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Match report : Brussels LTC 2 – FC Irlande
For the last away game the season, the target for us around this game was to finish the season the best way as possible, win all games and try to reach the second place, hoping to see Grez and LXG loose some points.
In the dressing room, Alvaro « Pep » Zabalza decides to organize the team in a never-seen-before tactic; a 3-2-2-3 to try to get the control of the ball in midfield and have a more effective pressing. All the conditions were reunited to have a good game and enjoy the match.
After a light warm-up, we started the game in a good way controlling the ball and moving quickly, we succeeded to recovered from our pressure. After 5 minutes, we confirmed our domination on a quick transition, Rachid finds Sigve who scored from a nice finish at the first post.
After the goal, we tried more to control the game instead of keep the pressure, the game was more balanced from this moment, but we were still ahead; James, Andrea and Lennart managed to block the few LTC’s attacks. The game could have been sealed sooner but shots from Rachid, Sigve and David were saved by the opponent keeper.
At half time our feeling was the same; we have to score that second game to avoid any surprise and get the win.
Second half :
The second half was an ABSSA classic; instead of first half, the referee lost the control of the game, and tension between the two teams raised. Game was stopped every 2-3 minutes for a foul our an argue – 9 yellows in total !
However, we tried to keep pushing for an other goal, but despite our efforts, the referee decides to wrongly report offside several great runs from Sigve, David and Luke. Finally, a nice pass from Alvaro behind the defense finds Rachid, not offside this time, who waited Naim’s run that scored from short distance. At 2-0, LTC 2 stopped hoping for a miracle, the last minutes came back in our hand and we controlled the game until the end.
Overall that was a good performance, a good lesson for next year in the sense that we have to kill those kind of game if we want to compete for the league title.
Special mention to our back three, that made the game easier, and François, who got his second clean-sheet with us in two games this season.
MOTM : Naïm
GOALS : Sigve, Naïm
ASSISTS : Rachid x2
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.
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.
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 firsts had a crucial game against Ambiance auderghem after 2 back to back losses to get some points. We were the better team from the go, playing against the wind, creating chances but a long ball and our GK cleaned out their striker. Red card Max. Lennart went in goal , playing with 10 men, we conceded a goal 5mins before HT 0-1. We started the 2nd half well, stayed in the fight, everyone just stepped up their game, outplayed their midfield and got a goal back from David cutting inside and shooting near post.1-1. 5mins later, we go on the attack, Nair dribbling the right back and crossing for Thomas P with an excellent back heel finish.2-1.Our subs Naim and Lugaidh came on to help us through the last 10mins. What a team performance. Won 2-1.
Sean was supposed to write a match report but was busy taking care of his pregnant wife. Let me say some words about the last match before we focus on the next game against Amb. Auderghem this weekend. Sorry for the delay.
Alvaro decided to take off another weekend to enjoy some extra sunshine in Spain. Our DOF decided to follow Alvaro’s example by booking a weekend away as well. Besides that, he decided to send Sigve to the veterans. It felt like Paul gave up on us for some of our players. With dropping out these 2 tactical master brains, this gave an opportunity to Nair to make his debut as a coach. After being a player, assistant coach, trainer, delegue, referee, team manager and probably some other roles, he could finally add a new chapter to his FC Irlande book. Watch out Paul, next step for Nair will be trying to get your position as DOF.
After a drive of nearly 45 min and sightseeing for some of us on the military base, we finally arrived in the middle of nowhere. Because Fc Irlande was playing against their local club, they decided to make a village festival of it with some good music involved.
Because our regular DJ’s dropped out, Andrea (Bocelli) decided to play some good Italian opera for us. After nearly falling asleep Nair decided to wake us up with some inspiring words and prepare us for a difficult match.
First of all, a big thank you to Loui to help us this weekend. After removing some cows and kids from the field we were able to start a good warming up. Luke and James were back from their injuries and returned to their familiar positions to start the match.
From here on I could copy/paste the match report of last weeks. To quote Rudy: A surprisingly strong wind gave a significant advantage to the Irish as the first half kicked off. The extraordinary gentlemen were not that extraordinary at all as they did not manage to string more than 2 passes together thanks to the pressing of FCI….. Irlande dominated possession from the start with early chances lining up for the squad…. And like any other match, we created some good chances again.
David placed the ball just on the wrong side of the goal post after a one on one with the goalkeeper. Arjan’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper after a perfect cross of Nair. Some crosses from our left defender/striker Andrea were just a bit too far for our magical striker Tommy and in the end, we conceded a goal again. An impossible ball from around 30 meters, that shot some birds out of the sky, landed behind Max.
The second half showed a similar pattern. Fc Irlande was desperate looking for the equaliser with some good beats on the background of the local festival. Luke decided to show some of his famous rushes alongst the right side and some shots were blocked in the box. David set Arjan free in front of the goalkeeper, but unfortunately, he missed again (sorry for that guys). The Energy and belief flowed away, and we were not able to score a goal anymore.
Another loss but keep up the good spirit and I am sure will add some additional points to our total.
Match report FC Irlande – League of extraordinary gentlemen – 05/02/2022, kick off at 14h00
Setting: A sunny but freezing Saturday afternoon on a wobbly Irish pitch
Pre-match: Saturday morning started of in good shape as the sun decided to show its face for the first time this year. This disoriented our Angolan defensive strong man Bono who struggled to find his way to Nossegem not recognizing any of the streets in the sunlight. The build up to the game was strengthened by the 2nd team who managed to pull off a 1-1 draw following a strong 2nd half performance.
Our tactical mastermind Alvaro Fortun was back in the changing room this week after a supposed Covid exclusion (although based on his tan some suspect he was back in his beloved Malaga enjoying Sangria for a few days…). Alvaro set the scene with a strong speech of which I struggle to remember the details. The main point was most probably press, press and press some more. A small but strong squad was available for the game with only 12 fit players with Luke and Alvaro as additional subs on the bench in case needed.
A surprisingly strong wind gave a significant advantage to the Irish as the first half kicked off. Ireland dominated possession from the start with early chances lining up for the squad. A first shot from distance from Ruddy after finally a good lay off from the ‘to be’ DOTM Ari van Norel was followed by the potential miss of the season (although we have many) by Cillian Mcdonouhy?? who aimed to keep his 1 goal 1 match scoring tally in tact. A long shot by someone in team ricocheted of the bar into the path of Cillian Mcdonouhugh?? who did not quite have enough time to adjust the angle of his left foot in order to tap the ball into the back of the net from 2 yards out. Thus the match continued at 0-0. The extraordinary gentleman were not that extraordinary at all as they did not manage to string more than 2 passes together thanks to the pressing of FCI. Several half chances followed for Ireland with crosses and corners until real danger was created by Ari van Norel. Some good passing play led the ball into the feet of Ari at the edge of the box and he slalommed his way past a few gentlemen before launching a short distance shot straight at the keeper. At the Irish end Maxi was getting bored and thus decided that instead of catching a simple long ball he would do some circus acting with his hands resulting in the ball needing to be cleared by 2nd time a father to be Sean P. Maxi later made up for this with a strong save on a 1 on 1 occasion. The first half ended in good spirits with the confidence that we could pull away with the win.
As the 2nd half started it seemed that instead of water the team had all received a shot of whisky as suddenly we were incapable of putting 2 passes together. Alvaro Fortun’s half time warming on the impact of the wind was not sufficient as the Irish found themselves on the back heal struggling to get the ball out of their own half. After 5 minutes the gentlemen found their way through with their first decent attack of the game and managed to score right away to their own surprise with a shot from around the penalty spot that wobbled in via the post. This goal shook the team a bit and we managed to get back into the game with pressure play. Not many chances were created so Ari tried for one of his many ‘I was kicked so I deserve a penalty’ displays which was not appreciated by the referee who gave him a direct yellow. As the Irish continued to press we managed to get back into their box a few times before the ref wistled for another foul. As usual everyone was shouting ‘heeee,hooooo’ and the ref gladly took this opportunity to put himself at the center stage of the game and to pick out Mr red card Ari and give him a 2nd yellow and send him off. This obviously angered the Irish bench and set off Mr. Staunton who was not shy about his feelings towards the referee and anything or anyone not Irish. One of the most experienced Ireland players on the field Sean P. did not feel that the red card was fair and thus brewed a mischievous plan to even up the game. By gently tickling one of the gentleman’s private parts Sean received a nicely played right hook on his chest which was more than sufficient for a straight red card for the concerned gentleman. This balanced the game as we continued with 10 v 10. During the last few minutes of the game the Irish kept up the pressure without being able to create much danger. As the final wistle blew we were left with our hands empty…
Emotions were high during the 2nd half but calmed down after the match following a speech from Sean P. who re-established that we play in Abssa and that the most important aspect is that we are 1 team and that we should stick together and support each other instead of arguing between ourselves. Beers were paid by DAAAN with a strong centre back performance that saw him grab another MOTM vote followed closely by James B in 2nd place after an excellent 1st half performance at right back. The disappointing loss was clearly visible in the Funky Monkey bill which amounted to only 154 eur offered by our sublime ‘0 goals this season’ cappy.
We still have all to fight for this season so let’s take it game by game. To finish off with a big congratz to Sean on baby number 2 !
Match Report – Saturday 30/01/2022
Higgins Vs FC Irlande – 1-5 (HT 1-3)
The firsts were taking on the bottom team Higgins at our old training ground in Auderghem looking to revenge the 2-1 loss at home in October. With coach Alvaro out due to Covid, caretaker Paul eyed the possibility to extend his winning streak with the first team to 8. We agreed to press them high from the start and managed to established a firm grip on the game with great support from a chanting 2nds team high on a 2-2 draw against Cobra and post-match beers. Rachid started well with a few shots just wide of their goal and two great free-kicks outside their box by Cillian and Arjan, which were well saved by their goalie, gave promise that we’d get our revenge. Only a face block from their defender, which left his special football glasses flying, denied Rachid a goal on a well taken shot, but a goal was certainly in the air. At around 15 minutes Cillan found Arjan with a pass inside the box, who with a quick well placed shot to the right of their goalie sent us up 1-0. Shortly after this we failed to win the ball back high up the pitch, they counter attacked with high precision to make it 1-1. Certainly unfair in terms of chances and possession, but we did not let that affect us. With 10 minutes to go Arjan played Sigve through on the left side in the box, who put the ball low to the right of the goalie to make it 2-1. Just before half time we got a free kick at 18 meters which Cillian nicely curled in to the right of the goalie.
It was an upbeat team at half time and we agreed that we should continue to press them high and kill the game. However Higgins made it difficult for us as they continued to lay low despite being down 3-1. We had most of the possession but without creating big chances. After 15 minutes Rachid played Sigve through on the right side, who cut inside past their defender and placed the ball in the corner with his left foot to make it 4-1 . Shortly after this sniper Rachid took aim from outside the box again, and with no defenders putting their face on the line, their goalie stepped up and took another face save. With a few minutes to go Arjan was played through on the left side, who neatly found Sigve in the box, but he took an extra touch and was closed down by their defender… however what seemed like a spilled chance for a hattrick, ended up with their goalie, still dizzy after the face save?, letting the ball through his feet in direction of the goal. A scramble between the goalie and Sigve on the goal line followed. It was a bit unclear if the ref whistled for a free-kick or a goal, but in the end a hattrick for Sigve and another assist for Arjen.
All in all a decent performance by the boys in green where all 13 players contributed to the win. Defence was solid, midfield played well and in attack we created enough chances to win the game comfortably. In the coming games we will face tougher oppositions starting with LXG at home next week. So to not lose sight of the Brits who are still 5 points ahead, let’s build on this and get to training. Up and onwards.
Firsts had a hard fought 2-1 win against LTC 1, good, fair opponents. They were the better team without creating any real clear chances but we went in at HT 1 up through a Bonaldi penalty on the stroke of HT. They got a deserved equealiser from one of their many set pieces but we got the winner through Lennart with 10 to go, showing everyone else that actually taking shots can bring a reward. Still in with a chance of winning the league, bottom team Higgins, who have already beaten us this season, next up in Auderghem.
The 1sts lost 1-0 to Coin du Balai on a sunny but cold afternoon. It was a close game in the first half with some good chances for us. In the 2nd half, we did our changes but we couldn’t create any clear cut chances. On a counter attack, they scored with a deflected shot over Max. FT 0-1. Not a good afternoon for us but we will bounce back from this.
FC Portugal Vs FC Irelande
First game of 2022 was immediately an international game as the lads in green had to fight it out with FC Portugal to secure their first three points of the new year. A lot of missing players due to players requesting too many yellow cards and letting someone spit in your face lead to a revamped starting line-up. This meant that plenty of players made their long-awaited comeback with Kev, Rudi and Thomas instantly being bombarded into the starting line-up. The coaching staff also saw a change of personal as Paul was again in charge since Alvaro is enjoying his time in sunny Spain. As expected, Paul was after his 7th win out of 7 games and made this very clear in the dressing room through an ‘inspiring’ pep talk where he shared some very personal stories about his successful coaching career. It got already very emotional.
The referee heard that Rachid had to take a plane after the game so he took his sweet little time to blow kick-off. After a quick team photo were everyone could show his nice smile (except for Kev), full focus was back on to secure an important victory that would keep us close to the Brits.
The team took a slow start and let the Portuguese play it around before setting up its own first effective attack. The lads in green came into the box of FC Portugal and decided it was a good time to play 3D Pinball Space Cadet as not only Sigve and Luke but also Rachid failed to put the ball in the back of the net. It was therefore the man himself, the legend, Thomas, that had to put matters into his own hands and placed his 7th goal of the season nicely next to the goalkeeper. FCI 1-0 up.
The team wanted to keep this momentum going but this was without taking into account the Portuguese desire to move up the pitch. After a strong rush of their central midfielder, the ball came into the feet of their striker who struck on goal and saw his attempt saved by Max. Nevertheless, a good follow-up on the save meant the lads in green had to start all over again and had to restart from point zero. 1-1 and eventually the half-time score.
A first half to quickly forget, refocused the lads as they tried to take control over the game. Nevertheless, FC Irelande needed some real magic to get the much needed win.
Let’s flashback. Ever since Thomas collided horribly with the goalkeeper of Jefke a few months ago, Thomas has noticed some unique power coming from the scar on his forward. Besides the daunting nightmares and hearing voices, Thomas wanted to put this power to proper use.
Let’s get back into the game. After a pass that was too deep, Thomas chased his defender who felt his presence strongly. As a true football wizard, Thomas casted the tripping spell on his defender who left the ball for the taking. Thomas kindly said “Thank you!” and continue on his broomstick into the box of the Portuguese where he put it on a silver platter for Sigve to slide it in. Up 2-1 and only 15 minutes left to play.
To keep the lead, Andreas was brought in for James to get some fresh legs in the mix and did very well for his first minutes in a long time. The Portuguese were devastated by Sigve’s goal and tried it all to get the equaliser. To make sure this would not happen, Max went full kamikaze on a breakaway Portuguese striker just outside the box and luckily got away with a yellow. The Portuguese requested a penalty but an authoritarian referee did not want to change his decision. The following Portuguese freekick was horrible and the lads could clear it out easily.
The referee blew the final whistle which brought a tremendous feeling of relief to the lads. Fc Irelande takes its first three easy puntos of the year 2022 and keeps breathing down the neck of the Brits. Thomas was awarded MOTM by the sorting hat and made his comeback felt as well as Rudi and Kev who both got MOTM votes too.
Big win and a great start of 2022. Next stop Coin du Balai. Come on you Greens !
Firsts arrived in Rosiers with a spring in their step on the back of a 4 game winning streak for our top of the table clash against perennial champions RBBFC.
We had a strong squad of 15 despite a few absentees. First 15 minutes the game was very even then out of nothing they scored & added 3 more within 10 minutes. We struggled against their wingbacks & at times were overrun in midfield leaving the defence exposed. Lads were understandably shellshocked at HT. We had some great support & the president of Abssa was looking on too.
Second half we were much better, we had some chances including an Arjan penalty which would alarm air traffic control if it had have been in Nossegem. It was won by Dublin native Sean after a balletic tumble which wouldn’t have looked out of place in swan lake, Sean Lake you could say.
Yesterday is behind us now & at the turn of the year & we’re only 2 points off the top, we would have taken that at the start of the season & on the plus side I’m in charge for the next game on January 8th away to Portugal so we’ll be making it 7 from 7.
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.
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!
FC Irlande continue winning streak in mini-league before the winter break!
For the second time in a month, the first faced Euro Union, a tough opponent that took away the 3 points in the first leg. Alvaro left the boys to Paul for the weekend as he escaped to Spain for a couple of days. The availability and commitment is magnificent the last weeks and thus some hard choices had to be made again. Building on the good performance of last week, Alvaro gave Paul the instructions to send the same guys on to the pitch as last week. The only changes were Nair getting back in midfield and Tancrede defending the goal.
Keen on keeping his 100% record going, Paul still decided to make a master move even before the game started. Cillian was told to start while Sigve took a spot on the bench with a little calf injury. A change that would pay off..
The first 10 minutes of the game were a bit shaky. The boys in green couldn’t keep the ball and Euro Union started making some dangerous moves towards our goal. We almost conceded exactly the same way as in the first game, with a header at the first post. Luckily the ball missed the net. A couple of other dangerous corners and free kicks followed. But in the last 15 minutes of the first half Ireland took over and didn’t let go anymore. With a first chance coming from a great chip from Rachid that was just saved before the line by one of their defenders. Not much later Rachid was brought down once again on the right side. Arjan stood up and curled the ball towards the far corner. And here comes Paul his master move into play as Cillian went up for the header and gave the last push to the ball, 1-0!
At half time David was subbed off with an injury. Billie came on as right back and Luke was moved up to the right wing. FCI started strong in the second half, looking to double the lead. A number of chances followed, but the last touch wasn’t good enough. But then Luke started one of his rushes, delivering the ball to Cillian on the edge of the box. One touch to control followed by a great shot saw the ball flying into the top corner! From that moment on, we bossed the game, but didn’t manage to kill the game completely with a third goal. The game didn’t get much friendlier towards the end as the opponent showed their frustration the pitch, leading to a disgusting incident where one of their players spitted on Bonaldi. A disgusting act that was not seen by the ref, but he did see Bonaldi’s reaction and gave him a straight red card. Bonaldi’s reaction was completely normal after such a disgraceful act.
That final incident left a bit of a negative feeling after a great game. It took the team a bit of time to start celebrating, but as soon as James pulled out all his dance moves in the changing room, even Bonaldi couldn’t resist but to join in! 3 out of 5 in the mini-league before Christmas, second clean sheet in a row and Paul’s undefeated streak is still ongoing. All in all, a pretty good Saturday for FC Irlande first!
Last weekend brought FC Irlande a long-awaited victory and returned the team to the TOP-5. In a good mood, the guys were preparing for an away game with a neighbor in the standings – Jefke Country 1. Some bad news was chasing the team the whole week before the game: positive COVID test left out of the game the big brother of defense Lennart as well as unaltered #1 Max was prescribed to refrain from football temporarily after a hard crash in the match versus Brussels LTC 2. The loss of Lennart was able to make up for a good turnout of the defenders, and François from the veterans’ team kindly agreed to defend the goal. Coach Alvaro, who missed the match being in the veterans’ squad for the same day, chose a brave and offensive squad for the game. Immediately after the starting whistle, the creative center-trio began to implement the idea for the game, having organized several very dangerous attacks by the end of 20 minutes of the game, highlighted with hitting the post by Rashid. Despite a confident start, the Irish slowed down, which the rival took advantage of by returning to the game. By the end of the first 35 minutes, Aryan, as always, successfully jumped into a cross from the right flank and was knocked down by the opponent’s goalkeeper. The referee was not impressed enough to assess a foul and, moreover, awarded Aryan with a yellow card, either for simulation or for challenging the decision. 0-0 as an outcome of the first half. The direction for the second half was to continue in the same spirit and score an early goal. The guys on the bench were ready for this task. Nair entered the game immediately in the second half, having received the captain’s armband from Bonaldi. After another 10 minutes, the attack was refreshed by the bombardier Thomas, replacing Sigve with a minor injury. Having quite some older players in the team, the hosts got tired, but for a long time the greens were not succeeding to open a goal score. The turning point and the most dramatic moment of the game was the injury of Thomas, who got a strong forehead cut in a head to head collision with Jefke goalkeeper. Immediately after providing first aid, Tom left the field and went to the hospital, accompanied by Sylvain. A couple of minutes before this episode, the Irlande used the last available subs (Alexander came out instead of Sean) – left just 10 lads on the pitch.
The situation provoked FC Irlande, who rushed to fight for the victory with double enthusiasm. As a result, at first Arjan ultimately earned his penalty, transduced to 1-0 advantage by Bonaldi’s (1-0). A few minutes later, the guests managed to double the lead, playing the ball in the penalty area and, taking advantage of a successful rebound from the post, Rashid took his chance (2-0). The final point at the end of the match was set by David, having scored his first goal in the new team, after an excellent pass from Arjan (3-0). Being furious with a provocative David’s goal celebration, hosts put all their force to score in the last 5-7 minutes of the game. They failed to create something really dangerous, except for a couple of corners. The 4 Defense Brothers did their job well, as a result the MOTM Award went to Daan-bro.
What do we have? I don’t like to look at the table in the early stages of the tournament, but it is worth noting that a series of 2 wins and 3 matches without defeat returns FC Irlande 1 to the race for first place,being 3 points behind the leading Brussels British R 1. So, 2 finals out of 5 before Christmass holidays are behind us…
P.S. Looking forward for Thomas back on the pitch with minimum health impact. THE TEAM IS WITH YOU!
FC Irlande Vs Brussels LTC2
FC Irlande tasted again the victory flavor after six matches. Well-deserved win with the great support of our club mates at home, in Nossegem.
Well-deserved does not mean in this case “easy” as the Greens went through all the mental states to achieve the final three points.
The idea of controlling the game from the starting whistle was counter circuited by fast and smart passes and movements of the opponents in the firsts twenty minutes. LTC2 approached our box dangerously couple of times. We tried to hit back with a clear chance in a great run from Luke, which finished in the right post. Afterwards a fluid attack on the LTC2 right side concluded in a cross shot touched by Max, but the ball finished in the net, 0-1. Mental state: Disappointed.
The hard moment of receiving a goal first, situation repeated in the last games. However, this time was different. We felt we could do better, and we started producing good combinations, moving the ball towards our strikers. Some minutes later, Arjan received the ball in the box, and after a quick swerve, we all heard a tackle. Penalty. Our man-in-charge in these cases, Bonaldi “the velvet shooter”, place the ball on the right side, impossible for the goalkeeper. 1-1. Mental state: Relief.
We made a step forward in the beginning of the second half. Good passes from our midfielders, controlling the game. Our defenders filling confident stopping all approaches. And our dynamic strikers finding the space and doing good calls. In one of those calls, David reached Arjan, who run determined in mode “this-is-my-turn” and scored with a tense cross shoot with the left foot. 2-1. Mental state: Satisfaction.
Changes were needed to maintain the energy facing the last part of the game. Alexander reinforced the defense and Sigve-De-Young reappeared after long injury.
Last ten minutes were a survival exercise. LTC2 put five strikers and we were forced to go back our lines. Several crosses, free kicks and corners put us is danger but we were determined to win. So, we did it. 2-1 at the end. Mental state: Resilient, proud and happiness.
This result gives us the option to come back to top 4 of the table and to push with more confidence in the coming games until the Christmas break.
Motm: Max (went to the hospital for some check-up after a side hit in the last minutes, …and after some pints in the Funky).
Goals: Bono, Arjan.
FC Irlande Vs Brussels British
FC Irlande played out an impressive hard-fought draw with old enemies
Brussels British in a cold and windy affair in Nosseghem after an equalizer from the spot by Dublin native Bonaldi Da Costa.
From right back to right wing. Before the game the boys in green
were sadly informed that they would be left without one of their boys in green as right back Sean Plaice was absent, attending a right wing rally for French president hopeful Eric Zemmour.
Having conceded two goals in thirty minutes in their previous match
FC Irlande manager Alavaro Fortun emphasised his squad’s need to stay focused and compact for the first half, eliminating silly mistakes and errors.
Brussels British scored after thirty seconds. With kick off won
by Captain Nair the Irish conceded a corner directly after tipping off, from which the Brits brutally capitalised. The ball swung in near post was flicked on, clipping the back stick and nestling into the net.
However, FC Irlande did not intend to lie down easily. After a slow
start, the Irish started to do what they do best in difficult situations – pick up yellow cards. One allocated to coolheaded Bonaldi Da Costa for seeking retribution on British’s number 11 after he left a late tackle on hardman Billy Kinane and one to Naim
Daibes for breathing (which is not allowed in Abssa).
Yellow cards in hand, the boys in green started to get going. Fuelled
with pineapple juice, man of the match and roadrunner Luke Gibson zoomed up and down the touchline causing damage on the right wing inspired by Sean Plaice with the Gilet Jaunes somewhere in France. A shot from Rachid was saved magnificently by the goalkeeper,
a strike just wide from Naim after excellent work by Lennart, and a ball skied high and wide by Nair. The pressure was mounting
“In Abssa you have to make your own luck,” said FC Irlande striker
Thomas Peeters after the game “or have a shit enough ref who will give you a penalty for nothing”. And that’s exactly what happened. Ten minutes before halftime the Irish were given a very well deserved and definitely 100% a penalty for a tackle on Nair which
was duly slotted away by Bonaldi Da Costa.
In the second half, chances were few and far between. The best of
them fell to mercurial Dutch Winger and all round nice guy Arjan Van Norel, who went through on goal but unluckily shot wide.
Too lazy to continue, Virgil Daan Dijk feigned injury with superstar
James Brett entering the field alongside David Deverchin who also came off the bench to make his debut for FC Irlande.
“He’s [James Brett] our best player, next week he will be captain
and take the free kicks and penalties” reportedly announced FC Irlande head honcho Alvaro Fortun, stumbling out of Le Corbeau in the early hours of the morning “He’s definitely not an Anti-Vaxxer, hes a great lad”.
The result sees FC Irlande stay in seventh place, five points off
the top with Brussels British leading the pack. A solid and strong performance, the point should give the side momentum to kick on and inspire a goal to be top of the league before the Christmas break. Next week they play Brussels LTC 2 at 13.30.
Euro Union Vs FC Irlande
This weekend saw FC Irlande Firsts meet Euro Union in a keenly anticipated clash, with both sides looking to keep pace at the top of the table.
The Irish were dealt an early blow as anti-vaxxer James Brett pulled out of the squad due to being unable to produce the necessary Covid Safe Ticket to enter the dressing room.
This clearly affected the boys in green who went 2-0 down early on, the first a header from a corner and the second a tidy finish from close range despite an initial good save from Max.
Great character was shown to quickly get back to 2-2, French winger Rachid inspired the comeback with an excellent goal from distance before providing an assist for Thomas’s bullet header.
The first half was married by constant fouling from Dutch central defensive pair Lennart and Virgil Daan Dijk, with both men lucky to escape any action from the excellent and unbiased referee.
Alvaro introduced Dublin native Kevin Casemiro Flynn early in the second period to add steel to the Irish midfield and he quickly found himself in shooting range outside the box only to scuff a tame effort into the keepers hands.
Lennart was again lucky to escape sanction for a clear handball when he was the last man, but the excellent referee used his sound judgment again to award only a free kick.
The Irish bench was enraged when an intentional blow to the head of coach Alvaro went unpunished, but the veteran Spaniard bravely played on.
There were chances at each end but ultimately it was the home team which got the late winner with a backpost header, after James Shallow’s groin injury midway through the second half left FC Irlande facing an uphill battle.
At the final whistle spirits were low, but our attention turned immediately to ladies volleyball and beer. After that, we got thinking about next week’s big game against the table topping Brits where we will fight to get back to winning ways.
Motm: Thomas & Rachid
Goals: Thomas & Rachid
Ambiance Auderghem v Fc Irlande – 23/10/2021
It was again a beautiful sunny day in Brussels when the boys in green faced Ambiance Auderghem on matchday 8. After a loss last week and a draw the week before, a win was a must for coach Alvaro’s men. We are missing a lot of players due to injuries though, so the starting line-up therefore varied from other weeks. We welcomed Brendan as newcomer in attack and James Brett helped out as right back, from being left wing attacker last week. Kevin played as number six, and from now on goes by the name of Casimiro.
Auderghem invested in a beautiful state of the art artificial football pitch, so that could never be to blame after the game. The referee though was way too enthusiastic, starting with an unnecessary speech and blowing his whistle for any minor or imagined fault the entire match, mostly against us. We received no less than 4 yellow cards and almost a red for Sourabh ‘mean machine’ Nair who accidently ran over an Auderghem bully. Strange enough Arjan escaped a booking this time, not that he was not trying.
The match started promising, both teams were pushing without immediately creating chances. A lot of midfield play thus. Arjan produced a great free kick after 15 minutes, with a necessary save by the Auderghem goalie, who strangely enough got cramps after his first action of the match. Ambiance had more possession, with Irlande trying to produce danger on the counter attack. Nil-nil at half time with Ambiance coming out more focused and immediately putting Irlande under pressure. Ten minutes in we were able to break their pressure which resulted in some possession and a big opportunity for our Dutch striker on a beautiful centre by Brendan, but it did not result in a goal. Auderghem regained control of the match in the last quarter and stormed the Irlande goal with six (!) consecutive corners. Goalkeeper Max kept his nets clean with some brilliant saves and was rewarded man of the match for that by his team mates. All defence did great in helping him achieve this clean sheet.
Final score: 0-0, man of the match Max
Firsts were missing several regulars against Grez who were just below us, very even game, not very many chances, 0-0 HT. They scored with 10 to go & added a second from a free kick, we weren’t really at it today & got what we deserved, final score 0-2
Match day 6: during this weekend’s game, Irlande FC 1 met Lxg Cinquantenaire away near Brussels’s historical parc Josaphat.
With what’s becoming their signature style, Irlande started with most of the ball possession but missed the opportunity to be dangerous. After a weak back-pass to the goalkeeper, they gave away a penalty and were trailing by one goal. Not to be undone, the Irish men continued to focus on their accuracy and maintaining high pressure. They were rewarded when BIG brother, Lennart, started and followed through with a play from the back to Bonaldi. A brilliant cross field pass was played to Arjan and Like a pinball machine the ball was crossed, at knee height, in the opponent’s box where Thomas P. placed it deep and firm into the opponent’s net. With five goals in six games the tabloids are polling our handsome Belgian assassin as “most likely to be the next 007”. Before the end of the half another unsure play at the back forced a quick save out of Maxime.
HT: 1-1 (out – Cillian, in – Javi)
In the second half, both teams had their eyes set on the three points at stake which was made evident by the change in pace and violence used to kick a ball. This is where our alpha male teammates; Bono & Arjan, proclaimed their authority and futilely debated with the other team and referee. They were both awarded with yellow cards. From one of the fouls Lxg Cinquantenaire scored with a low bouncing ball which slipped into the far end of the goal. The boys in green stayed resolute and made the most of a distant free kick taken by Arjan and bounced over a diving goalkeeper into the near corner.
The remainder of the half consisted of little goalscoring opportunities but included many hard-fought turnovers, kickoffs and 1-on-1’s. Rookie Javi and returning veteran Naim made their value known to the team by coming off the bench and filling the gaps where necessary.
After this weekend’s game Irlande FC remain top of the table on goal differential equaling Brussels British and Grez Aj with 13 points. Next game they are defending their top spot against 3rd place Grez Aj.
FC Irlande 1sts were back at home after 2 great away wins to face Higgins 1 on a slightly cold afternoon at Nosseghem. The game started on a positive note with our high press catching out the Higgins defenders and it led to some early pressure on them. We ended up with lot of passing on the top of their box but couldn’t really punish them.
Slowly Higgins started to play out from the back and beat our high press. Eventually one such occasion, they managed to put their speedy striker through who scored a good goal. 0-1.
After going down, FCI retained complete ball possession but were met with 2 lines of deep lying defence. It was a difficult challenge to find any space and it needed high intensity passing & movement which we lacked to be fair. After some good work in the middle from James & Rachid , we managed to find an opening through Alvaro who crossed it to Thomas to equalize. 1-1.
Great tackle from Lennart in the box helped stop another counter attack from Higgins as we approached HT.
Kevin came on for Alexander at HT.
Our objective was to go for the win but a slow start after HT led to a quick goal from Higgins to make it 1-2. After this point, Higgins made it extremely difficult at the back. Mo and Cillian came on to get us the equalizer. We had plenty of half chances, a fine save from Rachid’s long range effort, a close miss from a corner.
FT 1-2. A forgettable afternoon for the boys, we were just off the pace from the start and must simply start to look at all teams in this league with equal fear & respect.
Having said that, we have played some good football in the last weeks in tough situations.
We can definitely learn from this experience and adapt ourselves better for next time.
See you all in training and lets go again at LXG next week.
Thomas P is on fire🔥🔥🔥and our top scorer now. Keep it going Thomas
Saturday saw the 1sts make it 4 from 4 with a 2-1 victory over LTC.
The rivalry with accompanied the teams for a few years following their 2013 title race has long since subsided but LTC always seems to throw up a good, open game of football. Saturday was no exception in an entertaining encounter.
Pre-match, ‘el gaffer’ Alvaro decided to keep the inform Thomas up top, shifting Sigve out left. The move paid dividends as half way through the first half, the evergreen Siggie centred for Thomas who gave FC Irlande the lead. The 1st were the superior side in the first half, linking well but were unable to extend their lead.
At half time, Sigve was forced off with an ankle injury (Get well soon). The intensity seemed to drop a little after half time. Half way through the second half, a good cross field ball sent the LTC forward through, Sean was adjudged to have fouled. A penalty was awarded which was duly converted.
Irlande responded well however. A few minutes after the LTC centre defence opened up like the Red Sea, Cillian slipped a through ball to Thomas. One and one with the keeper the in-form Thomas stayed calm and knocked it into the bottom left corner.
The remained of the game, the first saw out rather comfortably despite Lennart having to go in goal for The injured Tancrede who received a bad knock to the head (Get well soon also). Rather than inviting pressure, Alvaro wisely instructed to press LTC coming out of defence. It worked and the onslaught which a team is usually faced defenced a one goal lead with 10 minutes to go, never arrived. In particular, ‘Forest Gump’ Luke showed no signs of fatigue as he pressed, hassled and harried.
So 4 out of 4 for Alvaro’s men. Next up is Higgins. It’s early days yet but as the Irish proverb goes ‘Tús maith leath na hoibre!’.
MOTM: Thomas “he’s on fire” Peeters
Goals: Thomas X2
The 1sts claimed a well deserved but hard fought 4-0 victory over Coin du Balai on Saturday, following a brace each from Arjan and Rachid.
Despite the heat the boys in green dominated from the off mustering energy and intent that soon had Coin du Balai heaving. The early efforts bore fruit in the 12th minute when Thomas slotted a well timed through ball behind the defence for Rachid who calmly put it away in the far corner. Not long after the boys doubled their lead when Thomas headed a lovely floated ball from James into Rachid who volleyed in from close range.
Mid-way through the first half a number of Coin du Balai’s players remarked that Irlande couldn’t keep the pace up and they were right. Tancredi had to make a brilliant save, the defence had to make some key tackles and more than one Irlande player was relieved to hear the half time whistle.
The second half started just as intense as the first with Irlande again under pressure. Alvaro judged that James was a slightly more worrying shade of red than Billy and so brought on Cillian for his daily dose of vitamin D. James, Andreas and Arjan also came on and it proved the difference for Arjan soon opened his account following some fancy footwork from Rachid in the box. Coin du Balai seemed to run out of steam from that point and in the final minutes Luke was able to cross through for Arjan to complete his brace and round off the teams performance.
A great display from the 1sts with all 15 players contributing. Alvaro and the boys remain undefeated and continue the great start to the campaign. Rachid the well deserved man of the match.
Match day 2 – Another day, another win for the boys in green!
With much anticipation surrounding the fixture against a familiar rival in Portugal FC, we were far too strong for our opponents on the day with an emphatic 5-0 win to continue the fine start to our league campaign.
Mo got the ball rolling early in the game with a clever turn inside off the right hand side before finding the far corner with a brilliantly curled effort off his left foot – his first of the season.
The remainder of the first half saw us largely control the tempo and flow of the game with particularly commanding performances from Daan and Lennart at the centre of defence, stifling Portugal’s strikers at every occasion. Similarly, excellent displays from James and Nair in midfield allowed us to keep the ball ticking over – despite the heavy rain which at this point had begun to set in.
In we went 1-0 up at half time with plenty of encouragement to kill the game off early in the second half – which is exactly what happened.
A quickly timed ball over the top, by yours truly, released the evergreen Sigve (MOTM), who skipped away his marker, before squaring across the face of goal for Lennart to apply the simple finish.
The coveted third goal soon followed, when a blockbuster from the big Norwegian finished off any prospect of the match being a contest, with the one-sided affair now reflected in the score-line.
Despite this, Portugal tried to push on, making our ever-impressive keeper Max work with a couple of strikes from distance.
Well-taken goals by Tommy P and Siggey, the latter’s third of the season, completed the rout and ensured the three points stayed in Nossegem.
A highly disciplined, combative display all over the pitch, we can take great confidence from this performance. 2 wins for 2 – roll on Coin du Balai!
Opening day of the season, a great opportunity to see what Alvaro and his men have been working on. Sean’s summer mix 21 had the boys so riled up they decided to skip the warm up as it was deemed unnecessary.
Straight from the kick off we looked dangerous, solid and terribly unfit. Choule crumbled early on and brought down Mo in the box after his blistering speed was too much for them to handle. Naturally only one man could step up for this occasion, Bonaldinho. If you need a replay of the goal, Bonaldi has already uploaded it onto his Instagram page for the ladies to see. Choule quickly equalised from the spot after an unfair decision went against Billy but the boys were quick to respond. A desperate long ball from Boanldi luckily landed on the club Legend Sigve. Quick thinking from the Norwegian as he volleyed the ball first time over the keeper for a beautiful lob. 2-1 at Half Time.
Early in the second half, Sigve was very unfortunate not to double his tally. A beautiful chip from the right side landed on the back post. The keeper was left helpless and did not move. The last 10 minutes of the game were stressful to watch. Choule had the upper hand and looked likely the equalise. They had many dangerous free kicks and corners but they were unable to breakthrough our new keeper Max. Excellent performance from the new joiner, he made many vital saves to help the team secure their first three points.
Naturally, we must discuss the man of the match. A well deserved reward for our center back Bonaldi. He had one goal and one assist but he won all his challenges and made us feel safe at the back. Hopefully this does not inflate his head any bigger as his arrogance and narcissism is bad enough as it is. Personally, I think the whole backline deserved to be man of the match as they were superb this weekend.
First game of the season and first win for the team. What more could you ask for? Many positives to take from this performance but unfortunately for Alvaro some things will never change. Our tiki taka football does not look Spanish, Bonaldi still can’t tell the time and Paul still enjoys his hissy fits on the sideline. We look forward to this new season.
All fixtures and results
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FC Irlande Men 1
- Coach : Alvaro Fortun
- Captain : Nair
Top goals scorers
- Arjan 8
- Thomas P 8
- Sigve 8
- Bonaldi 5
- Rachid 4
- Cillian 4
- David 3
- Lennart 2
- Mo 1
- Naim 1
Top goals assists
- Arjan 8
- Sigve 5
- Nair 5
- Rachid 5
- Thomas P 4
- Luke 3
- James 2
- Cillian 2
- Bonaldi 1
- Mo 1
- Alvaro 1
- David 1
- Andrea 1