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Match report : FC Irlande vs Tourinnois 1-2

As we wait for the highly anticipated match report of our heroics against Ambiance, I thought i could already do the report for the painful loss yesterday at the hands of Tourinnois.

Pretext :
Wednesday training at KVW Woluwe saw a record 17 people in training. After 3 wonderful warmup laps and bit of high knees, opening and closing of the gates taken by our new keeper Lennart, we had already 1 man down clutching his knee. After Bonaldi, at equal intervals during this cursed training, 4 others got injured Naim, Isaac, Rudy, Daan in this order.

Luckily we knew later that Rudy was just feigning injury all the time to support Benfica who were playing Ajax. But to our surprise Cillian took Rudy’s place in this big injury list by Friday.

Match Day:
A Beautiful sunny day in Brussels after a long time had lifted all our spirits this Saturday at Noseghem.
Entering Noseghem we saw two brave souls fighting to help the 2nds be mathematically safe in their division. James “Booster Dose” Brett and Casemiro Flynn. Great performance from both of them and in the end 2nds won 1-0.

Now our Match:
We started really slow, Tourinnois getting hold of possession and moving the ball around. We had troubles controlling and passing the ball around except 1 man. It was almost a one man show Billy ‘Beckenbauer’ Kinane vs Tourinnois. Billy organizing the defence, stopping their attacks at the back and in the same time dribbling past a few showing how it’s supposed to be done. We as usual didn’t take his example and soon went a goal down before HT. A strike from the left side was well saved by Max but the rebound was put in. 0-1
The second half went much better as we started creating chances and great moves from Luke on the right and Andrea from the left. After a few shots on target, Andrea whipped in a beautiful curving cross from the left flank which was brilliantly volleyed in by Davido with his left foot running into the box 1-1. Great scoring form but unfortunately we will miss his services next game as he serves his suspension. We had after this 20 minutes of play where possession was split, they looked dangerous on the break and we were trying to get that 2nd goal. Not creating any clear chances, the referee in this period gave a total of 9 yellows (4 to us) after feeling a bit of pressure from the opponents. Last 5 mins, they get a freekick which they put in the box, the 2nd Ball kindly loops to their player in the 6 yard box who puts it in. 1-2 FT.

In the end, they wanted it more than us as it makes them safe from relegation.

In the changing room we come to know the secret of Billy’s skillful display as it was his birthday yesterday.
Belated HBD Billy and to add to it, David is celebrating his birthday today so happy birthday to you as well.

MOTM Billy ‘Beckenbauer’ Kinane

The boys in green were coming from a convincing victory last week against Euro Union and were breathing on British necks only one point above in the league. Unfortunately our hundreds of fans were not allowed to join us given the strict COVID-19 measures in place.

In the locker room
Despite the atrocious weather and the precarious conditions of the pitch, far away from home and all our loved ones, DJ Bono’s contagious reggaeton hits immediately lightened the mood in the locker room. Coach Alvaro all of a sudden shared a moving memory of the good old times when he was younger and nobody really understood why. In any case, he was crystal clear with the team: Joga Bonito was not in the cards, the 3 points were the only thing that mattered and we would have gotten them only by staying focused until the very end.

The Game: First Half
The first 15 minutes were not as rosy as one might have hoped. To quote a wise man on the bench, the guys were “doing everything they were told not to do”. It took some time to adjust to the harsh conditions of the pitch and half the team was wearing the same shoes as at their First Communion. Finally, a lovely pass by Cillian reached Sigve at the edge of the box and our Norwegian viking let the ball pass between his legs, disorienting the Tourinnois defence and allowing Arjan to face the goalkeeper and score with a Francesco Totti-style ‘cucchiaio’ (literally: ‘spoon’).
Unsurprisingly, the game went back to being an uphill battle for FC Irlande. We started conceding too many corners and free kicks and Tourinnois were able to capitalize on two occasions, concluding the first half 2-1 ahead. Not exactly what our team needed….or perhaps exactly what we needed to go back into the fight even more determined.

The Game: Second half
The second half saw Billy and yours truly replace Sean and David and some of us shed a tear watching them go back inside to take a hot shower. James set the tone by painting his face with mud like someone who’s ready to fight. Unbelievable how he could dribble and dance with the ball while the rest of us humans were struggling to stand on our feet. Building on the umpteenth throw in from the left wing, we managed to conquer a precious free kick and Cillian did not hesitate to turn it into a beautiful 2-2 goal, the Tourinnois goalkeeper still stuck in his puddle. Galvanized by the increasing pace and dominance of the team, while at the same time aiming to ‘spice it up’ even further, Lennart and Bono thought it would be a good idea to exchange short passes in the swamp among mud puddles. Too yummy an opportunity for the Tourinnois striker not to seize: 3-2 with about 15 minutes to go. Coach Alvaro replaced Cillian at that point and quickly realised how tough a game that had become. The boys in green however were not ready to give up and found ultimate glory with Dutchman Arjan capitalising on two fantastic assists from Sigve (3-3) and Luke (4-3), whose accelerations on the right wing were giving quite a few headaches to the Tourinnois defence.

Final considerations:
Overall, great victory and impressive show of strength despite some mistakes and a couple of avoidable yellow cards (let’s not mention any names…). I’m wrapping up this match report with another Totti reference, as his name also became an exciting acronym this week, one that I hope we will be able to keep for a long, long time: Top-Of-The-Table-Ireland!

MOTM: Arjan (12 votes)

Special congratulations to David who has to wash the kit this week!

All fixtures and results

#14 December 4, 2021 FC Tourinnois 1 3 - 4 Report FC Irlande Men 1
#23 February 26, 2022 FC Irlande Men 1 1 - 2 Report FC Tourinnois 1

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