FC Irlande 1sts

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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 - Coin du balais FC
#4 September 29, 2018 Choule Auderghem 1 - FC Irlande 1sts
#5 October 6, 2018 FC Irlande 1sts - Mtm Fc 1
#6 October 13, 2018 La Lorraine Rfc 1 - 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

  • Karim 1
  • Sean Plaice 1
  • Vince 1
  • Sigve 1
  • Andrea 1
  • Thomas P. 1
  • Kevin 1

Top goals assists

  • Vince 3
  • Nair 1
  • Thor 1
  • Thomas P. 1
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