RRC Etterbeek

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A fine Friday evening on 29th April saw the FCI Ladies 3 team take on RRC d’Etterbeek for the final match of the season in Stade Guy Thys.

Motivation was high for a possible fourth place finish as FCI took to the field, the very picture of concentration and energy. With Etterbeek hoping for a strong end to their season after a not-so-good start, the tension was palpable at kick-off. Etterbeek started the brighter with some nice passing between midfield and the excellent striker. FCI took some time to get used to the Etterbeek movement which unfortunately lead to an early goal for the home side after about 5 mins. 0-1 down, but certainly not out, FCI decided to finally impose ourselves on the game. Flavia and Sandra marshalled the centre of defence with strong support from Sarah and Marianne on the left and right respectively. Rebecca, Sarah and Juliette started to switch the play from side to side, giving deep passes for Fra and Eli to run onto. The Etterbeek defence was tough but, unable to deal with Fra’s speed, decided the best thing to do was hack at her (proving to be excellent inspiration for Flavia in the second half!). FCI were gaining in confidence going forward, resulting in a couple of corners and 2 hard-won frees. We finally levelled the match on about 15 minutes when this author went for a ‘hit and hope’ which sailed over the ‘keeper’s head and, thankfully, into the goal. The raucous FCI away fans let the home side know they were present! No-one could get past Marianne on the right and Liesbet displayed some gorgeous footwork only replicated on the tables of Le Corbeau later that night. Angie then came in at left-back to demonstrate typical Italian defending, which moved Sarah up to midfield and Juliette to striker. Fra, as always, put her body on the line in search of the goal that would win her the Golden Boot for the season. Evidence of this determination to beat her team-mate can be seen on all the socials (thanks Josh!). The teams were level on the score sheet and on the pitch for the next 20-25 minutes, until two damaging passes took the FCI defence out of it and Etterbeek went ahead 1-2 just before the break.

FCI heads were not down, however; buoyed by a brilliant display, in all areas, the team returned from the break determined to win. Ade came in for Angie, yours truly briefly moved back instead of Sandra, Rebecca took up the defensive midfield position, Sarah went to right side of midfield and everyone else stayed the same. The pattern of play repeated in the second half with Etterbeek dominating possession in the early minutes, until our women upped the ante and started to push on in search of a second equaliser. Etterbeek played the ball forward to their striker but Marianna and her defence were well able to withstand the pressure, with Mari pulling off some fine saves. At this point, Sandra re-entered the fray in place of my knackered self. We pushed higher up the pitch and had several chances, Liesbet coming close, until finally Eli and Fra combined to level the game 2-2 with about 30 minutes to go. Evidence of this celebration can also be seen on the socials (thanks again Josh!). Sophie made a brief, ferocious appearance in place of Liesbet, causing problems for her opponent in left mid, so much so that said opponent decided to end Sophie’s game early. The ref seemed to think it was an acceptable tackle but those of us who witnessed it beg to differ. Maz came on in place of the injured Sophie and for the second week in a row, demonstrated that she can play literally anywhere on the pitch. Experience is everything. The Etterbeek no. 10, who was an excellent player, put them ahead for the 3rd time around the 70 minute mark, completely against the run of play as we had the majority of possession in the time since getting the equalizer. Once again, FCI heads did not dip and we spent the next 20 minutes fighting for a point. The pressure from us almost paid off a couple of times towards the end of the 90 minutes but it wasn’t to be. The general consensus from the team was, however, that is was an enjoyable match to play in, and from what we heard, it was a great match to watch too. We are so grateful to the supporters who cheered loudly for us and drove us on during the match; to quote Eli “it was absolutely energizing during the game and electrifying after it”.

We didn’t win the last match of the season, but we did end on a high – 5th place in P2 is an excellent result. A true club achievement thanks to the all the players who have played throughout the season!

The ladies in green, playing home on a sunny Saturday evening, had yet another great performance against the challenging team of Etterbeek. The final result was 2-0, but the opportunities to score were abundant. Liesbet, who played right wing, was the author of both goals. The first goal, early in, at minute 10 of the first half, resulted from a brilliant assistance from Elena. At minute 42,  Rebecca made a long shot to the goal, which the goal keeper managed to stop, but Liesbet followed the ball and managed to push it inside the goal with a short touch, resulting in the second and last goal of the match. FC Irlande came back from the break confident and eager to score more goals, but despite the clear dominance and several scoring occasion during the whole 90min, the shots from our advanced players either missed the goal or were defended. In sum, it was a pleasant match, with lots of nice plays, fair play from both teams and an encouraging number of supporters. Looking forward for the next one already. Go Irlande!

All fixtures and results

#4 September 25, 2021 FC Irlande Ladies 3 2 - 0 Report RRC Etterbeek
#16 April 29, 2022 RRC Etterbeek 3 - 2 Report FC Irlande Ladies 3

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