British United 1
On a beautiful but cold Saturday, it was time for the 2nd round vs our biggest and oldest rival : Brussels British. The team that our captain could play for but somehow ended up in the wrong side of the Irish sea. Both teams were side to side before the game, both playing with relegation fear in their mind.
The team was set up in its classic 2021-2022 formation, in 4-1-4-1 with Mathias Neelen in goal; defense composed by Hadrien, Matteo, Ryan and Clement; Neil, Julian and Brioch as midfield trio. Lolo and Gabi were positioned on the wing with the purpose to serve Amaking of Wakanda. A five stars bench was also ready to jump in with Nate, Ionut, and Gineste.
First half was one of the worst of the season with no opportunity for FC Irlande to score. Battle in the midfield to gain the ball was ruthless but few mistakes from our midfield didn’t allow us to control the match properly. Brits didn’t need much more to increase their pressure on Neelen goal. With some nice stops, he managed to keep FC Irlande into the game. However, few minutes before half time, Brits left wing suddenly behaved like Messi and decides to pass all the FC Irlande defense finishing with a super cheap over the keeper. 1-0 Brits at half time. Deserved.
Speech from coach John couldn’t be clearer and more straight forward : we could only improve by showing more fighting spirit and brotherhood. After the speech, action took place and FC Irlande decided that this Saturday was not a day of defeat.
Boys in green were everywhere, leaving nothing to the opponent. As Didier Deschamps kept saying during world cup 2018, “we give nothing, we don’t give up”. These words were the direct translation of the 2n half. However, despite all of it, Boys in green didn’t manage to score with few minutes left on the clock. It’s the time Coach John decided to show what a real coach is made of : with nothing left to lose, he decided to go for a 3-4-3 to score the goal we needed. Ionut, Nate and Ginest came on and brought with them the extra energy needed.
Memories are a bit blurred but the most important thing to remember is that King of Wakanda manage to score a nice pivot goal to equalize with 5 min to go.
The game ended with a huge “hug” between Neelen and Brioch’ showing the opponent that even families can sometimes fight.
It was a game we wanted to win, a game we couldn’t afford to lose, but finished as a game we drew with another point leading us closer and closer to our target : stay in the 2nd division where we belong.
Come on FC Irlande !!!
🇬🇧 1-1 🇮🇪
FC Ireland earned a hard earned point against British United out in Mechelen this weekend. With half the squad out holidaying in Southern Europe, the lads had to dig particularly deep to get the result on a warm Saturday afternoon. This was to be another match where the Irish were left wondering how they could play so well and not come away with the three points. The story of their season so far, with the 2 points from 6 games a rather cruel reflection on the overall team performance.
Ireland dominated the first half, playing risk free at the back and plenty of incisive passing through the middle. The compactness of the team while defending left the British with few options; most of which were intercepted or over cooked through balls. It was the MOTM Brioche who broke the deadlock (he also may have also broken an opponent’s eye socket), with a deftly executed chip over the advancing keeper after a silky one-two with Julien. Top drawer stuff. British responded well and hit the inside of the Irish upright from inside the box, but Josh was able to collect the fortuitously angled deflection.
After talking about how important the first 5 minutes after the restart are during the half time talk, Ireland conceded 30 seconds into the second half. A pantomime of a goal, with some softly half tackles in the lead up, unfortunate ricochets, topped off by a worldy finish that sailed into the top corner from 25 yards out that left Josh with no chance. The reaction from Ireland was much better from that point, who kept organised and started looking dangerous. Massive shout out to Gerardo from the 4ths, who came on and ran his socks off in a high adrenaline 20 or so minutes to the close.
Both teams created some chances as the game opened up while looking for the knock-out blow in a more even sided half. Mister Ale got a block in on a stinging goal bound shot. Ionut carved up the defence on the left flank, cutting it back from the byline to Lolo who’s first time right footed hit didn’t find the target. In the dying minutes Julian latched on to a perfectly weighted through ball to go one-on-one with the British keeper only to be denied by some very handy keeping.
A fair enough result against the second placed side in the league, when all said and done. But given how well the lads in green played today, this one has been a bitter pill to swallow. While the 3 points continues to allude them, performances like this will no doubt end the drought.