FC Irlande Ladies 2

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It was a chilly Friday night in Ixelles and FC Irlande was ready to take on R. Ixelles S.C. in what promised to be an exciting match. Unfortunately, things started off on the wrong foot for the team as R.Ixelles S.C. scored from a cross in the 15th minute. The team tried to regroup and bounce back, but R.Ixelles S.C. managed to score again in the 25th minute, putting FC Irlande in a difficult position.

But our resilient squad was not ready to give up yet! Juliette stepped up to the plate in the 35th minute and scored a beautiful penalty, igniting hope in the team and the loyal fans who showed up to support the greens despite the cold. Regardless of the 2 goal deficit, FC Irlande continued to play well and put up a good fight.

However, in the 70th minute, R.Ixelles S.C. scored another goal. But our never-say-die spirit was still going strong and Juliette scored a gorgeous goal in the 73rd minute, giving the fans something to cheer about. After the goal, the defensive line continued to keep the Ixelles attackers under firm control, and several dangerous attempts were built up from the hard-working midfield to our fast attackers.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to secure the win for FC Irlande and the game ended in a 3-2 loss. Despite that, the team played well and should have at least earned one point. It was a freezing evening, but the team’s performance was anything but cold. They gave everything on the field and made us proud.

This match also marked the final game for FC Irlande’s player Ebba, the solid central defender from Sweden. Ebba will be greatly missed by the team, and her contributions to the club will not be forgotten. Here’s to better luck next time!

Saturday evening, minus one degree and a frozen pitch. Tough conditions for our ladies 2, nevertheless everyone was full off energy and determined to win this time! This evening we are facing the ladies of Bx Brussels, a team that is (and after this game, ‘was’) on the position below us in the ranking. We defeated them before and we will do it again! After missing the win last week, an intense training session on Monday followed by a tactical team-talk on Thursday, each of our ladies knew exactly what was expected from them.

The game started 20min late, which helped us to be very warmed up. From the first minute we came out strong, our solid defense line consisting of Sarah M, Ebba, Fanni and Marianne didn’t let a ball go through. The confidence on the ball and great passing of Rebbi, Pri and AJ in the midfield together with Lily and Fra on the wings, fast as always, allowed us to play very high, which made it difficult for Bx Brussels to create chances. After 20min a foul by Bx Brussels gave us a free kick, which our striker Parker beautifully finished inside the net, 1-0 for Fc Irlande! This advantage gave our ladies the power to continue playing their great game: defending strongly, building up through the midfield and creating several chances. The few balls that reached our goal were nothing our Goalie Mariana couldn’t handle. Before the end of the first half the coaches decided to play our full bench: Ade as left back and Sarah K, Sephora and Eli in attack to give the team some extra energy! Unfortunately the good goalkeeping of the opponent didn’t let us score a second time in this first half!

Start of the second half, our moto is to stay strong and focused in order to keep owning the game as we did the first half. Unfortunately, as happened to us before, the opponent took advantage of our ladies ‘getting into the game’ again, and scored their first goal, 1-1. Time to play serious again and take back control! Which we did! After this mistake the ball possession was again mainly at our feet, playing high up creating many chances. Those chances gave us a corner, Pri, at the right spot at the right time, managed to score our second goal!! High on energy we continued the game, frequent changes of players were made to keep everyone playing at 100%. Again a dangerous attack from our ladies, which forced the goalkeeper to tackle Sephora, who took a hard fall on the icy field which resulted in a penalty. Full of confidence Parker took the shot, with this powerful shot the goalkeeper didn’t have a chance, straight in the net – GOAL! 3-1. 15mins to go, let’s go for another one! We kept creating chances, but no luck with putting the ball in the net, until another
corner would decide the final score. This time Pri and Fra decided to team up and score together, not sure who put the ball over the line, both of them were determined to get the ball in! 4-1 would be the final score as our ladies kept defending solid till the whistle, what a game! Proud ladies and proud coaches, time to celebrate the jump to 9th in the league!

Sunday morning, Ladies in green went to Wavre to take vengeance on the previous match. Yes, that one which the ref thought he was referring another kind of sport and added 12 minutes after the regular time, resulting in a tie and, a few minutes later, a lost for us.

Concerning the weather, far from ideal, so windy we couldn’t hear our teammates 1,5 meter away. Ball not keeping its place on goal kicks, corners and faults were the new rule.

Whistle blows, time to focus, our 3 points this time!

First half time the ball was playing our side, at least wind-wise. Referee was fair, absolutely no need to complain.

The resistance from Wavre and our lack of confidence, or perhaps anxiety to construct with the ball, lead to the half time 0-0.

Time to go back to the white container improvised as changing room. We noticed we could do better, as we always do in our trainings, treating the ball as we treat our beloved ones (with care).

Concerns about how we should construct with the ball and notes about dangerous players were raised. We knew we could beat them, they were not running more than us, neither were too physical as some other teams we faced. We were ready to take them down.

Second half starts, wind in their favor and sun against us, is it a prediction?

More disputes, more long balls and several throw-ins due to the bad weather follow.

Until one ball, apparently inoffensive, going to their goalkeeper happens and Fra, in a smart movement coming from the right side, also go towards the ball and sends a not-so-nice invitation to their goalkeeper, battle set. Some qualities Fra has: velocity and bravery. Despite her cold, she gets the ball, cuts her opponent and finishes it inside the goal. What a relief!

Defense working beautifully, Lily defending very well at left side, AJ and Jenny communicating clearly to avoid opponent’s long balls behind their backs. For Wavre, the path in there was inexistent.

Wavre had the chance to attack, Mari did 2 great saves in a row, barely seeing the ball due to the bright sun. Our opponents were now believing they could revert the result.

A fault took place, they had now a straight line to our goal. Our defense is set. Unfortunately, what we wanted to avoid all the time happened. A header towards the goal before Mari could reach the ball.
1-1. Still 18 minutes to go.

With a more fearless opponent, and a ball kept in our part of the field, with no intention, (although happening quite a lot in a short period of time) referee touched the ball and Wavre had a restart, in maybe 1 or 2 touches they managed to put the ball in a good position for a good cross from their right side, and that’s exactly what happened, at 2 minutes until the end of the match. The wind that was now on their side blows the ball a bit further, and what seemed to be a good cross, turned out to be a great shot, making it to go over Mari and inside our net.

Similarly to what happened in our first match, Wavre turned again the match in their favor in the last minutes.

Some lessons:
– Always count on bad luck for us. Lack of focus, even for 1 second can result in a goal for the opposite side.
– Learn a better way to construct from defense to attack under pressure.

On Sunday the 8th of January, 2023, the FC Irelande ladies 2 team took on a challenging match against RAS. Jodoigne A ladies team. The first half started well, a kick off from FC Irelande. The ladies started off strong, with a high press and intensity, but as the match carried on, the ladies realized this team had a very strong formation and had passing and crossing patterns that were difficult to catch up with. The first goal was scored 15 minutes in the match from a cross from the the left corner to the center, where number 13 on the Jodoigne team was standing unmarked by the left side. As she got ahold of the ball in the center, she shot and scored into the bottom right corner of the net. The ladies held of Jodoigne for the rest of the first half as each team played with high intensity, eager to win. Things were looking optimistic for the Irelande ladies, until the second goal was scored 10 minutes into the second half from a long through ball from the midfield between the right center back and the right back and the furthermost attacker ran onto the ball, dribbled into the box, shot and scored. Things were looking less hopeful, as the match score placed at a dreadful 2:0 ratio, but the ladies did not give up so easily. FC Irelande’s only goal of the match was scored in the final 20 minutes of the game, after a poor defensive clearance from Jodoigne. The ball bounced around in and near the box for a while until Sophia got a hold of it in the center and shot over the keeper’s head and into the back of the net. The team fought diligently and at a high intensity, trying to tie the match and at the same time keeping the opposing team from scoring. The match ended at a score of 2-1, Jodoigne. Even though the FC Irelande ladies could not bring home a win, they did fight hard for the entire match and kept the intensity and spirits high.

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It was a cold Thursday night. Full moon or almost? FC Ireland Ladies 2 were ready to get their 3 points. Our beloved Scandinavian defender, Matilda, was soon to be off. A win was the only possible way to end the evening.

And so they did. The first few minutes, Ladies 2, battled the cold, battled Maccabi. The Maccabi style? One could say Tiki Taki. The midfield: Adina, Priscila and Rebecca and the defensive line had to stay concentrated. Maccabi had an early missile of a shot, but thankfully did not go in. Focus was at its utmost.

Through balls to the attackers were numerous and very quickly Rebecca found Liesbet on the left wing. With Liesbet’s notorious hustle she battled her way right through the goalie and past the goal line for the treasured goal.

The second half Maccabi came out strong, wanting to match FC Ireland’s goal, but no such thing happened. The defensive line, Isabel, Jenny, Matilda and Marianne were a strong wall and goalkeeper Mariana was ready at every moment despite her freezing feet. Francesca, Sephora, Lily, Ade and Eli battled on, giving many scares to the Maccabi goalie.

Full moon or not? The game ended 1-0 for FC Ireland. A clean win. Well done ladies and coaches and thank you to our supporters 🙂

Ladies II had been waiting for months for the match against Boitford. First because, despite the poor game they keep showing, the squad of RRC Boitford is incredibly fighting for holding the same position than FC Ireland in the middle of the table. Second of all, because of the tensed relationships between the two clubs. Thirdly, because on the match to go, FC Ireland had had an amazing performance on the pitch, which didn’t translate into 3 points only because of the super star of their team (and of the championship): their goal keeper!

A short but clear talk from the coaches pumped the ladies in Green, who showed up with a great squad, with great and experienced players in every position. Everything on the paper was encouraging, even the temperature that in the end proved to be warmer than expected. However, few minutes before the kick-off, the cold shower. “The Ref is not there, we need to ask the other team”.

For whom is in the club for some years, the match report could end up here. But as this piece aims to be informative also for our external crowd, lets provide some extra background. (I even made the rhyme).

The coach of Boitford took the whistle and despite the hopes of still having a fair game, the reality kicked-in. Few minutes after the start of the match, a doubtful penalty for a completely involuntary hand-touch was assigned to Boitford. Despite the great stretching and interception of Mariana, the ball is in. 1-0 for Boitford. The ladies in green didn’t lose the faith nor the fighting spirit and more determined than before were ready to go back and fight. The first half time, was a continuous exchange of passes, fight for the ball and attempts upfront. The defense had little work to do, apart watching the mid-field and attack keep fighting and being kicked by uncalled faults. It has to be highlighted that most of the opponents (with some exceptions that should be seen and treated by specialists) had little fault in how badly the game was running. Because of the good game displayed by the ladies in Green, there was very little that coaches could add during half time, apart encouraging the girls to keep focusing on their performance and dismiss the absurd “ref” decisions. The second half was unfortunately as bad as the first, with even more fire and goals attempts from the hosts. The “Ref” kept not seeing the faults of Boitford players, assigned random free kicks and throw-ins. A ball from the corner, clearly passing the line of the goal, was (un)surprisingly not seen. But if the “Ref” could do that in the first goal, he could not prevent assigning the second one, again from a corner. 1-1 The joy was immense, both for players and for the incredible supporters. A joy that unfortunately did not last long, as few minutes after, again from a corner, an unlucky rebound surprised Mariana, who could not do anything against the final 1-2.

A tough defeat, that hurts not really or only for the 3 missed points, rather for the lack of fair-play, decency and respect showed by the coaching staff of Boitford.

So, to end with the Lyrics of the Italian song “The law of goal”:

“It is the harsh law of goal:

the others will score, but,

What a show when we play!

We never give up,

They stay closed but

Does it really matter who will win?

After all, we are the greatest team here!

We are the greatest team here!”

Last Thursday, FC Irlande ladies 2 faced R. Union Saint-Gilloise. The weather on this Thanksgiving night was calm and serene, yet the attitude and effort ready to be given in this game was the complete opposite. It was going to be a tough game, as the opponent was first in the league. However, the ladies did not let this fact hold them back.

The opposition’s first goal occurred in the first half at minute 15. No other goals were scored on this half. This is due to each player giving great effort individually, but also being able to come together to defend and move in a formation as a team. This combination of a solid backline protected by a well organised midfield and attackers, was able to give a real run for their money to the top team in the league. A special thanks has to be noted for Sephora and Sara, who came to help ladies 2 in this tough match.

The ladies kept playing strong in the second half. The wingers and strikers ran tirelessly up and down the field, giving FCI opportunities to get a few good attacks and shots. Despite the determination of FC Irlande, Union Saint-Gilloise was able to score their second goal at minute 55. Then, a long shot to the goal at minute 70, resulted in the score being 3-0. The fourth and last goal came from a free-kick right before the end of the game. The ladies did not give up however, and fought with their heads up high until the final whistle. An example of this was Mariana, who persevered through the game despite an injury, and was able to make some great saves.

The most important development in the last few games can be seen in the shift of mentality and ability to play each battle with determination and focus. It is great to see the ladies gaining confidence in their abilities as individual players and as a team. Although the score on paper was not ideal, we can safely say it does not represent the quality or effort given by the ladies. The coaches, players, and the club can be very proud of the performance of FCI in this game.

The Ladies II, led by the solid insight of Diego and Martin, went to meet one of the fiercest opponents in Provincial 1, the White Star (WS) – coached by no other than FCI alumni Karim. The away match was played on one of the coldest evenings of November, testing the long johns of the players as much as their footballing talent. The opposing White Star was ranked second in the division, and the Ladies in Green were expecting a tough fixture even before the first whistle. Nonetheless, the spirits were high and we wanted to bring some points back home.

The always solid starting squad was made of Mariana in the goal (after playing the 1st half of the Ladies III match), Math and Ebba as central defenders, Marianne playing left full-back while Claire took the right side of the defence, the middle had Becky, Adi and Pris, Fra on the left wing, Eli on the right wing, and Jenny debuting as a striker.

The game kicked off with unexpectedly high pressure from the WS, resulting in a goal during the first minute of the match. Despite the lighting start, the FCI Ladies did not let the early trailing discourage them and kept their focus through the early minutes, however, the scoring chances went missing. Yet the opponent proved why they are fighting for the lead of the division. Despite the FCI Ladies competing well for possession, WS managed to score again at minute 13′, leaving the Ladies in Green to trail by two.

FCI took two early substitutions to keep the momentum during the first half. Fanny, who never stopped warming up, jumped from the bench to replace Claire still during the first half, while Lisbeth also played a couple of minutes in the first half after replacing Eli. Despite conceding early, the team kept its formation and fighting spirit, and the teams left the field for the half-time break with a 2-0 result.

The 2nd half started with more intense pressure and attacking efforts from the FCI Ladies. Su replaced Becky and Elli replaced Pris. The revitalised team manage to turn the tide of the game, and the WS defence ended up fouling Fra in the penalty area at the 59’ minute. Jenny converted the penalty solidly, making the game 2-1.

Both sides wanted to clearly win the match, and the contest was intense, yet fair. The two teams both managed to build goal-scoring opportunities but the end product was yet missing. FCI did some tactical substitutions, and Pris replaced Fra as a striker to keep the momentum going.

Finally, in the 72nd minute, the WS managed to find the FCI net making the game 3-1 for a couple of minutes. The opponent’s joy proved short-lived. FCI did not finish fighting for the points, and just four minutes after the WS goal, Eli scored 3-2 for the Irish Ladies! The newly found momentum led to even stronger attacking efforts for the away team, aiming to equalize the game, yet the home defence held their lead.

Ten minutes before the end the WS managed to break away from the pressure and pull one more goal to strengthen their lead. Despite this, FCI kept on fighting for the points until the end of the game, but the final 4-2 scoreline prevailed. Nonetheless, the Irish Ladies performed well and showed that they can challenge even the top teams of the division, and most importantly, the players kept a good formation and morale throughout the match!

It was a beautiful autumn day– the kind with a crisp chill in the air, golden and amber trees casting long shadows on the pitch, and L2 ready to defend their turf at home! The preceding week had been one of increasing intensity, as explained so eloquently by Eli with her “FCI L2 Fighting Level Chart.” According to this chart, L2’s intensity level has been steadily building, being only at 5% for the 1st half of the last two games, then moving to 50% for the 2nd half of the last two games, moving up to 60% after Thursday’s training, and reaching 110% up until the final whistle on Sunday’s match. With help from L1 (Sarah, Viriginie, Ebba, Juliette, and Sephora) Irelande had a strong team, ready to battle. From the first whistle, Irelande brought heart and determination, dominating the pitch, while moving the ball and playing cohesively as a team. The first half was marked by FCI maintaining possession and getting a few shots and good crosses off. None of which, however, were successful up until the 37th minute, when after a brutal foul outside the penalty box, Virginie struck a beautiful shot just above the keeper’s gloves as it floated into the net. Finally with the score reflecting more of how Irelande was playing, L2 finished out the 1st half strong, hungry for more. And more is what they got. Within the first 5 minutes of the second half, Eli sent a sharp cross into the box, where Juliette cracked the ball past the keeper. The intensity kept building as the strong central midfield relentlessly attacked, dribbling the ball down the middle and passing through-balls for the wings. Despite some rough physical play from Mt. St. Guibert, Irelande kept fighting and Adina took an open shot from the top of the box where the ball sailed into the top right corner of the goal. Only a minute later, the final whistle blew and Irelande took home the victory! Irelande’s performance really showed the level they are capable of playing at and the intensity and determination that make them the fighting Irish.

Friday night. Cold weather. Darkness (one of the lights on the stadium doesn’t work), buuut that’s football and we love playing in every condition at any hour of the day.
The “tac-tac-boom” tactics of the other team were well known and we knew we were facing a tough opponent (2nd in the league). FCI started the game very passively and didn’t show their fighting spirit in the first 30min. which resulted in a quick 3-0 lead for Chastre.
The second half started with another quick goal from Chastre after which FCI started slowly resurrecting, brought up their intensity and started creating opportunities in front of the opponent’s goal. 5 minutes before the end of the game after a good combination in the midfield and forwards, the ball finally reached the back of Chaster’s net.
Not our best game of the season, but it is part of our journey and we take the lessons learned along and look forward to the next challenge.
Special thanks to all the ladies from L1 and L3 who helped make the team complete!

It was THE game to win for FCI Ladies II. Facing Saint-Michel, a team with almost identical stats, both teams having gained 7 points in their previous 7 battles.
A strong squad of FCI was set to play the 4-3-3 with a full bench ready to support, and heroic Flavia, who volunteered to go in the goal in the absence of Mariana.
A long and structured warm up and encouraging speech from the coaches and captains followed just before the kick off.
It is hard to tell if it was due to the sudden first minute goal of Saint-Michel or other factors, but Ladies II could not maintain focus, gain or keep the ball in the first half. The girls went into duels halfheartedly and gave a rather timid impression as a team. Saint-Michel smartly exploited the passiveness of the opponent, earned the phycological advantage by showing stronger presence, and even though they did not create many dangerous situations, the first half of the match ended 0 – 2.
The second half started somewhat better for green, with Ladies II getting more into the game. Even after Saint-Michel’s 3rd goal, the girls in green kept fighting. The 1 – 3 was set by Jenny after a good run and dribble by Francesca, who gave the assist in the 75th minute. 5 minutes later Elena scored Ladies II’s second goal of the game by a well timed and great looking header after a corner.
Sadly, the remaining 10 minutes were not enough to turn the game or equalize and the match ended with a bitter 2-3 score.
Ladies II have talent and have shown this in previous games. The ladies will work very hard in the next weeks as they will face three top opponents in a row now. Improving technique, tactics, communication, and further nurturing team spirit and fighting spirit will all be key to face the best of the table. No doubt that the players, if they want it, are fully up to this challenge.

However, this game against Saint-Michel, an opponent with equal records, will remain a missed opportunity. They simply wanted it more.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon ladies II came together at Auderghem. They made a strong team against Ixelles.
Ladies II started the first half very concentrated, eager to win this game. Ixelles and FCI were both strong teams and both showed their worth. Ladies II kept pushing and trying to build actions, but they could not get the ball in. Even though they kept their heads held high and didn’t lose their focus. First half ended with 0-0
The second half started and after a few tries Ladies II were rewarded for their hard work. Elena made the first goal, which gave FCI hope and led to more goals. The second one was made by Adina after a beautiful team effort. Priscilla came running towards the goal and put the third one in. Ixelles seemed to have let their guard down, but after the third goal they found their second breath and came back with 2 goals. It was 3-2 and the game was almost over. Ladies II could smell the victory.
Unfortunately, Ixelles could score one last goal in the last minute.
So the match ended in a draw (3-3).

A chilly morning in Anderlecht developed into an unseasonably warm October Sunday as FC Irlande Ladies 2 travelled to Anderlecht to take on Bx Brussels.
Having been promoted from P2 last season, Bx Brussels were familiar foes but the FCI ladies understood the assignment. The opening 15 minutes was a well balanced fight with both teams trying to prise open the opponents’ defence. Despite a couple of promising early opportunities from FCI, with a notable back heel from Eli that went just wide of the goal, Bx Brussels went ahead 1-0 after 25ish minutes.
An early substitution saw Sephora come on up front, immediately terrifying the Bx defence with her attacking runs. One particularly energetic burst up the left side saw her gracefully dance around the Bx defenders and square a pass for Priscilla to run onto and blast the ball into the goal. 1-1. The Bx defence was left reeling and FCI ladies quickly capitalised with Sephora once again displaying silky skills and finishing off with a header to make it 1-2 to Ireland!
We went in ahead at the break and the main message at half-time was to concentrate and not let them back into the game in the first 5 minutes and then we build from there. And that is exactly what happened. The second half saw Ireland dominate the opposition and put into practice what we have been working on in training: moving the ball from side to side, one-two passing, improving communication. Bx put a lot of pressure in the last 10 minutes or so but our solid defensive line and an all-round great team performance led to a fine away win for Ladies 2. This now sees us at a very respectable 10th in the league.
FCI abú!! 🙂
(that’s Irish for ‘up FCI’)

This Sunday’s home game against Wavre Limal was set on a perfectly calm autumn day. Excitement was in the air, as both Ladies 2 and 3 were playing at the same time. This was going to be a good and competitive match, with teams ranked right after each other on the league table.

The first half was full of action, with both teams playing very well. As clear sign of the team getting to know each other more, the ladies had great communication, and played very well together as a unit. The ladies had an extremely strong and collective defensive form, led by their solid backline. Even though FC Irlande had some good attacking plays, no goals were scored by either team on the first half.

The second half ended up being a little more emotional.
The rest of the 90 minute game consisted of much more quick changes of direction and through balls. It was great to notice the team implementing what they have been practicing throughout the last few weeks. This was seen in the ladies being able to switch the ball from one side to another, where there was more space.

At minute 82’, Mel scored a great goal, making the game 1-0. (special thanks to Mel for coming to help out Ladies 2)
90 minutes had been played, and the game was 1-0 to FC Irlande. Only thing missing was the final whistle, and everyone could go celebrate at the buvette. No such whistle came. The ladies became agitated, and Wavre Limal was able to score on overtime to even up the score. With much rage and confusion in the air, the opposition was able to score quickly again, to make the score 1-2. And then, right after (of course), the final whistle came.

Despite a few temper tantrums and red cards, (somehow Fran was able to dodge this) we can say that FC Irlande played extremely well, and can be proud of this Sunday’s performance.

If we have to note a positive side to this unlucky situation, we should take this as a lesson to never give up, and to ALWAYS play until the end, regardless of how unbelievable the circumstances are.

This Sunday morning, the ladies II gathered to face one of the top team in the league, Jodoigne. We knew it would be a very hard team to defeat, so we arrived there with no complex and nothing to lose.

The first half debuted with a very high pressure from both teams. We showed them that we were not there to joke. There was some great passing in the middle, amazing through balls from Sophia and Adina that allowed us to bring some danger, good pressure from the forwards and good communication in the back. The game was very even with only very few shots on both sides. When unfortunately a great pass from Jodoigne got through our defense and despite a great save from Marie, Jodoigne scored for the first time of the game … And it wouldn’t be the last. A few minutes later, a pass to a player even more offside than our beloved Francesca usually is, allowed them to score a second time. The fact that the ref didn’t whistle got into our heads, and we lost concentration, leading to a very quick third goal for Jodoigne. The first half ended a few minutes later on the score of 3-0.

We came back on the pitch for the second half with a new motivation and a new tactic, hoping that this would allow us to stop their very good and annoying number 13. This seemed to work as we were able to stop them for a while and were even able to create some opportunities thanks to great combinations on the right wing and a good pressure. Unfortunately, this would not hold for very long. After a great combination, Jodoigne was able to score again. And despite our efforts, they kept coming and scored another three goals before the final whistle relieved us. Ending the game on the score of 7-0.

Even if some could consider this as a heavy lost, we never gave up, we always tried to create something, and we showed real team spirit. This should be taken as a lesson from a very well organized team who is not top of the league for nothing. We matched them for a good 30 minutes in the first half, which means we’re not that far behind. There are few things to improve, and I’m sure we will. We’ll get them next time, ladies.

FC Irlande ladies 2 gathered on the home ground on a grey and rainy Wednesday, ready for their third game of the season. This time against a familiar opponent – Maccabi Brussels. With the perfect conditions for a football game (according to some), everything was set for success.

The game started in a high tempo, with the opponents trying to surprise the greens with some long passes towards the defensive line. FCI was soon able to counter-attack, resulting in a corner for FCI. Adina directed a well aimed pass into the box, which landed right on Jenny’s forehead and went straight into the net. 1-0 TO FC IRLANDE!

The ladies continued to play with confidence and showed several good sets of passing skills and cooperation. However, all of a sudden the opponents took their chance to strike back, after some light confusion in front of the Irish goal. 1-1.

After a much-needed half time rest and some empowering advice from the coaches, FCI started the second half with a sharp focus. Only two minutes in, after a masterly build-up play, Adina showed some great skills again and placed the ball neatly behind the Maccabi goalkeeper and brought FCI back in the lead.

The show was not over yet, as one of the absolute highlights of the game was still about to happen. In the 60th minute, FCI got a free-kick from at least 30m from the goal. Priscila saw no other solution than sending a master class shot above the keeper’s head and straight into the net. Golazooo!

Only a few minutes later, Priscila advanced to the box again, to score the fourth goal for FCI. Despite the flow for FCI, Maccabi continued to pressure tirelessly and managed to score again in the 75th minute.

After the final whistle, the celebrations could begin. A 4-2 win and the first three points of the season! A great fight and team effort from all the players, involving even some nosebleed, sweat and (happy) tears.

The FCI ladies woke up to a grey Sunday morning but that didn’t impact their motivation to play their second match of this renewed squad. On the other side, the Boitsfort squad had several former FCI players, so that promised to be a very interesting and intense battle.

Just before the start of the match, we had to sort out some unforeseen identity issues, but Mari’s passport uber services were able to resolve it rapidly, just before the kick-off. With all the paper issues behind, the FCI side was united and driven to get to business and play some football.

Boitsfort was expecting FCI to start with Francesca “angel wings” as customary on the right side, so their coach placed their fastest defender there to try and stop her. What they had not expected is that knowing that Boitsfort had some critical intelligence on the FCI squad, coaches Martin and Diego would outsmart them and place Fra on the left side of our attack instead. That gave the FCI ladies an edge in the first few minutes of the match. Fra was soon able to gallop into the box and continued to have an advantage over her defender for a good 10 minutes. After at least 2 penalties that the ref should’ve called, one after another, he had no choice but to whistle at least one of them. Pri was brave and resolute when she took the ball to shoot it, but unfortunately, even if the shot was well-targeted and strong, that was just the first great save of a series from the brilliant Boitsfort goalkeeper.

The FCI ladies did not get discouraged after the saved penalty and continued to push. In the mid-field Adina, Su and Rebecca had things under control displaying their typical class and technique. On the back, the connection Sephora, Claire, Marianne, and Lily – and later Alicia – was working well even if it was a completely “fresh out of fire” defensive line; they showed their strength and were super chill on the few times they were under attack, probably influenced by Claire in her usual peace and calm telling everyone to be “tranquilo” no matter what. Up front Eli, Pri and Fra kept fighting and finding spaces and changing positions to confuse the opponent’s defense. The first half continued with the ladies in green having control of the match most of the time, but being stopped time after time by the unrelenting goalkeeper of Boitsfort.

Boitsfort had some shy incursions into the FCI defense line, mainly from their left flank but nothing that was causing too much danger apart from a couple of corners. Olatz was very solid though, keeping complete control of her box. Finally around minute 30, on a second ball from a corner, Boitsfort scored.

The second half was very similar to the first, with the ladies in green creating the better chances while the Boitsfort goalkeeper kept denying us a goal. Naomi, the goal scorer from ladies 3 earlier in the week, came into the pitch along with Liza, to try and bring some new lungs to the attack. Liza made a great through pass to Eli, who using her signature move tried to shoot while on the ground, but that was just another ball that went to the hands of the keeper of Boitsfort. The game was open and the FCI ladies kept trying their best, supported by some well-thought tactical moves from the coaches on the sideline. However, this was a day the goalkeeper of the adversary was too inspired and the match ended 1×0 to Boitsfort.

Even if without the victory, the ladies in green left the pitch proud of their performance knowing that with a group like that, things can only get better.

This Friday, FC Irelande Ladies 2 started their season with a game against Union Lasne Ohain.

Eli became our top scorer of the season at just 21 minutes into the first half. The goal was scored from Jenny’s freekick to the box.
After 45 minutes of great saves from Marie, a strong performance from the backline, a good defensive form from the mid-field, and an energetic press from the forwards, the score was 1-0 at half-time.

FCI’s beginning of the second half was a little difficult. Union Lasne Ohain was able to score 2 goals quickly just a few minutes into the second half at 47’ and 49’. The harsh and physical nature of the game might have come as a little surprise for many players after the break. Despite this, and the rather difficult pitch, the ladies kept their attitudes high.

The opponent was able to score for the last time at 76 minutes. Regardless of this, the ladies did not let this discourage them. The team pushed forward and worked tirelessly as a team for the reminder of the second half.

While the score of 3-1 was not the preferred one, each player played with perseverance until the end. FCI can stand proud with a great season ahead of them.

All fixtures and results

#1 September 2, 2022 Union Lasne Ohain A 3 - 1 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#2 September 11, 2022 RRC Boitsfort A 1 - 0 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#3 September 14, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 4 - 2 Report Maccabi Brussels A
#4 September 25, 2022 RAS. Jodoigne A 7 - 0 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#5 October 2, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 1 - 2 Report R. Wavre Limal
#6 October 9, 2022 BX. Brussels B 1 - 2 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#7 October 16, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 3 - 3 Report SC Ixelles A
#8 October 22, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 2 - 3 Report FC. Saint-Michel A
#9 November 4, 2022 ASE. Chastre B 4 - 1 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#10 November 13, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 3 - 0 Report CS. Mont-St-Guibert A
#11 November 19, 2022 FC Fem. White Star Woluwe C 4 - 2 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#12 November 24, 2022 R. Union St-Gilloise 4 - 0 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#13 December 4, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 1 - 2 Report RRC Boitsfort A
#14 December 8, 2022 Maccabi Brussels A 0 - 1 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#15 December 17, 2022 FC Irlande Ladies 2 - R.C.S. Nivellois
#15 January 8, 2023 FC Irlande Ladies 2 1 - 2 Report RAS. Jodoigne A
#16 January 15, 2023 R. Wavre Limal 2 - 1 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#17 January 21, 2023 FC Irlande Ladies 2 4 - 1 Report BX. Brussels B
#17 January 27, 2023 RSC Ixelles A 3 - 2 Report FC Irlande Ladies 2
#18 February 4, 2023 FC. Saint-Michel A - FC Irlande Ladies 2
#19 February 12, 2023 FC Irlande Ladies 2 - ASE. Chastre B
#20 February 26, 2023 FC Irlande Ladies 2 - R. Union St-Gilloise
#21 March 3, 2023 CS. Mont-St-Guibert A - FC Irlande Ladies 2
#22 March 12, 2023 FC Irlande Ladies 2 - FC Fem. White Star Woluwe C
#23 March 25, 2023 R.C.S. Nivellois - FC Irlande Ladies 2
#24 April 1, 2023 FC Irlande Ladies 2 - Union Lasne Ohain A

FC Irlande Ladies 2

  • Coach : Martin Stobbs
  • Coach : Diego Sanchez
  • Captain : Francesca Cattarin
  • Captain : Elena Kirova

Top goals scorers

  • Elena 6
  • Priscila 5
  • Adina 3
  • Jenny 3
  • Juliette 3
  • Parker 2
  • Mel 1
  • Virginie 1
  • Liesbet 1
  • Sophia 1
  • Fra 1

Top goals assists

  • Jenny 1
  • Adina 1
  • Fra 1
  • Elena 1