FC Irlande 3rds
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Lost 6-0 strong team on a synthetic pitch.. Not the best for us… We lost Faz who broke his nose… It was not a bad performance but when the players had 10 years less than us there is no surprise in the result. Motm Faz…
Thirds Drew against Bouks 1-1 another team fighting to avoid relegation. Since January this team that has been always in the relegation zone started to collect points finally filling the gap with other teams like Saint-Georges or Chiefs. Prior to this game, we were 5 points ahead of them so we knew it was important to get points and more importantely not to lose against them.
Given the good recent record of our opponent, our not so good record since January and difficult weather conditions, we were expecting a difficult game. A game that got more difficult as we had to give away our keeper Francois. Rafa volunteered to play keeper. We didn’t start well the game. After only 5mn, we conceded a goal. A long ball from Bouks own half found their right winger who run from the middle of the line to the box and then took a powerful shot on which Rafa couldn’t do anything. We tried to react but we lacked precision in our movements and Bouks gave us a lot problems. To be fair, we were quite lucky they didn’t score and we owe a lot to Rafa who saved us a couple occasions.
On 2nd half we pushed but the conditions got worse and our opponent showed great resistance and discipline. We were close to get even after a movement between Piet and Faz but Books keeper deflected the 1st attempt from Faz. Piet got the ball and tried to beat the keeper but he made another save. As time went by, it seemed unlikely we would found a way to score. Fortunately for us, Piet after a throw in was able to shoot from the edge of the box and equalised. A couple minutes later, the referee stopped the game.
Given the circumstances, a draw is a good operation. We avoided the worse and managed to maintain the gap between us and Bouks but it would be a good thing to get more points with the objective to keep our fate on our hands.
Line Up:Rafa/Georgie, Villu, Nicolas, Paddy/Pierre-Antoine, Faz, Piet/Sasha, Fatih, Sergiu
3rds lost 3 0 to st Georges 4. On our first game of the season, we had a great performance and won 3-1 but Saint-Georges showed great quality. So it was a bit surprising to see by the end of February this team in a bad position struggling to avoid relegation.
We knew we had to prepare for a big fight but in the end we never managed to compete against our opponents. On first half, we lost a lot of balls in the middle of the pitch and it led to some clear opportunities that Saint-Georges failed to convert. At half time it was 0-0 but Saint-Georges was controlling this game.
A few minutes into the 2nd half, Saint-Georges was given a penalty they converted. We tried to react but we lacked cohesiveness while Saint-Georges was having more space to proceed in counter attacks. Eventually they added 2 more goals. 3-0 the score is a bit harsh but the defeat is just logic. In the end it’s a disappointing result against a team who wanted more and showed quality. We are still not safe and we will need to raise our level if we want to avoid a bad surprise at the end of the season.
LINE UP: Laurent/Pierre-Antoine, Nicolas, Bruno, Ivo/Rafa, Piet, Sasha/Ionut,Max, Benedikt
Subs: Paddy (for Pierre-Antoine 40′), Fatih (for Max 35′)
A difficult game awaited us against Higgins a very offensive team capable to score a lot of goals thing we noticed when they dismantled us 4-0 on their turf. We knew it would be a challenge to contain them defensively. For this game, we had to give away Francois to the vets 1 who fights for relegation. Benoit from the 4th team, not a keeper but with a strong presence in the cage, stepped up to compensate Francois’s missing. And we should add brilliantly.
On first half he litteraly maintained us afloat with 3 big saves. We definitely struggled with a strong wind against us. Higgins had skillful players and they were pressing quite high. We resurfaced by the end of 1st half controlling a bit more tempo. So when the 2nd half begin, with the wind in our favor, we knew we would have a form of advantage.
Though Higgins was dangerous on some counter attacks, we dominated the 2nd half and Sergiu got a great opportunity to score but this time Higgins keeper realized a great save. Final score 0-0 a fair result.
Line Up: Benoit/Pierre-Antoine, Nicolas, Bruno, Ivo/Rafa, Faz, Rodrigo/Tibo, Sergiu, Ionut
Subs: Fatih (for Tibo 48′) Sasha (for Rafa 48′)
MOTM: Benoit for his fantastic performance
This month of January 2020 was definitely not good for us. For the 3rd time in a row, we lost a game 1-0 which is the most frustrating result you could imagine. As Guy Roux the legendary french coach used to say: “better losing 3-0 once than 3 times 1-0!”.
Contrary to last week, the 3rds had a better game and it’s fair to say we dominated the first half. However, our opponent Maccapsules stayed solid and never got out of position.
On second half, the game was a bit more balanced but there was more space and it felt like there was definitely the possibility to score. But in the course of the 2nd half, some of our players started to lose concentration because of some questionable decisions by the referee. They showed sign of frustrations and it was noticed by our opponents who targeted them and by the referee who started taking a lot of decisions against us.
To sum up there were at 2 situations in the box that should have led to a penalty for us. In the meantime, Paddy got pushed from behind by a Maccapsule player who then was able to shoot while going into the box and score. For the referee, there was absolutely nothing as he considered it was shoulder against shoulder. The only logical decision was Ionut red card after 2 yellows collected after exchanging some bad words with opponent but other than this, the referee was a total disgrace! In six years I have played in ABSSA, he is the worst referee I have ever had. And it’s not just the decisions but also the despicable attitude he showed us. A complete lack of respect. Having bad decisions against us happened, no one is perfect but when it’s only one sided and there are no signs of respect from the ref, it is not acceptable.
On the other hand, it is also our job to make sure the referee stay on our side or at least to be in good terms with him and we clearly failed to do that. At 10 against 11 we pushed to get the equaliser but Maccapsules controlled the game til the end and once again we lost 1-0. It was Nelson last game, we hoped we would celebrate his departure with a victory. Though brief, his tenure among the thirds was really helpful. Thank you Nelson!
Line Up: Francois/Pierre-Antoine, Richard, Nelson, Paddy/Bruno, Rafa/Tibo, Ionut, Sergiu/Max
Subs: Fatih (for Rafa 45), Georgie (for Max 50)
For our first game of this new decade, we played the leader of our group Scheut who beat us easily back in September 5-0. With a very solid squad, we were ambitious and hoped to take our revenge. Unfortunately, after 70 minutes of hard fight and a balanced game, Scheut got the last word.
10 minutes into this game, Scheut got the opener on their first opportunity. One of their midfield delivered a great pass from the middle of the pitch to his forward who chipped the ball and left no chance to our keeper Francois. We tried to react but it was difficult to make a difference against a very well organized team. Our best opportunity came from your narrator/captain who after intercepting a ball dribbled the goalkeeper and only have to push the ball to an empty net. Still haunted by the memory of this failed attempt to equalize, I can only say this: “Blame the wind not me! The wind pushed the ball away from the cage”. Anyway maybe I could have touched the ball one more time but I felt some defender was coming back and maybe I should have taken more my time. At the end of first half, Scheut was leading 1-0.
On 2nd half, we started well and increased pressure on Scheut players who faced problems dealing with the wind against them. In the 1st quarter of the 2nd half, we got two big opportunities. Stefan who made his entrance delivered a good cross on 2nd post, Benedikt was at the reception but his header went off target. Once again, it seemed the wind affected the trajectory of the cross that ended being a bit too long for Benedikt. On a free kick shot by Rafa, Stefan was this time at the reception of the ball, but his control was a bit too long and he could not aim the ball the way he wanted. Instead the goal deflected the ball above the crossbar.
After these two opportunities, Scheut seemed to take control of the operations and had more possession. They almost scored a 2nd goal on corner but it was saved on the line or maybe behind the line but the referee did not see it and let the game play. We did not manage to create anything dangerous during the last minutes of the game and so Scheut won and made the biggest operation of the table as Iris, 2nd on the table is now 7 points behind the leader.
At the end of this game, all that can be said is that the most realistic team won. Sometimes, the ball gets in and sometimes it doesn’t. Our performance was good but we were not just successful in our actions. Let’s try to continue to play seriously and we will get points. There’s no doubt to have about it.
Line up: Francois/Nelson Richard Bruno P-A/Rafa Piet/Benedikt Ionut Tibo/Rodrigo
Subs: Stefan (35′ for Tibo) Fatih (50′ for Rafa)
(CO)MOTM: 5 players with 4 vote each: Bruno, Piet, Richie, Francois and Pierre-Antoine
For our last game before celebrating Christmas, we played at home Chiefs for a second confrontation in 2 weeks. Several players were missing this Saturday especially in defense but we could count on a good dynamic following our two great recent performances.
We started perfectly our game with two goals scored in 10 minutes. Very quickly, we found space against a team that showed some disorganization while defending. On a corner kick, their defence cleared the danger but not for long as Sergiu who kicked the corner got the ball and from the edge of the box on a narrow angle shot the ball and surprised the keeper who probably expected another cross. The second goal came a few minutes after on a free kick, one boy in green was the first to get the ball and then a second green, Piet, was the quickest to follow and scored the 2nd goal. Once again, we were quite realistic but we also showed a capacity to punish the mistakes made by our opponent.
After these two goals conceded, Chiefs started to finally play and got progressively into the game. In the meantime, we became quite lethargic allowing our opponent to combine. We knew Chiefs had some skilled players and they proved it after a sequence of pass that led to a goal from outside the box. Chiefs finished the first half pressuring us while we operated in counter attacks. Sergiu almost had a 3rd goal on of these situations but the ball went off target for a matter of centimeters.
At the beginning of 2nd half, we knew we would have to get our feet on the ball more in order to secure the result. We knew also we would have for the last 35 minutes the wind with us. Instinctively, we found ourselves positioned higher on the pitch and more incisive while attacking. 10 minutes into this half, Piet scored once again on a free kick with a fantastic header that completely surprised the keeper and honestly he can’t be blamed! Piet was almost back to the goal when he jumped to get the ball. Maybe the wind helped him but it was the perfect execution of the best Vandamme of Belgium that got Chiefs to concede another goal.
As in 1st half, Chiefs tried to react but this time it seemed they started losing faith and they were attacking but there movements lacked synchronicity and this time we were not as passive in defense and quickly transitioned to attack when we recovered the ball. Ionut added a 4th goal on a beautiful free kick and a couple minutes later, the referee blew the final whistle of a game won 4-1.
With that 3rd victory in a row, we finished this first part of the season with 24 points and a 5th position on the table. Congratulations to all of you! We are in a good situation and we have our future in our hands to make a great second part of the season. Enjoy the holidays, don’t get fat and see you in 2020!
Line up: Francois/Benedikt, Nelson, Ivo, Lorenzo/Pierre-Antoine, Piet/Tibo, Ionut, Sergiu/Fatih
Man Of the Match: Piet, two goals and an impressive and yet ordinary activity in the middle cause after all it’s Piet! What else can you expect of him?
This Saturday, the Turds were playing in Anderlect in Jesse Owens stadium a venuewe got used to after playing many times our nemesis Sicula. This year though, we didn’t play Sicula there but SYB a team that has many Flemish players which is not ordinary in ABSSA league. At home, we found a solid opponent well organized and no goals were scored. This time, the game saw both teams creating many opportunities only we happened to be more realistic.
On a corner kick, 15 minutes into the game, Ionut opened the score with a perfect header. A few minutes later, Rodrigo playing the 1st half as centre forward delivered a great assist between two defenders to Tibo who presented himself alone against the keeper and beat the latter in order to score his first goal. SYB did not give up and showed determination. They finished first half with a lot of corner kicks in their favour. On one of these, we failed clearing out the danger and Villu while going for a header did not see his opponent who fell a bit too easily to the floor and obtained a generous penalty kick a couple minutes before the end of 1st half. Fortunately for us, François who did not have to make a single save last Saturday entered in action and blocked the penalty with, according to our ex-captain, his balls.
With a two goals lead, we started the 2nd half with maybe too much confidence and very quickly conceded a goal on free kick. SYB was definitely back into the game and pushed even more. We were struggling to build some dangerous counter attacks but there was definitely enough space to score again. After 10 minutes, Fatih and Max, our two subs got in the pitch and they would be the main protagonists on the situation that led to a 3rd goal. Fatih on the right wing crossed to the second post. The ball got deflected it seems by the defense of SYB but Max was prompt enough to get the ball 1st and scored his first goal of the season for the 3rds, a nice reward for such a valuable player who never counts his efforts.
From the bench, it seemed clear we would win this game despite the opponent trying to reduce the score. We added two other goals thanks to Sergiu. This year, Sergiu seems to enjoy shooting from long distance and once again our Romanian sniper found the top of the net from a 30m shot. Then Faz made a long and powerful from the middle of the pitch to the edge of the box to serve Sergiu who clinically placed the ball on second post. No other goals would be scored thanks again to Francois who made quite a few saves. Final score, 5-1 for the boys in green.
With this 3 points, the 3rds of FC Irlande reached their objective set in November which was to get at least 20 points before Christmas. Now that it’s done, we can see the future with more serenity and maybe some more ambition provided we get another victory at home for the last game in December.
Line up: Francois/Mario, Villu, Nelson, Paddy/Faz, Rafa/Tibo, Ionut, Sergiu/Rodrigo
Subs: Fatih (35’ for Rafa) Max (45’ for Tibo)
Man Of The Match: Francois for a 5 star performance and his balls of steel.
In a congested league with few points separating the masses between third and thirteenth, you can easily find yourself near the drop zone if you take your eye off the ball. And after a string of difficult games, with only 1 point from the last four matches, FCI3 arrived (somewhat haphazardly) at Stade Fallon on a cold afternoon determined to get a result and stay in touch with the top half of the table.
Captain Pierre-Antoine made it clear in the pre-match email that we needed to start with intensity and maintain it throughout, keeping it compact in the midfield to limit their space – we knew Chiefs were a good outfit and that we would have to bring the game to them to get anything out of the match.
We were confident from the start and imposed ourselves on the match, winning a lot of the 50-50 balls and putting in some good challenges from front to back. As the first half progressed, we began to put together some good passing moves to get into the final quarter, only missing that final pass to unlock the Chiefs defence. At the other end, Chiefs did make some good breaks spreading the ball wide into space, but were mostly restricted to long shots and their one good chance in the box put well wide. At half time the score remained 0-0 but both teams showed their intent by being back on the pitch after just a couple minutes break, raring to go for the second half. One change with Fatih joining the fray.
About 5-10 minutes into the second half, FCI3 took the lead. Some clever passing from defence to midfield found Fatih with some time on the ball just inside their half – he picked out Sergiu down the left wing with a pinpoint pass. With the fullback in his way, Sergiu pulled the ball back onto his right, took a touch away from the defender, and let fly with a curling shot which was only ever going to end up in the top right corner of the net! That got the adrenaline going and we stepped up the pressure to make sure we didn’t let this lead drop, as had happened a couple weeks ago against Sayano. Pierre-Antoine came on to add extra energy down the right and we made a number of breaks that came close to adding a second. It did come eventually, with a nice interchange between Pierre-Antoine and Benedikt on the right wing, Pierre-Antoine got into the box and put a perfect cross in for Ionut to connect with a glancing header. 0-2 up with about 10mins to go and we didn’t let up, controlling the match until the end.
It’s always nice to come out with a win but the overall performance was even more encouraging. Even onlooking President Dave was impressed with what he saw! It showed in the MOTM votes with a number going to the team, however Faz took the plaudits for his tireless efforts to restrict Chiefs’ main playmaker and adding a number of strong runs forward. Congratulations were also in line for keeper François, who celebrated his birthday with a clean sheet. Two games to go before the break – next up is Syb who we drew 0-0 with back in September, before taking on Chiefs again at home. With another performance or two like this one, we should have a few more points on the board before Christmas!
François (GK) // Stefan, Nelson, Bruno, Paddy // Rafa (C), Faz // Benedikt, Ionut, Sergiu // Tibo
Subs: Fatih (for Tibo 35′), Pierre-Antoine (for Stefan 40′)
Man Of The Match: Faz
After a defeat against Sayano the 3rds were looking to bounce back and get a first victory in this month of November. For the 2nd week in a row, the 3rds had a deep squad to play its opponent, Pharma 1. Unfortunately, there were a couple last minute forfeits the latter one being Nelson who realized in the locker he forgot his federal card.
Once again, we didn’t start well and conceded a goal on a situation that would become a bit too familiar during this game. A long ball played from the midfield was deflected in the air toward a midfield who tried a volley near the edge of the box and surprised Francois. On their 1st opportunity Pharma found the opener. We could see that it was a solid team with a strong midfield and and a good discipline. That said, there was possibility to surprise their defense as they seemed to be a bit slow.
We had two three good opportunities to score on this first half but we didn’t manage to convert them while Pharma was still dangerous when they had possession. At the end of first, Pharma was leading but in spite of our lack of realism there was definitely room to score the equalizer. We attacked the 2nd half with more ambitions in attack playing higher on the pitch. We were ready to take some risks. Very quickly though, Pharma started exploiting some spaces we left while we were attacking and started threatening us on counter attacks. On one of those we conceded a 2nd goal.
With two goals down, we kept playing but we could feel it would be quite a challenge to surprise them. Eventually, they added a 3rd goal on free kick and the referee gave them a penalty that was converted. Though we were losing 4-0, the thirds still tried to get that goal and they got rewarded of their efforts. Of course, it didn’t change the fate of the game but we finished the game head high. We lost 4-1 against a team that was better than us that day.
Line Up: Francois/Faz, Nicolas, Bruno, Pierre-Antoine/Mario, Rodrigo, Piet/Sergiu, Marius, Ionut
Subs: Rafa (for Pierre-Antoine 40’) Paddy (for Faz 50’)
Man of The Match: Ionut
Once upon a time in 1982 when Michel Platini joined Juventus, an italian journalist asked the french legend what would be the perfect score at the end of the game. Platini answered 3-3. For him, it was the sign of a tight but spectacular game. The journalist told him he was wrong: the perfect score is 0-0 because it means no team made any mistakes.
37 years after, FC Irlande 3 played against Iris United and drew without any goals scored. Iris had one opportunity on first half but Francois made a good save. Iris was a bit more dominant on 1st half and inscreased their pressure on 2nd half especially when we were reduced to 10 men after Tim got a red card. However, they decided to shoot from a long distance and may have killed some innocents birds so Francois did not have to make some miracles.
Anyway, it was a very physical game and both teams show some discipline. It was a hard a game though the hardest part for us was to find eleven. Only 9 3rds were available and luckily for us Tim and Pedro from the 1sts and Francesco from the 4ths came to help us.
In the end, it was a good point taken considering all the absences.
Line Up: Francois/Pierre-Antoine, Pedro, Bruno, Paddy/Tim, Rodrigo/ Faz, Fatih, Tibo/Marius
Man Of The Match: Bruno for another impressive performance
Extract for private conversations between some wise members of the 3rds a day after an awful loss to Higgins 4-0.
One wise member:”Also I will be there tomorrow. if you’re there it would be great to give a reminder of the expected attitude of everyone and the general objective we have (underlining the difficulties). ON A VERY CONSTRUCTIVE MANNER I’D LIKE TO PROPOSE to develop a “more specific” way of preparing matches, especially if we play Organised teams. By this I mean explain in every position what could be done and a possible solution. For ex on sat they brought On both sides the winger into the midfield while the right back moved up the line. Their defense was low and we sat very DEEP. When we came up we were out numbered. if we came out it was easy for them as we had 1 striker all alone.
Some tactical overviews might get us quicker into the game”
Another member: “I will be honest: i honestly don’t think we took 3 goals after 15 min just because we were not well positioned and did not adjust well to the way they played.
1st goal. There 4 greens around the shooter and he had all the time to shoot
2nd goal our defenders allowed the forward to turn and shoot
3rd goal counter attack right back got eaten on the wing cross and while I am charging one guy on the penalty line Higgins right back got in the box unfollowed and uncharged and put a header that Francois could not have saved
I didn’t know anything about that team specifically but I know us. If we get into a game with the intensity we have a chance to compete
We didn’t know anything about Requin but we won
We lost against Maccspsules but we showed a good level and we could have won.
We put way too much emphasis on tactics nowadays.
Sorry to disagree with you but football is like any other sports it’s a game of conquest.”
Line Up: Francois/Luke, Richard, Villu, Pierre-Antoine/Bruno, Lucas, Rafa/ Sergiu, Ionut, Tibo
Subs: Fatih (55′ for Tibo), Ivo (injured)
Man Of The Match: we forgot to elect man of the match but since the whole team didn’t play well it doesn’t really matter.
For our last game in October, the 3rds were playing Bouks, a team in serious need of points. It was a great day to play football (sunny and warm!) and it turned out to be a great day for all the FC Irlande playing in the same location as 1sts played and won against Brussels LTC and Vets 1 got also 3 precious points against Trinquant. And so did we and quite easily!
On our very first opportunity we got the opener. Tibo received a pass from the middle of the pitch and then delivered a cross for Max in the box. Max’s attempt to shoot the ball failed but it became an assist for Benedikt who was completely alone to beat Bouks keeper from close range. With a lot of tall players, Bouks threw some long balls but it didn’t cause us troubles. We had a lot of space to play and 10-15 minutes after the opener Bruno took the ball from his own half and a few seconds later delivered on the other half an assist to Benedikt with a litlle help from Max who let the ball run through his legs. Benedikt, once again alone, scored with calm his second goal of the game.
At 2-0 in first half, we started to get a bit sloppy and we let our opponent take control of the game. Though the pressure they put was not incredible, Francois had to make an important save on one sequence. We didn’t finish well the 1st half but we definitely had the feeling the game was under control. At the beginning of 2nd half, Bouks tried to pressure us but it was not really organized and as they let a lot of freedom to our offensive players, we punished them with a 3rd goal quite quickly. Max was at the reception of long ball kick from our keeper and made a deep pass to Piet who was quicker than Bouks defender. After a long run, Piet inside the box adjusted perfectly the keeper and sealed the fate of this game.
At 3-0, it felt like both teams knew that it was over so the quality of the game decreased significantly. Bouks would try to push for one goal but it was disorganized while we were losing our precision when passing the ball. We could have performed better on those last 20 minutes but in the end it didn’t matter. Final score: 3-0.
With 3 more points, the 3rds made a good operation as we are now 5th on the table. With 14 points gained after 2 months of competition, this campaign 2019-2020 is going well. Let’s hope we’ll stay as productive in November.
Line Up: Francois/Nelson, Nicolas, Bruno, Pierre-Antoine/Mario, Rodrigo, Piet/Benedikt, Max, Tibo
Subs: Mathias (for Tibo 35’), Lucas (for Pierre-Antoine 45’)
Man Of The Match: Mad Max the Road Warrior for his 2 assists and his many efforts to win any balls possible.
Sometimes victory feels like a day at the office. You play, you get 3 points. Your mission is accomplished. Then you have other kind of victories, the ones that represent more than a mathematical gain. I believe the game we won this Satuday against Requins are these kind of victory. Nothing was easy before the game and the game was a though one.
Nothing was easy before. Since the beginning of the season, we are a bit struggling to get more than 11 players. While some are gone on vacations, we have also a handful of players injured. Fortunately for the 3rds, being in a club with 4 teams gives us the possibility to ask for some reinforcement. This time Benoit from the 4th came to help us. Mike who was also there last week played again for us.
Being only eleven with not a lot of players, we had to adapt tactically and decided to play with two central midfields instead of the usual 3. Among our opponents, things were not great either in terms of numbers, they were only 10 when they start the game but they showed a good organisation and were very compact. After 15 minutes, they were 11 finally joined by one of their defenders and had a slightly better possession. Though they only had on 1st half one real opportunity, they were dangerous and it proved difficult to contain them. On a corner kick, Francois with some incredible reflex kept them from opening the score.
That said, we created also some opportunities, Ionut was very close to beat Requins keeper but he spectacularly got the last word on Ionut attempt to chip the ball above him. Another free kick caused them a lot of trouble and this time we were unable to put it in. At the end of 1st half it was 0-0. There was not a lot to say during the break. We were playing our part and just needed to continue like this.
We started really well 2nd half, the offensive players were found more easily and Max and Ionut in front of the attack gave us a lot of possibility to keep the ball and launch some attack. Max was very close to score but the keeper of Requins once again showed his quality and a corner that followed, as possessed by the soul of Manuel Neuer, his right arm deflected in a space of a micro-second a good header. Fortunately, a few minutes later, he proved to be just a human like any other player when Sergiu delivered a beauty of free kick. From a distance of 25m, he curled perfectly the ball above the wall and the keeper could only dive and watch the ball getting into the net.
After the opener, there was still 20 25 minutes to play and we spent it mostly defending our advantage but we didn’t panic. When we had the ball, we played with our heads and tried to get the most of our situations. Requins pushed and almost got even on a free kick but it was Francois time to shine and make a beautiful save. After our last counter attack aborted, the referee blew the final whistle. Final score: 1-0.
Prior to the game, the objective was to close the gap with the leaders. After the game, our position in the group table didn’t change but with 11 points we are not far from the leader (15 points) which says a lot about how open this group seems. For the moment there are no hierarchy defined. For us it doesn’t matter. The most important for the moment is to get as many points in order to secure our position in 3rd division if possible before Christmas time.
The attitude is there and with this attitude we can go far. Congrats to all of you!
Line Up: Francois/Sergiu, Benoit, Nelson, Luke/Tibo, Lucas, Pierre-Antoine, Mike/Max, Ionut
Man Of The Match: Nelson for his first performance with the Thirds, a true Marine!
For our 1st game away from Bruxelles, we went to Wavre in a really nice complex to face Macapsules, a team that got promoted last year. Opponent of the 4th team of FC Irlande this team had a reputation to play a football by possession, combining to create a difference. Though we did not focus on that aspect of their game, it turned out to be true as they were having more their foot on the ball than us. That said, they were not fast enough to put us in danger. On the other hand, they were well organized and did not let too much space when we were counter attacking. We also lacked accuracy in our transmissions so we never managed to create some situations to put their shape out of position. At the end of 1st half it was 0-0.
On 2nd half, each team found much more space and had many opportunities to score. FC Irlande was the 1st team on the verge to open the score. Benedikt got into the box after a deflezcted ball and faced the keeper but the latter blocked Bene’s shoot. Maccapsules was also close to find the break but when shooting or going for a header they could not find the frame. They were dominiating, spending more time on our own half but we never stopped getting real chances to score. Our best chance was on a free kick close to the box. Sergiu kicked the ball only to be deflected by the keeper but on the deflection, Fatih happen to be there to push the ball but he shot the ball above. A few minutes after, on a clever assist between the middle of the defense, one of Macapsules player got into the box and managed to put the ball out of reach for Francois.
There were only 5 minutes plus injury time to play but we managed to get one last big opportunity. But once again, the keeper of Macapsules did a great job to keep us from scoring while we were on a great position to get equalize and so we lost the game 1-0.
The result was a bit frustrating. A draw would have been a fair result but there’s nothing to say in terms of attitude. We fought well but we have to improve the way we use the ball. For the moment, we try to play too fast and because of that we lose precision.
Line Up: Francois/Pierre-Antoine, Bruno, Mario, Benedikt/Rafa, Lucas, Rodrigo/Piet, Max, Sergiu
Subs: Fatih (35′ for Max), David (45′ for Pierre-Antoine)
Man Of The (Year) Match: Bruno
After a heavy loss against Scheut, the Turds were seeking for some kind of redemption at home. For that, we needed some to be 11 and that would prove to be very difficult with some players uncertain and who could only confirm their unavailability the day of the match. There were also a lot of injuries. Fortunately, at the end we were eleven on the pitch with one sub.
It took us less 20 minutes to make the difference against our opponent, La Lorgnette. Last team on the table, they were not bad but they had no proper goalkeeper and their defense was just too slow. Ionut got the opener after intercepting a ball from the keeper. A few minutes later, Rodrigo took his chance from the edge of the box and scored. A third goal was added when a cross from Luke was deflected by a defender into his own goal. At the end of first half, it was already 3-0. We were playing great but we were solid and dominant though we conceded a lot of fouls.
On second half, we should have scored more goals. We had a lot of opportunities and actually played well during the first 20 minutes. Instead, La Lorgnette scored on one of the opportunities. Our opponent pushed to get closer to us but we didn’t panic. Final score: 3-1 for us.
After 4 games, we have obtained 7 points. An average of 7 points per month could be very interesting. Let’s hope we will keep that same dynamic.
LINE UP: Francois/Luke, Sean, Villu, Ivo/Rafa, P-A, Rodrigo/Benedikt, Fatih, Ionut
SUB: Virgil (55’)
Man Of The Match: Rodrigo
Saturday 21st of September was quite a unique day for the masculine senior and vets teams of FC Ireland…and not in good way! 4 losses, 1 draw and 1 win (congrats vets 2) and more frightening an average of 5 goals conceded per team! Our team did not escape the debacle. We lost 5-0 against FC Scheut.
Could we have avoided such a bad result? Let’s see. We started poorly conceding 3 goals on set pieces after 15-20 minutes. We won’t go into further details but let’s say that we were extremely passive and failed to clear the ball away. It was just too easy for our opponent.
Then, still, on first half, Benjamin fell badly and the pain he felt was just unbearable. He had to leave the pitch. As we had no subs which was the results of many unavailabilities, we were then reduced to 10 men for the rest of the game. A 4th goal was added by the home team.
The rest of the game sounded like a training for Scheut repeating their movements as if it was a practice rather than a game. They had many opportunities to score and added a 5th goal after a deflected shot got out of reach for Francois.
As I said, we had many availabilities and there are a lot of new guys who still and logically try to find their marks on our team but we should have shown more resistance and more intensity. The 3 first goals were the results of our lack of reactivity on simple situations.
Finally, our opponents formed a very solid team. When they play they play together, they look up for another teammate available and they try to use all the space available. We have to play like that more and more importantly we have the capacity for that.
Now, what’s done is done, I invite you all to focus on our next game. Next week we are back home with a mission: getting the 3 points.
Line Up: Francois/Gigi, Luke, Pierre-Antoine, Ivo/Rafa, Dirk, Benjamin/Selim, Ionut, Sergiu
(Least Awful) Man Of The Match: Pierre-Antoine
After a very convincing performance against Saint-Georges 4, the 3rds played a team we faced on a friendly 2 weeks before. We talked a bit about our opponent but not too much. As we are beginning the season, most important is to focus on our team, defining our identity as we have integrated new players.
It was a beautiful sunny day but it was quite hot and so it was not easy to repeat the efforts. It took us once again some time to get into the game. SYB is a team with a strong collective identity, always trying to get the ball and to have the possession. Once again, it took us time to get into the game, 15 good minutes. Fortunately, SYB, though getting close to our box on several occasions, never really got in position to threaten seriously Francois.
Progressively, we got more possession and started to find more space but there were too many imprecisions and SYB were also solid in defense. At half time, it was 0-0. During the break, we were optimistic about getting some real chances to score.
On second half, both teams push to get that goal, SYB was dangerous on set pieces and occupied more 50m but our counter attacks were incisive and twice Sergiu was really close to open the score. Unfortunately for him, a ball slightly deflected, or a subtle pushing by a defender kept Sergiu from shooting with full accuracy. No goal would be scored either on second half and so both teams ended with a fair draw just like they did during their friendly two weeks ago.
Though we had the opportunities to get the 3 points, it’s still 1 point and it was a good performance played with a good spirit and and with intentions to win. Bruno was named once again Man Of The Match for another impressive 70min.
Line Up: Francois/ Pierre-Antoine, Luke, Bruno, Ivo/Lucas, Rodrigo, Benjamin/Piet, Max, Sergiu
Subs: Stefan (35’ for Ivo), Rafa (35’ for Lucas), Paddy (45’ for Max), Tanguy (45’ for Luke)
Boy what a victory! For our first game of the season the 3rds took the 3 points but it was not easy and the final score, 3-1 against Saint-Georges 4, is a bit deceiving. We were definitely not cruising or in a way we were. The whole team didn’t leave ship until we started 2nd half.
It is true the 3rd squad, usually notorious for its stability, came on the pitch with 5 players who were either recruits (Luke and Ivo in defense, Maxime in attack) or additional helps (Victor in the cage, Manu in attack) to compensate for the numerous players unavailable. In terms of automatism, it’s not ideal and maybe you could tell by looking our first 35 minutes. Especially compared to our opponents who found each quite easily.
Undeniably, they were combining well with their players positioned between our lines but at the same time we were not exactly trying our best to keep them from controlling the game. We gave them too much freedom and when we had the ball we did not show a lot of intelligence or creativity. The captain, for instance, who wants to remain anonymous, managed to make 2 or 3 passes in a row outside the pitch. So, logically, after 10-15 minutes, Saint-Georges 4 scored the 1st goal of the game. They would continue their domination and though Victor had no interventions to do, they took us repeatedly out of position and caused a lot of dangerous situations.
At the end of this 1st half, a neutral observer would probably have predicted our defeat. The break was beneficial for us. We made some adjustments regarding our positioning on the pitch and talked about what we needed to correct. We were not panicking but we felt the urgency to raise the bar. Progressively in this 2nd half, we were winning more balls and were able to approach the box of Saint-Georges more often.
Our first real opportunity came after Sergiu took his chance from the edge of the box. His shot was deflected but it gave us a corner kick. On that corner kick shot by Sergiu, the ball went through the defense and on the second post Bruno managed to control the ball and put it into the net. Then, after we got the equalizer, we continued our effort and in 10-15 minutes added two more goals. On free kick shot by Rafa, some of our boys (Manu) deflect the ball and Piet got that ball to shoot it into the net.
Saint-Georges tried to push harder but would never found a possibility the score except on one occasion that saw Victor deflect brilliantly a shot. We defended fiercely our advantage contesting every ball and at the same time we tried to exploit any space available any opportunity to score. This is how Manu sealed the fate of this game with a powerful shot close to the six meters. We stayed after this third goal very compact for the last ten minutes. Then, Paddy, who had to be the referee for this game because of a no-show of the official referee (thanks again Paddy for the sacrifice), gave the last whistle blow.
There are many things to say after this victory but it’s that kind of victory you will remember at the end of the year and I hope it will leave a mark on how we will play the rest of the season. Our reaction on 2nd half was simply fantastic, a team effort on both sides of the pitch. We defended together and attacked together!
On our way to Nossegem, Rafa Paddy Bruno and I were debating about the shape of our team. Are we 4-5-1 team or a 4-3-3? To me it’s more or less the same but Rafa find a both shapes quite distinct. Anyway, the fact is the shape of our team is not so important. All tactical wisdom is irrelevant if you enter the pitch without any form of fighting spirit. As we were eleven, no changes were made and we kept the same shape. We just played as a block, as a unit made some little adjustments and unleashed hell on our enemies!
For those present this Saturday, remember this 2nd half. This will be your reference for the rest of the season. For those absent who will be back soon, remember our past victories against Braine Terminus last year, Sicula on our way to promotion, Brussels British. Remember our victory against P’tits Jaunes while we were fighting to stay in 4th division. Remember the spirit, remember the fights on those games! That is our DNA as players of the thirds.
To be confirmed next week against SYB…
LINE UP: Victor/P-A, Luke, Bruno, Ivo/ Rafa, Lucas, Piet/Sergiu, Manu, Maxime ( 4-3-3!)
Goals: Bruno (assist Sergiu), Piet (assist Manu), Manu
All fixtures and results
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FC Irlande 3rds
- Captain : Pierre Antoine Jaïs
Top goals scorers
- sergiu 6
- piet 5
- ionut 5
- benedikt 4
- bruno 2
- pierre-antoine 2
- fatih 1
- rodrigo 1
- tibo 1
- max 1
- stefan 1
- manu 1
- own goal 1
Top goals assists
- sergiu 5
- max 3
- pierre-antoine 2
- bruno 1
- fatih 1
- faz 1
- rodrigo 1
- manu 1
- piet 1
- ionut 1