FC Irlande 3rds
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After two weeks on the road, Thirds were back home with hope to renew with victory. The opponent was Goalois, a young team promoted like us. For this game, the 3rds got into action quickly fighting from the very beginning. There were some situations, we got a lot of fouls called in our favour showing we were the more aggressive team on the pitch. However, we never managed to find a breech and Goalois almost scored on a long distance shot that touched the crossbar. By the end of 1st half, there were no clear domination from both sides and it was still 0-0.
Several changes were made by both teams right after the break and as a result Goalois started to win a bit more possession and maintaining a higher position on the pitch. Though Francois so far did not have to get his hands dirty, he had to remain more vigilant than in first half. While there was 15 minutes still to play it seemed a draw would be a good and fair result.
Unfortunately, 10 minutes before the beginning of the game, Goalois managed to make the difference, a perfect assist found their right winger unmarked and his shot rebounded just in front of Francois who even without any rebound may have been beaten. Goalois kept his advantage until the end preventing us from attacking. Final score 1-0.
Overall, we delivered against a very solid team a good performance. We were discipline and brought definitely more character than last game. It was not enough but if we put the same efforts we will be able to earn some points in this difficult group.
Line up: Francois/Pierre-Antoine Nicolas Ryan Paddy/Mario Damien Rodrigo/Sergiu Marius Ionut
Subs: AJ (for Sergiu 35’) Stefan (for Paddy 35’) Pierre (for Pierre-Antoine 55’)
Man Of The Match: Nicolas
Iris United vs FC Irlande 3 – November 3rd 2018
Pierre-Antoine (C); Stefan; Ryan; Paddy
Seif; Mario; Piet
Sergiu; Marius; Ionut
Subs: Gregor (on for Paddy 35’); Lucas (on for Seif 35’); Julian (on for Pierre-Antoine 60’); Villu (on for Sergiu 67′)
Iris started at a high tempo that caught us off guard and were immediately causing us some problems with quick interchanges in the midfield and using their fast wingers to break through our defensive line. We initially held them off quite well but it only took one moment of dwelling on the ball too long for them to pounce, stealing possession to get through and score the first goal. Another followed shortly after, with Iris being awarded a penalty for what looked to be a completely unavoidable hand ball. Before the half was over they slotted in a third goal to take control of the game. We offered little in response before the half time whistle was blown and retreated to our bench.
We simply weren’t at the races in the first half and were told just as much by captain Pierre-Antoine during the break. He read us the riot act but at the same time encouraged us to show more intensity and desire in the second half.
His speech worked to a certain extent, we took control for large parts of the second half, although it could also be said that the opposition dropped a level in the belief that they had a comfortable lead. They were slightly naïve to do so, since we created a number of very good chances to reel them back in, however it was just not our day and those chances all went abegging.
At least we held them off at the other end and the match ended 3-0, Ryan winning MOTM for a solid display under pressure at the back.
The jump up a division has certainly tested us so far and we need to continue to learn from every result, good or bad, in order to be able to establish ourselves in the league. Hopefully by the time Iris come to Nossegem for the return fixture, we will have become sharper, show more intensity and desire from the start, and give them a proper test for the 3 points up for grabs. As always, this can only be achieved if we knuckle down and work hard together on the training ground.
For the last game of October, the Thirds played away against Hermès FC ranked 2nd. Once again this year, we played on a good pitch. Our opponent, not only played on a good pitch but also had their very own ultras though not as hostile as can be some factions in Greece, country of origin of many players who were communicating in Greek during the game.
It took us some time to get into the game. 10-15 minutes. Problem, after barely one minute, on their 1st opportunity, Hermès took the lead. The right winger delivered a good cross to their striker who perfectly volleyed the ball to beat François. Though the execution was perfect, we showed some passivity that was immediately punished. Fortunately for us, Francois was into the game and made fantastic save to keep us in the game.
We had two problems. First, we struggled defending them individually: they had two strong midfielders, one playing like an old fashioned number 10 the other from a lower position distributing the ball and never losing it. Their striker was also a problem technically and physically. 2nd problem was collective: they played very well with each other thanks to their midfields and rarely gave away the ball. When they did, they immediately pressured us and kept us from counter attacking effectively with our strikers being isolated from the rest of the team.
After 20 minutes, though we were dominated and had less possession of the ball, we started having more situations. No real opportunities but our forwards found some space on counter attacks. On one of these, Marius ran with the ball, got into the box and was fouled. The foul was a bit curious as Marius was not in position to shoot and few offensive support but it was definitely a penalty. Sergiu took the ball and with calm converted the penalty.
Boosted by this goal, we got more aggressive and made more interceptions. One of them could have led to a lethal counter attack as we were 4 against 3 rushing to the enemy’s goal. Instead, the movement was stopped and the hosts scored right after the 2nd goal after a cross from the right wing to the 2nd post where one of the forwards unmarked just had to touch the ball to put the ball into the net. It could not be a worse timing for us as this 2nd goal happened just before the break.
Some changes were made from the very beginning of 2nd half. Some tactical adjustments were made too. Mario got in and took a lower position in the midfield while Rafa was positioned a bit higher on the pitch. As a result, it became less easy for Hermes to maneuver and we managed to have more possession but Hermes showed great discipline and never really allowed us to be dangerous except on corners where Ionut almost equalized with a header deflected by the keeper. That would be our last opportunity of the game.
We ended the game painfully. Sergiu twisted his ankle then Villu had to leave the pitch after he stretched his hamstring (later Rafa said it was not too severe). That complicated a lot our situation. All substitutions were made at this stage so we spent the last minutes with 10 men. Hermes had at least some great opportunities to add a 3rd goal but Francois made some great saves and on some other situations Hermès forward shot off target. No other goals would be scored: final score 2-1 for the locals.
There is nothing to be ashamed at our performance but we lost. We still have to figure out how to be competitive against the big teams. It’s not easy because the top teams we played so far, Hermes and Chiefs, are better than us. That said, I think we did not play our best game yet and we have chances to win some valuable points against stronger opponents. Hopefully, sooner than later.
Hermes FC 3-1 FC Irlande 3.
Goal: Marius (30′)
Man Of The Match: Francois
Line Up: Francois/Nicolas, Ryan, Villu, Stefan (Pierre-Antoine 35′)/Rafa (Gregor 55′), Bruno, Damien (Mario35′)/Sergiu (Wannes 50′) Marius Ionut
This Saturday we were facing Brussels LTC, a promoted team like us. Of them we knew they had a good attack but also one of the worst record in defense. With our trio of Romanians forwards back after we missed them for 2,3 weeks, the 3rds received the visitors with a solid line up.
After a good warm up, the 3rds got into action very soon. Sergiu created the danger after just one minute with a shot well deflected by LTC’s keeper. A few minutes later, Sergiu again got fouled in the box by the keeper and the referee had no hesitation to give a penalty. Our official penalty shooter Stefan unavailable, Rodrigo was in charge to convert the penalty kick. Unfortunately, Rodrigo’s shot hit the post.
The 3rd team was not discouraged though and kept playing and dominating the game. Brussels LTC through long balls managed to get a couple opportunities but Francois twice kept one of their wingers to score while in good position.
A few minutes before 1st half ended, we finally got the opener. Ionut took away the ball from one of the central defenders, then perfectly chipped the ball from the 25m. At half time we were leading one neal and it was well deserved. The plan was to continue with the same intentions: playing with the same intensity and trying as much as possible to make passes to make the difference.
A few minutes into the 2nd half, we added a 2nd goal after a great collective effort. The action started with an interception of Villu in his camp. Then 3 to 4 players touched the ball and the ball moved from the left wing to the center. As Rafa received the ball he was in position to make the final assist and he delivered the perfect one to Sergiu. With great calm, Sergiu beat LTC’s keeper.
At 2-0, the game seemed decided but Brussels LTC was not decided to give up easily. Skipping the midfield, they constantly used long balls to find their forwards. The problem with these long balls is that LTC players afterwards found on several occasions the way to get a free kick.
15 to 20 minutes into the second half. They got a free kick on the edge of the box. We knew they would not kick it directly and we were ready to block the shot. Unfortunately, the shot found through some legs and Francois was able only too late to see where the ball would go.
With only one goal difference, LTC believed in their chances repeating the same tactic. They put us under pressure but never really had a real opportunity to get even. Though we didn’t control very well the end of this game, we got some good situations on counter attack. Only an inch kept Virgil from successfully chipping the ball in. A few minutes after, Rodrigo got fouled in the penalty box. This time, Ionut shot the penalty kick and sealed the victory. Final score 3-1.
This was a nice victory with a great spirit but not only. Before the game, we insisted on playing the right way, passing the ball, not just throwing long balls. It paid off on the 2nd goal. If we managed to respect those principles, we might be able to have an interesting year.
From now on to December we will only face top of the table teams. Precisely, we will play the next 4 weeks the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th on the table. If we show the same spirit and also the same care concerning the use of the ball we have nothing to lose.
FC Irlande 3 Brussels LTC 4: 3-1.
Goals: Ionut (x2) Sergiu Assists: Rafa for Sergiu
Line Up: Francois/Wannes Roman Villu Pierre-Antoine/Rafa Bruno Rodrigo/Sergiu Marius Villu
Subs: Luis for Rafa (45’) Pierre for Wannes (50’) Virgil for Marius (60’)
After suffering a tough defeat, a reaction was expected from the Thirds. With 5 points, we have started slowly against opponents that have shown more quality and youth. Our opponent of the day, Brussels Galactic, so far had only taken 1 point.
On a brand new synthetic pitch, we started the game with the right attitude and we largely controlled the game during the 1st half. Brussels Galactics, only had a few situations of counter attacks but Francois never had to let his skills talk. On the other side, Galactics’s goalkeeper had a lot work. Unfortunately for us he was very solid on the line and in the air too. AJ and Costi had the best occasions of the 1st half but one did not shoot target while the other’s shot was brilliantly defelcted by the keeper. At half time, while we should have taken the lead, the score was still 0-0.
2nd half was quite different as Brussels Galactic showed another face. They played a lot of long balls that with the wind against us caused us problems. They were also taking more initiatives with the ball and made some runs that break the lines several times. They almost made the difference and had the opportunity to score but their forward, who managed to get rid of our defenders, very hesitant on trying his luck against our very intimidating goalkeeper shot completely off target.
Though we were struggling on this 2nd half, we still had the best opportunities. Virgil, after a good collective effort to pressure the Galactics, was in good position to get the opener but his attempt to chip the keeper did not fool the keeper. Bruno, on a corner had also the possibility to score with a header but their keeper once again managed to tip the ball that was definitely going just under the crossbar. This game was not supposed to finish with a 0-0 but it did as the referee blew the whistle for the last game.
Difficult to see the glass half full after this game. They did caused us problems on 2nd half but our 1st half and the numerous occasions should have been enough to come home with 3 points. It was a good game for us, there were some good combinations and an effort to play the ball on the floor. If we continue to play with the same attitude, we will be rewarded with more points.
Line Up: Francois/Daniel Ryan Villu Paddy/Mario Rafa Rodrigo/AJ Costi Bruno
Subs: Pierre-Antoine (42 for Costi) Virgil (50’for AJ)
Man Of The Match: Bruno
It was definitely not a good Saturday for the Thirds. Opposed to Ster’s, the boys in green never found a way to control the game. On 1st half, we never managed to create any situations, many passes did not reach our players or were not well controlled. Ster’s was well organized defensively and was winning 1st balls and 2nd balls. Progressively the visitors started to put us under pressure and occupied most of the time our own half.
Eventually Ster’s opened the score after another ball we lost that their defender exploited well and gave it to one their forward who took his chance from the edge of the box. One minute later we got even after one of the defender deflected a pass in his own net. At half time the score was 1-1 and we knew we were lucky.
A couple of changes in attack was made early on 2nd half and the beginning was not bad. Unfortunately, Ster’s scored a 2nd time from a long distance shot. On that goal, we were punished by our lack of reaction on a loose ball. From that moment, Ster’s took control of the game adding a 3rd goal on a counter attack and a 4th on free kick. Final score: 4-1 Last time the 3rds conceded 4 goals was more than 2 years ago.
It is true that we were missing a few regulars in attack but did we did concede 4 goals just because they were missing? Definitely not. It would be an easy excuse. We are capable to play better than that. Ster’s was a solid team but we had the quality to get a better result this Saturday. Unfortunately, we did not have the spirit.
FC Irlande 1-4 Ster’s
Line up: Francois/P-A Nicolas Villu Paddy/Rafa Rodrigo Piet/Ronan AJ Julian
Subs: Giuseppe (35 for Julian), Pierre (45 for Ronan), Virgil (58 for AJ)
Four weeks into the new season and the Turds have started to settle into the 3rd Division, with one draw, one loss and a win last weekend to get ourselves into the rhythm of the league. Today we traveled out to Genappe to take on a team we had come across some years before, not known for particularly beautiful football but a physical outfit who always posed a challenge. They had a good synthetic pitch and the sun was shining, setting the scene for a good game ahead.
Many regulars were missing this weekend but we arrived with a solid 12 ready for action. The starting lineup:
Francois // Paddy, Ryan, Gregor, Pierre-Antoine // Rafa, Bruno, Mario // Ionut, Marius, AJ
Subs: Julian (on 25′ for Ionut)
We started the match well, taking advantage of the nice surface to string together some passing moves and got into some dangerous attacking positions. Genappe were strong enough at the back, restricting us to a few tame shots from outside the area. When they took possession they launched it over our defence for their pacy wingers to chase down – a tactic they used throughout the match. We made the breakthrough around 15 minutes in, Marius laying up Rafa on the edge of the box who went for the shot. It took a deflection off a defender and looped over the keeper into the net (or had Rafa calculated the perfect shot off the defender’s foot knowing its trajectory?). Genappe upped their game in response, both with the ball and without. A few strong tackles on Ionut forced him off with an injury, so Julian came on as right winger with AJ switching to the left. Soon after Genappe equalised to make it 1-1 before the break.
Having created the better chances of the first half, we were confident we could come out on top of this game. We went into the second half fully motivated, but Genappe took the lead early on with a header from a corner. They kept the pressure on with their long balls pinning us back, our defence needing to make a number of last ditch tackles and Francois some great saves to keep us in the game. When we did get the ball however, the passes were still hitting their target and we linked up well to get the ball up to Marius, who was starting to run rings around their defence. That attracted some pretty borderline fouls to try and stop our attacks, but they couldn’t hold back Marius, who finished a great flowing move started with a break forward from Pierre-Antoine, laying up Marius to get through their defence and slot it past the keeper. We came close to creating another opportunity to win it, as did Genappe, but it ended 2-2 which was probably a fair result. With our full squad available, we probably could have edged it.
Marius was undoubtedly the man of the match, Bruno a close second. The team put in a real strong performance under pressure and it was definitely a point well won rather than two lost. Best wishes to Ionut on a speedy recovery. It’s clear that every match this season will be tough and we’ll need our full squad available as much as possible.
Next up a home game against the current bottom side, Ster’s, who have yet to register a point this season. We can’t take that for granted though, each of their defeats have been by just one goal, so we’ll need to be fully prepared for another tough match. See you in training lads!
With 1 point after 2 games, we knew we had to start getting points, especially at home. Just before the game and following a good warm up, we insisted on taking early control of the game. From the beginning, we put the intensity requested. Ettekijs 2, our opponent was well organized, particularly in the midfield through their number 7, and often tried to find their right winger to make the difference but our defense was vigilant and after 35 minutes, Francois did not have any saves to make.
On this first half we created some good chances to score. As Ettekijs defenders showed they were lacking some speed, Sergiu was making differences and almost got the opener. Escaping the surveillance of his defender, he found himself alone against the gigantic goalkeeper but shot off target. Bruno could also have scored on a corner but his close range volley was way above the cross ber. AJ finally scored the 1st goal. After a shot was deflected on a post, he was there to get the ball first and to put it in the net. 1-0 at half time, that was desserved but it could have been more.
We continued our efforts on 2nd half. Piet Marius and Paddy made their entrances to bring fresh blood. Ionut had a good opportunity to add a second ball after intercepting a bad pass from a defender but the keeper denied that possibility. That did not discourage Ionut who with an impeccable timing finally scored the 2nd goal with a header.
After that second goal, Ettekijs tried to push to get back into the game but apart from a dangerous shout that almost find target, Francois had as much work as on 1st half. We could have added a 3rd goal on counter attacks. But it would not evolve. Final score 2-0. Man of The Match was Bruno.
It was a serious performance from the Turds and hopefully we will get more wins. But we are well aware it won’t be easy. Ettekijs 2 was maybe not the toughest opponent but they showed some discipline and we had to stay focused during the whole game.
Line Up: Francois/Nicolas Ryan Villu Pierre-Antoine/Rafa Bruno Rodrigo/Ionut AJ Sergiu
Subs: Piet (35’) Paddy (35’) Marius (35’)Pierre (50’)
For our 2nd game of the season, we were opposed to Chiefs 2.
Subs : Virgil (40’) Julian(55’) Pierre (65’)
The game started on an up tempo rythm but very early Chiefs started to put their footprint on the game. They combined a lot using the whole pitch and they seemed capable to accelerate at any moment. After less than 15mn, they scored the 1st goal. One of their winger made an incursion to the center and made a perfect assist to his forward who made a good call and got rid of Francois before pushing the ball behind the line.
Chiefs continued to dominate. We had a hard time building some sequences and it seems our only option was to throw long balls. These were never a worry for the defense of Chiefs never caught off guard. 15 minutes later, the locals added a second goal on a corner. On that action, we left the few Chiefs players that got into the box unmarked including and the same forward who scored the 1st goal made us pay for our mistake.
At half time it was 2-0. On 2nd half we started the game with three midfields. Chiefs was still dominating and creating the best opportunities for the 1st half but progressively the team finally found some dynamic. We touched the bar twice and their goalkeeper made a couple of saves too. To be fair, Chiefs begin their rotation quite early which explained also their less firm grip on the game but it was still positive to see the 3rds playing until the last minute.
Final score: 2-0 for the locals and 1st loss of the season for the Turds. A good lesson for us and a reminder for us that we are no longer in 4th division.
A historic day for the 3rd team of FC Irlande, our very first game as a promoted team in 3rd division. And to inaugurate this season, we got to play Sicula AS, a team we know well because we are stuck in the same group for the 2 last years. The oppositions against them are usually very tense and colored with a lot of yellow cards, some red cards. Not a great atmosphere to play football but so far we managed to remain undefeated (3 wins and a draw).
We started the game with the following line up:
Pierre-Antoine Stefan Villu Bruno
Sergiu (⚽x1) Marius Ionut
AJ (1 assist)
Subs: Paddy (50’), Julian (55’), Virgil (60’)
Our first 20mn were not very dynamic, Sicula appeared very motivated and got to win most of the 1st or 2nd balls. But as it was the case on their last games, they never managed to have real occasions and if they shot it was by far off target. On our side, there were two problems: we were not agressive enough to put our feet on the ball and when we had the ball we used it poorly trying some long balls or failing some easy transmissions.
Despite a slow start, we started to find some space and opportunities on counter attacks. On our first attempt, we opened the score with style. 25 minutes into the game, we had a counter-attack situation involving 3 of our forwards against 3 defenders and AJ served ideally Sergiu. Without control, Sergiu from the edge of the box found the top of the net thanks to a stylish and curved shot. As usual with Sergiu, when he scores you remember the goal.
With the lead on, we finished strongly this 1st half and could have exploited with more efficiency some situations. Sicula seemed a bit lost after this stunning opener but they remained calm and kept focused while in the past they would have started being nervous and yelling at each other.
2nd half started the same way. Sicula spent most of the time on our side and we had problem clearing the ball away. The wind was this time against us and Sicula used also their wings to attack us. We also started conceding a lot free kicks. On one of them , no player managed to touched the ball and Francois focused on the players realized only too late the ball was going to the 2nd post. The ball touched the 2nd post and then got behind the line.
Sicula boosted by the equalizer increased the pressure. We were definitely dominated. At this point, a change was necessary. Paddy got in and Bruno who started as a left back reinforced the midfield to help Rodrigo and Rafa. After a few minutes, the team found more unity and eventually regained some possession.
In the last 10 minutes, Sicula seemed a bit tired, and defended more. That said, we didn’t create some serious opportunities. Sicula would not either. Final score:1-1. Sergiu was named Man of The Match.
Overall, it is fair result. As usual, it will take a few weeks to be 100% but we are prepared to suffer and to face our future opponents with the right attitude we showed last year.
All fixtures and results
FC Irlande 3rds
- Captain : Pierre Antoine Jaïs
Top goals scorers
- Sergiu 3
- Ionut 3
- AJ 1
- Marius 1
- Rafa 1
- Own Goal 1
Top goals assists
- AJ 1
- Piet 1
- Marius 1
- Pierre-Antoine 1
- Rafa 1