3rds had again a crucial game against direct rivals Midi AS, also in the battle against relegation. Despite starting the game downhill and with a strong back wind, we couldn’t create any clear chances and Antoine had to make a quick reaction save on a ball deflected by Max. Early on Rodrigo was left KO after a strong knee hit on the ribs by one of their defenders and had to come off. Achraf substituted him in CM. We couldn’t take advantage of the wind though and it was 0-0 at HT. We started well in the second half and an excellent through ball from Achraf set Brendan on a one to one against their keeper, which he finished very calmly with a clinical placed shot into the corner. Similar scenario led to the 2nd goal with a through ball from Ignasi again to Brendan, but their keeper this time made the save only to put it into Shane’s path to finish it off. 2-0 and clearly dominating the game. After a few more chances, came the 3rd goal after a strong shot from Piet on the right edge of the 6-yard box took a deflection off a defender and into the goal. With a comfortable lead, a little unexpectedly, things began to go askew. They scored twice in quick succession, first directly from a wide free kick and then from a corner aided by the strong wind pushing the ball into the top corner. It made for a very nervy 5 minutes to go, we had to clear a few dangerous chances as they pushed for an equaliser, one hitting the post and another Antoine came out quick to block a shot from their forward that otherwise would have ended in the goal. Crucial save. The final whistle was music to our ears and we could breathe happily. Third win in a row for the 3rds, who have strengthened their position in the league now. We believe we still need at least 4 more points to be safe, perhaps a few more, and with 4 matches left to play we need to keep up this form. GANAR, GANAR Y VOLVER A GANAR !!!💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼
The FC Ireland 3rd team had to travel to Braine l’Alleud, 20 km away from Brussels, for their away match this Saturday. In countryside Wallonia, the players were greeted as soon as they left the highway by a huge Lions statue (Butte du Lion), commemorating the mythical battle fought here in neighbouring Waterloo some 200 years ago.
The sunny afternoon was spoiled when Ireland conceded the first goal after only a few minutes. We had the opportunity to speak to one of the players after the final whistle and he described the first few minutes of the game as follows: “Despite it being mid afternoon we were still half asleep and they scored their first goal in a matter of minutes. Our defence was little bit too high and they exploited that with a well placed through ball. Before we knew it they had scored 3 more goals in the first 25 minutes and we found ourselves 4-0 down. When we finally woke up at the end of the first half and scored 2 goals to give us some encouragement at half time.”
It went into the half-time break with a 4-2. Clear words must have been spoken there, because the FC Ireland players came out of the break full of energy and pushed for more goals. One player described the development of the game in these words: “Second half we tried to come back, we tried to keep the ball more and we scored again on a fast counter attack. We made a few opportunities to score the 4th goal and complete the comeback and grab a point, but in our best chance the referee called it offside (marginal but admittedly VAR would probably have backed him up).”
The referee indeed had a strange day. For example, the left full-back of Ireland was yellow-carded for a slight tackle, while his Opponent was not even given a verbal warning by the referee for a hard tackle that Wellington and Napoleon would have been proud of. Instead, the yellow card deserved here was given a few minutes later to a player who had already been substituted for smoking a cigarette on the sidelines. A curious scene.
Final score remained 4-3 in the end. What conclusion can be drawn from this match?, we aked one of the Players after the match: “We need to show Spirit from the start and begin our games with more intensity, that will be key to getting some more points on the board. Vamos!!!” Next Saturday will be another chance to record their third win of the season. The Midi AS players will have been celebrating the home win they just managed to salvage. It is not known whether the famous song by ABBA „Waterloo“ was sung at a later hour this evening. What is certain is that there will be a rematch in the second half of the season.