, did not miss from 20 yards. Appearing not to realize their offsides trap was faulty, America stood and watched collectively twice more as Joe and then Yadh carried the ball unchallenged towards goal for easy tap-ins for Yadh and Wale, and the Kickers led 3-0 at half time.

In the second half, Legends adjusted to the Americas’ packing of the midfield by also shifting to a more defensive 4-5-1, resulting in a more measured, defensive posture. This effectively kept out the skillful Americas, yet created enough opportunity for Man of the Match Kevin Adamson-Jackes to score with a thumping header off a corner. The defense of Tim, DJ, Jesse and Jef, combined with the safe hands of Ulrich, gave America FC little opportunity to stage a come back.