FC Irlande 1sts

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After a disappointed 1-1 draw last week-end, it was mandatory to earn 3 points on this sunny Saturday. La Lorraine Rfc, a team that already lost 3 times since the beginning of this season seemed to be the right victim to beat for winning our 2nd game of the year.

After a terrible warmup on the carpark, we started the game with a 4-2-3-1 formation more focused than the during previous ones which gave us more confidence. For the most part of the 1st half, we had the possession and failed to score. Karim and Sean had a couple chances to score but unfortunately they didn’t. Then we started to slow down a little bit and played on their tempo, until a wonderful kick by Mika that took his chance for a long distance and  scored his 1st goal for his first appearance this year. After this goal, we finished the 1st period stronger even though La Lorraine had a huge opportunity to score. After a save by Slava, on the rebound they had an empty net but Thomas E made a big save for us. Without that save, it will be a tied game at halftime.

Starting the 2nd half with a goal advantage wasn’t that easy but we played with the same mentality than in the first half. Still having the possession, we created opportunities without scoring. Until a beautiful team goal scored by Nair. Pretty much all players touched the ball side to side before Karim showed his dribbling and passing abilities to serve Nair. Ten minutes after the start of the 2nd half, the new father Sylvain made his entrance on the pitch creating a chance to score another goal. But on a one-on-one facing the keeper, he felt without being touched by anybody. Later in the game and still with the possession against a team that was totally disorganized we capitalized for the third time with Karim at the finish. Another team goal, with a steal from Sylvain that gave the ball to Kevin that served Nair who passed the ball to Karim. It was now a 0-3 game but we were still hungry. And it wasn’t so long until the fourth goal was coming. Gaston recovered the ball to pass it to Kevin that scored the final goal of this game.

Game is over with a 0-4 win. A complete team effort with goals and the 1st cleensheat of the year for the team and Slava. It was hard for everybody to find the Man of the Match but with his incredible save that avoid a 1-1 game at the half Thomas E. well deserved the MOTM. We are now standing at the 7th place and have the chance to grab 3 points next week at home against the last team in the league (with 5 loss).

 

Goals : Mika, Nair, Karim, Kevin

 

Report by Kevin

It was a case two points dropped for the Firsts on Saturday, as despite dominating possession against a 10 man MTM side throughout the second half, they failed to break down a rugged MTM defence.

Pre-match, capitano supreme Tomito decided to stick with his trusted 4-2-3-1 system rather than reverting to the 3-5-2 wing back system which had proven so effective in the 2-2 comeback against Choule.

The first few minutes were a tight cagey affair. The visitors took the lead half-way through a corner. The MTM centre half met the cross, it was cleared off the line but broke straight to the same defender who comfortable placed his header past Slava into the net.

Things got worse as Andrea was forced off with a groin injury (Get well soon Andrea). The injury saw one of our many Toma’s come-on (Toma Otuszewski) with Toma Lecossois (Not Toma Wieme…) shifting across to left back. The shift worked out well for FC Irlande as soon after Tommy scored what was accurately described by Paul Stanton in the FC Irlande Whatsap group as “a wordly”. Cutting in from the left, he let fly with a 25 year screamer which nestled in the top corner, leaving the MTM keeper with no chance.

The second half begun promisingly for FC Irlande as MTM were reduced to 10 men when their striker was foolishly sent off for mouthing to the referee twice in succession – two stupid yellow cards equalling one very stupid red card. FC Irlande pressed. On came Gastan for Cillian, Kevin for Tommy. In the latter stages Sigve was moved up top but to no avail as we failed to get the decisive goal.

Overall, a disappointed point given our procession dominance and positive performance the previous week. Next up is La Lorraine. Let’s get back to winning ways boys!

MOTM: Tommy “what a goal” Lecossois for a solid performance and a contender for the Puskas 2019 award (Well if Mo Salah can win for that goal, then why not Tomito?).

 

Report by Cillian

Choule Auderghem 2-2 FC Irlande

September 29th, 2018

FC Irlande Firsts put in a late surge to come from two goals down and claim a draw against Choule Auderghem, keeping the lads in the top half of the table after four matches.

Sean Gibson’s equaliser, after Andrea had halved the deficit only minutes earlier, was greeted by the FC Irlande director of football with a due display of exuberance on the touchline – alas, nothing that was caught on camera, however.

The visitors’ turn of fortune stemmed from changes made at the interval, with the side trailing two-nil. Playing more through the opposition rather than over them, with a switch from 4-5-1 to 3-5-2 and with the introduction of Tim in the centre of midfield, Irlande’s efforts began to yield better results.

The team found themselves chasing the game after a low-intensity first half, where a couple of errors received maximum punishment from a Choule team who, while comfortable in possession, were hardly threatening to tear Irlande apart.

The hosts broke the deadlock moments after Sean G had headed a Sean P cross inches wide at the back post; a long punt forward found that sweet spot between all the Irlande defenders, and in nipped the Choule striker to nod past an onrushing Darragh. Chasing the ball in, Sigve was half a step away from hooking it off the line – but it just trickled beyond him into the corner of the net.

The home side then showed themselves to be happy in possession, even more so for a fairly deep Irlande line that allowed them to advance well into the opposing half before meeting serious challenge. At the other end, Choule’s defence was proving equal to Irlande’s through balls and aerial assaults.

Barring one chance – where Karim flicked through to Sean G, who lost his marker in the left channel before drilling the ball into the goalkeeper’s arms – the visitors offered little threat. All the more disheartening, then, when the hosts chucked a nothing cross into the Irlande box, which was met with a scuffed clearance and a poked finish from the Choule forward. Two-nil the score going into half time.

In the second period, though, the changes and Irlande’s new shape allowed more players to get forward and grind down a tiring opposition. All the same, Irlande initially struggled to test the Choule goalkeeper with meaningful attempts on goal, despite their greater control of the ball.

But the lads kept the faith and continued to pour forward. A couple of warning shots were fired at goal from midfield; crosses were cleared with increasing desperation. Eventually the pressure told – Tommy was teed up for a cross from the right-hand side, finding Andrea at the back post who had time to chest the ball down before stroking the ball past the keeper at close range.

With little more time left to waste in pursuing what had seemed an unlikely recovery, Irlande quickly followed up with their second. Playing out from the back, the Firsts executed a brisk passing play via Thomas O, Sean G, Tim and Karim – the latter a step ahead of his man, centring the ball for Sean G at the back post to bury the equaliser.

MOTM: Tim Hoedemaekers

Goals: Andrea, Sean G

Assists: Tommy, Karim

FC Irlande Firsts were sunk by a late goal against Coin Du Balai on Saturday, suffering their first defeat of the season on matchday three.

Having gone behind to an early penalty, the lads drew level only minutes later and enjoyed strong periods of play. Second-half injuries, however, hindered the search for a winner, before a mix-up in the Irlande defence handed the visitors the winning goal with only minutes remaining.

Both sides struggled to muster meaningful efforts on goal, with Irlande centre-halves Sigve and Thomas Wieme never tiring of repelling Coin’s aerial advances. There was one occasion, though, when Thomas was a touch over-zealous in his effort to halt the visitors – who duly dispatched the resultant penalty to take the lead.

At the other end, the Irlande attack looked most promising on the floor, but it was a long ball from Cillian in the midfield, after good pressure to recover possession, that released Nair through the middle to score the equaliser. The whereabouts of those two Coin centre-backs is still unknown, but thankfully Nair didn’t stop to ask any questions before powering the ball past the keeper into the net.

The hosts were in the ascendancy. Thomas Peeters harried a defender into a mistake in the penalty box, but the ball ran to safety. Then a great team move put Tommy clear away down the right – but he wasn’t able to lift the ball past the keeper, who had stayed on his feet well.

In the second half the game got a little more ragged and the visitors fought well to come back into the game. Nair, meanwhile, had begun to struggle with injury and his departure used up Irlande’s only substitution; not long after, Sigve suffered an awkward collision attacking a corner ball. Quickly the Firsts had to reorganise but the tide turned in the favour of the visitors, who increasingly came to control possession.

There were still chances – Sean Plaice met a Karim corner well with his right foot, but the keeper got down well to parry on the line; another corner saw the ball returned to Karim, whose second cross was headed over the bar by Sean Gibson.

Ultimately the depleted Firsts were undone five minutes from the end, when a pass from Cillian to Thor went awry and the visitors swept up the loose ball. The left winger scooped an assured finish into the far corner of the goal and nabbed all three points for Coin.

MOTM: Thomas Wieme

Goals: Nair

Assists: Cillian

 

Report by Sean Gibson

For our first away game of the season, the conditions were perfect. Beautiful weather, beautiful pitch and very strong 15-men squad!

The pre-match speech was very detailed and well done by our tacticians Tommy and Karim. And thanks to that, the boys in green were in the game from the start, quickly creating good chances by using the full width of the pitch. The first opportunity came from the left with some nice interplay between Thor and Andrea. They combined well before Andrea whipped in a precise cross between the six-yard box and the penalty spot, where Vince was waiting to finish off the move. But unfortunately he kicked the ball just over the crossbar… As Laurence used to say last year: “Mind your body position!”

5 minutes later, the LXG captain won the ball and started a counter-attack with a long direct ball to one of their strikers who was beaten in the air by Sigve. Unfortunately Sigve’s clearing header was intercepted by their second striker who took his chance with a nice long-range volley. 1-0 for LXG.

This was the right time to show them our Irish spirit and quality to quickly bounce back. Unfortunately though, this “lucky shot” gave LXG confidence and some extra energy which resulted in a couple of good chances for their Filipino striker during the minutes that followed to extend their lead. Though we had another good opportunity with Karim upfront, we were not able to quickly equalise.

10 minutes later though, shortly before half-time, we eventually did manage to equalise after Thor cut out LXG’s strong midfielders with a great long diagonal ball from our left half to Vince on the right wing, who managed to get it down, beat their last defender before hitting the back of the net with a neat cross-shot. 1- 1! Alas celebrations were quickly over after Lewis had to come off injured. Luckily with Thomas W. we had a strong replacement ready to come on.

We started the second half as strongly as we finished the first, with very quick, vertical passing from the back through our midfield to our forwards. After 5 minutes, a quick counter initiated by Sylvain resulted in a corner. Vince took it and managed to put a high ball between the six-yard box and the penalty spot that Sigvorano (Zamorano + Sigve) powered in with an unstoppable header. 1-2 for the visitors!

Shortly after, our “capitano” made two more changes, bringing on Thomas P. and Kevin for Karim and Nair.

At this point, LXG decided to change their strategy by putting one more upfront to increase the pressure on our backline.

But this didn’t affect the spirit of the very determined boys in green who managed to extend their lead after another fine ball from Thomas W. to Vince who extended it to Thomas P. down the right wing who adjusted a precise cross to the second post, where Andrea was lurking for his first goal of the season and to finish this nice team move in style. 1-3 it was!

Now one would think the game should be decided, that the Irish had down the hard part and only had to be keep the result. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, after a long high ball from their defence got into our box and the ref decided to give a soft penalty. Slava almost managed to keep it out but with a strong hand that deflected the ball against the crossbar before eventually crossing the goal line… 2-3. In his last substitution captain Tommy took himself off to introduce Thomas O.. Vince got the armband.

As we already experienced during the pre-season games, a strong team performance, with everyone fighting for each other and the green jersey until the final whistle, would be key to secure the 3 points.

And this paid off after another good combination that started on our left side, went through our midfield, from where Thomas W. passed it on to our right wing to Vince who’s first attempt to cross was blocked, but who managed to get the rebound and find Thomas P. in the middle of the box with his second attempt who nicely slotted the ball home. 2-4.

At this stage, our hard work during pre-season bear fruit, as we kept the tempo high while our opponent started to tire and grant us more space. We clearly got the upper hand and applied more pressure on their defence with quick movement and passing. One such move led to the fifth goal after a nice one-two between Sylvain and Vince finished by Kevin with a cracker under the crossbar! 2-5.

The fact that our five goals were scored by five different players, highlighted the strong team performance even more, especially against a team that is known for not conceding many goals.

Squad: Slava, Thor, Sigve, Sean P., Tommy, Lewis, Nair, Andrea, Vince, Sylvain, Karim

Subs: Thomas 0., Thomas P., Thomas W., Kevin

Goals: Vince, Sigve, Andrea, Thomas P. and Kevin

Assists: Thor, Vince (3) and Thomas P.

MOTM : Vince

 

Report by Vince

FC Irlande Firsts claimed a point from their first game of the season with a late equaliser at home to newly promoted Euro Union.

Sean Plaice’s long-range effort found the visiting goalkeeper off his line, and was fitting reward for the team’s efforts in the preceding 65 minutes.

The Firsts took an early lead through Karim, who tucked away the rebound when the keeper fumbled Nair’s original effort from the edge of the box.

Going behind appeared to fire some life into Euro Union, who swiftly delivered two goals to the turn the match around.

Firstly, a smart piece of skill on the left flank took out three Irlande players, allowing the charging Euro Union midfielder room to pick his pass to the forward, who took a quick touch before firing low into the net.

Buoyed by their equaliser, Euro Union pressed forward and won a succession of threatening set-pieces – but it was from open play that their second goal came. Having seen their first cross cleared, Union kept the ball in play by the corner flag, centring a second time for their centre-back to power a bouncing header past the goalkeeper.

Much of the rest of the game was spent in the visitors’ half, but Irlande struggled to turn their share of the play into clear opportunities. Crosses failed to connect, while a few half-chances were scuffed and blocked. As both sides tired, the game became scrappier and the temptation to match Union’s more direct style grew harder to resist.

But with only minutes to go, the gamble on more direct play indirectly paid off. Throwing the ball back to defender Sean, the visiting goalkeeper set off from his line in anticipation of another deep cross into his area. That was all the invitation the Irlande man needed to loft the ball over the stricken stopper’s head and into the unguarded goal.

There was still time for a Union player, who hadn’t long been substituted onto the field, to leave a horrible mark on the game – and Nair’s leg. A completely brainless lunge in the midfield earned the perpetrator a red card, and Nair a trip to the hospital for some stitches. Having been kicked up and down the pitch all day by some of the less cultured opposition players, Nair more than earned his man-of-the-match award – it definitely wasn’t a sympathy vote. Definitely not.

A good point for the Firsts, then, and a fair result for all the lads’ hard work; with the addition of a little more incisive play in the opposition half, these kinds of matches can be turned into wins throughout the rest of this season.

MOTM: Nair

Goals: Karim, Sean Plaice

Assists: Nair

 

by Sean Gibson

It is on a beautiful grass pitch and under a warm sun that FCI 1st started its second friendly game this Saturday against Entente for the preparation of the 2018/19 season.

Four periods of 20 min and unlimited subs to test different configurations and players.

 

Actually it is with a good mix of “old” and new FCI players that Ireland started the first period. The first 10 minutes saw the Entente team mostly absent and disorganized, however FCI did not take advantage of it to bring some danger in front of their goal: only some shots from 20m outside the goal frame.

It is then with more confidence that Entente finished this first period using their good (indoor football) skills to make the difference in midfield and deliver good balls to their strikers who touched twice the posts of Eike’s goal.

After a short break, FCI came back on the pitch with a bit more of aggressiveness and a higher defense line lead by Thor and Thomas O. to press Entente midfielders. This lead to more spaces and balls for Irish strikers: Andrea received a nice ball from left wing, chest control and volley in one move finally blocked by Entente’s keeper; on left wing (again!) Robbie cleverly attracted and spread the opponent defense before to perfectly serve Sylvain, alone in center, who had just to softly win his duel against the keeper with a crossed shot. 1-0 for FCI!

 

The third period starts with an even higher and more aggressive pressing, lead in center midfield by Moubarrak who strongly disturbed Entente midfield. It is after a such pressing that Robbie found Karim on right wing who adjusted a very accurate cross (right between keeper and penalty spot) to Andrea who closed this superb team movement. 2-0 for FCI. FCI pressure kept increasing on an Entente’s team who started to get overwhelmed and lose its mind. Robbie logically obtained a penalty after a desperate fault from Entente’s center back: Karim took his responsibilities. 3-0 for FCI.

Short break to confirm the strategy: keep pressing high and strong and play as much as possible on ground using our great team organization. The game was definitely into FCI’s hands and except some isolated shots which allowed Eike to dazzle the public with some nice stops, Entente could not create any danger. At mid-period, on  a new collective attack from FCI, Luis got the ball just before surface line and triggered a powerful shot in the opposite top corner, superb! 4-0 for FCI. As it is the culture in FCI, everyone played until the last minute, and it is on a very collective movement enhanced by Moubarrak and Thomas W. passes, that Kevin scored the final goal. 5-0 for FCI!

 

Very good performance which is a good omen for the beginning of the official season next week.

Moubarrak obtained a well diserved Man of the Match for his impressive game!

Amb. Auderghem 2-3 FC Irlande
FC Irlande took a comfortable 3-2 victory over Ambiance Auderghem in this pre-season friendly, though they could have won by a greater margin.
Nonetheless it was a strong team performance against a possession-hogging opposition.  A strong start saw Irlande stealing the ball numerous times in the opposition half, building good pressure before Vince finished an incisive move, prodding home Thomas Earl’s through pass.
Ambiance kept the ball well thereafter, but were unable to do anything with it in the face of Irlande’s strong positional discipline and alert marking. A little way into the second half Sylvain and Thomas Peeters combined to release Vince, who beat his man on the right side of the area before firing low across goal into the bottom corner: 2-0 Irlande.
The home side looked deflated – but not for long, soon gifted a route back into the game by a very soft handball call by the referee, resulting in a penalty. Ambiance’s midfield playmaker, No. 8, hit a strong finish into the bottom-right corner to reduce the deficit.
As both sides tired, gaps appeared and mistakes became more frequent. Nair appeared to have put the game to bed with a little over 10 minutes to play, latching onto a short backpass and rounding the keeper to make it 3-1 to Irlande.
But only a few minutes later, at the other end, a misjudged header in the Irlande backline allowed the Ambiance winger in, with time to let it drop before powering the ball into the roof of the net.  It made for a slightly nervy, scrappy last few minutes, but Irlande retained their composure well and saw out the victory.
MOTM: Sylvain
Goals: Vince x2; Nair
Assists: Thomas Earl; Thomas Peeters; the Ambiance back-four.

All fixtures and results

#1 August 25, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts 3 - 2 Report Ambiance Auderghem 2
#2 September 1, 2018 Entente RACB 1 0 - 5 Report FC Irlande 1sts
#1 September 8, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts 2 - 2 Report Euro Union
#2 September 15, 2018 Lxg Cinquantenaire 2 - 5 Report FC Irlande 1sts
#3 September 22, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts 1 - 2 Report Coin du balais FC
#4 September 29, 2018 Choule Auderghem 1 2 - 2 Report FC Irlande 1sts
#5 October 6, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts 1 - 1 Report Mtm Fc 1
#6 October 13, 2018 La Lorraine Rfc 1 0 - 4 Report FC Irlande 1sts
#7 October 20, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts - Brussels Ltc 1
#8 October 27, 2018 Jefke Country 1 - FC Irlande 1sts
#9 November 3, 2018 Portugal Fc 1 - FC Irlande 1sts
#10 November 10, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts - Entente RACB 1
#11 November 17, 2018 Tourinnois Fc 1 - FC Irlande 1sts
#12 November 24, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts - Higgins 1

FC Irlande 1sts

  • Captain : Tommy Lecossois

Top goals scorers

  • Andrea 2
  • Karim 2
  • Kevin 2
  • Nair 2
  • Sean Plaice 1
  • Vince 1
  • Sigve 1
  • Thomas P. 1
  • Sean G. 1
  • Tommy 1
  • Mika 1

Top goals assists

  • Vince 3
  • Nair 2
  • Karim 2
  • Thor 1
  • Thomas P. 1
  • Cillian 1
  • Tommy 1
  • Gaston 1
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