FC Irlande Men 4
4ths were focused and motivated today for this big game against our competitors for the 3rd position.
They made our saturday less exciting but easier than expected.
They showed up with 9 players only and received 6 goals in less than 25 minutes.
Final score is 7-1 for the 4ths.
Goals are scored by:
– Draga *3 (who finishs club top scorer with 21 goals)
– Michal *2
– Alvaro (thx 2nds for your help this season)
The important is to improve year after year. We were 6th 2 years ago, 5th last season and now we end up 3rd.
Our highest finish ever.
So it’s a great and very positive season for the 4ths!
We will be there next season for more and better.
4ths played away against LTC 4 on a very difficult pitch. We started well against a tough and physical team and created a few chances. Eventually Manu scored after 20 minutes with a direct freekick. LTC got better in second half, but Christan in goal and Villu and Benoit as centre backs had it all under control. Mid second half Nick scored on a counter and decided the game. Full time 2:0.
4ths come back from Nivelles with the 3 points.
We started the game well and should have scored 2 or 3 goals in the first 10 minutes.
Unfortunately we weren’t accurate or killer enough.
As it always happens, the opponent almost scored on their only opportunity but Matteo made an amazing save! The score was still 0-0 with 20 minutes left. That’s when we made our substitutions and changed formation for a 3-5-2.
In the last 15 minutes of the game, our pressing and attempts became successful with 3 goals scored by our attackers.
Draga for his goal 18 of the season, Costi and Michal gave us the 3 points!
Final score 0-3, Motm Draga and Costi.
We continue to target the 3rd position.
3 points more for the 4ths today after a difficult but great fight.
We started well and dominated the first half.
It could have been more goals but we ended up this 1st half winning 1-0 after the goal number 16 of the season for Draga, enjoying a mistake from his defender.
He stole the ball and won his face to face against the keeper.
The 2nd half was more difficult for us playing uphill and their equalizer was actuall deserved. They enjoyed one of our defensive mistake.
It was 1-1 and it looked like it would be the final score.
But at the last minute of the game, and in our last corner, the miracle happend: 1st goal of the season for us in a corner!
Fabi shot it, Villu disturbed the keeper and Draga headed the ball inside! 2-1 final score.
Maybe not very deserved, but definitely very enjoyable!
Fourths had a weak start against Gecko 2. Low intensity led to Gecko scoring with their first chance after only 3 minutes. Slowly we gained control over the game and Draga equalised. A couple of missed chances, including a penalty, were punished by Gecko, who scored their second goal with their second chance.
After halftime, we continued to play patiently and subsequently equalised again. Peppe scored with an absolute banger from 30 meters. We continued to stay on top and could finally convert some of our many chances. Draga with his second strike, Michal, and Benjamin Verdin put 4ths three goals ahead.
Gecko could only convert a freekick in the last minute.
Overall a good performance with good team spirit. We never gave up despite being behind twice.
Final result 5:3 for 4ths.
A bit of a chaotic afternoon for the 4ths today with some players getting late at the game, some last minutes injuries, no referee, and only 1 point at the end of the game.
We started the game well, as a block, as a solid team trying to protect our unusual keeper today, Diego.
After a few missed chances, we managed to score by Draga in the middle of the 1st half with a beautiful individual goal.
He was just faster than their defense and put it in easily.
1-0 HT for the 4ths and it was totally deserved.
We suffered in the 2nd half, started to get tired and couldn’t really make substitutions. Opposition got a penalty 3 minutes before the end of the game to score the 1-1.
Disappointing but fair result.
1-1 at the end but that point still gives us hope to reach the podium this season.
Season forfeited by Lunette
4ths won 2-0 today for our 2nd consecutive win!
The pitch was terrible, the opponent not amazing and our 14 guys very serious and solid.
We started the game well and had the ball possession and the best opportunities during the 1st half.
We managed to score this important first goal with a clinical finish from Alvaro after a nice assist from Fabian.
2nd half was more a fight to defend this very important goal and we finally scored the 2-0 with the 1st goal at FCI from Benjamin Verdin (assist from Alvaro).
Very solid performance overall and an important 3 points to maintain us in the podium fight.
4ths were playing a tough game vs the team directly behind them in the table, looking to rectify an unjust draw away earlier in the season. With some much appreciated help from the club, we put together a strong squad and set about trying to get the 3 points. Both teams found it difficult to play beautiful football on a tricky pitch in the 1st half. The opposition reverted to long ball and managed to create an opening and after a mix up between defence and GK they managed to score. We persevered and pushed forwards to find the equaliser, and thankfully shortly before half time the ball fell to Nick outside the box and he put a beautiful shot into the far corner for 1-1 at half time. 2nd half the game was fairly even although our goal never really came under much threat. 12mins ago, Alvaro received the ball and dribbled 1-2 guys and slotted home a nice strike. We then showed good game management to see out the remaining time for a great 3 points to get us back on track.
Season forfeited by Erenler Genclik
4ths played away against 2nd placed Breu under difficult circumstances. A few late drop outs due to covid an injury but that didn’t stop us putting up a big fight. An early goal was conceded with a good shot from outside the box by Breu. We settled eventually and started to dominate possession throughout the rest of the game but unfortunately clear cut chances were hard to come by. Despite hitting the bar and a possible penalty turned down, we couldn’t quite find an equaliser for a deserved draw. We go again in 2 weeks!
Very frustrating last game of the year for the 4ths.
We lost 3/1 against a team which was just below us in the classification.
We outplayed them in the 1st half and had plenty of clear chances but could only score 1 goal from Costi after an assist from Draga.
Game then stayed 1-1 for a very long time and the God of football was against us at the very end of the game.
We conceded an incredible own goal 1 minute before the end of the game and another one in the extra time.
A lot of positive things in term of football played today, a good 4th place in the league at the end of this year.
But…losing like that hurts.
We will be back!
4ths won 3-1 today.
3 important points against a team who played for not going down.
That wasnt an easy game and despite leading 2-0 early in the game thanks to Manu and Michal, we conceded a free kick before HT.
Our opponent really tried to get a point during the 2nd half but we hold very well, fought a lot and werent really in danger.
3rd goal came late in the game thanks to a beautiful long shot from Giuseppe after a good pressing from costi to steal the ball.
3-1 final score.
1 point for the 4ths today against a direct opponent for the top 4 of the league.
Its a good point against a team who had beaten us 3-1 some weeks ago but…we deserved more today.
We conceded a stupid 1st goal after a mistake from our keeper but managed to come back and take the lead 2-1 before HT thanks to a goal from Michal tapping the ball in after a shot from Draga, and a goal from Fabian after basically dribbling the whole opponent defense.
2-2 just after HT with the opponent enjoying a 2nd defensive mistake. 4ths fought back and took the lead 10 mins before the end of the game with a penalty gained by Draga and scored by Fabian.
We didn’t manage to keep this score and conceded a beautiful header in a corner.
Lot of good things today, we can build on it.
Final score 3-3.
4ths was playing against the top of the league today, in the middle of nowhere.
It’s very easy to be motivated being the underdog, so we started like warriors and killed the game in the 1st half with 4 goals scored by Giuseppe (wonderful lob from 30m), 2 goals from Draga and a direct free-kick from Nick. 0-4 and it was just fair and deserved.
2nd half was just a fight with a lot of fouls, a lot of complains, cards and very little of football due to the terrible pitch and frustration from the opponent.
Job well done today, deserved 0-4 win for the 4ths.
4ths are back on the winning trail after 3 weekends without this nice taste of victory.
The 1st half was very open with the 4ths leading twice thanks to 2 same nice goals scored by Mihai and Giuseppe. But the opponent came back twice in the game scoring a couple of mins after we took the lead. HT 2-2.
In the 2nd half Costi showed us how efficient he can be. He scored the 3rd goal after a long ball from our defense and closed the game with a second personal goal after a nice 1-2 with Fabian.
Not the nicest game to play or watch but its an important victory.
The entire team deserved to be motm due to the fighting spirit we showed today but it was deserved for costi to win it.
4-2 final score. Costi motm.
2nd loss in a row for the 4ths.
Our opponent was very efficient and deserved their 2-0 lead at HT.
2nd half was much better from us but the brits didn’t miss the opportunity to score the 3rd goal after another one of our mistake.
We kept fighting and scored by Fabian.
Disappointing game from us but…season is long.
Fourths had a tough game against close opponents. The 1st half was tight with 4ths playing ok but errors at the back cost us and we conceded. Nick managed to find the net towards the end of the 1st half with a nice free kick. 2nd half we conceded to a rare opportunity for the opposition. When chasing the game, we conceded again and couldn’t find a suitable opening unfortunately. Final score 3-1 loss
4ths travelled north of Brussels to play ITT Gecko today with a strong squad, eager to get another 3 points.
Unfortunately the opposition had not come to play football but to defend, play tight, commit fouls and dirty tricks.
It was a tight game with not many chances for either team until the last 5 minutes. A late attack was launched which resulted in a penalty for FCI4. Fabian stepped up and did what he does best and finished it with ease. Big celebrations followed in anticipation of a win.
However, Gecko were not finished. The immediately attacked down their left wing, which resulted in the ball going obviously out of play. However, the referee inexplicably waved on and Gecko continued whilst FCI4 could not believe what was happening. A quick cross was immediately dispatched by Gecko for a literal last minute equaliser and broken hearts for the FCI4 boys.
An unfortunate draw and difficult to take in the circumstances but we soldier on!
3rd win in a row for the 4ths today.
Game started quite bad when Benoit’s 1st touch of the game was to take back the ball from inside our goal after a mistake from our defense. 0-1 after 5mins.
But we kept our heads up and tried to come back in the game. Their very good keeper kept a clean sheet at half time after a couple of very nice saves vs Fabian and Costi.
Costi equalized 5mins after the start of the 2nd half.
We changed formation and went fully offensive with a 3-5-2 to try and get those 3 points.
A couple of minutes before the end of the game, Nick delivered a beautiful pass to Draga in the back of their defense. With a bit of luck Draga managed to put this ball in and score his goal number 10 of the season.
It was a real fight today and a very difficult game. But those wins are the best ones.
2-1 final score (goals: costi, Draga. Motm: Nick)
2nd win in a row for the 4ths.
Very even 1st half with a very few opportunities.
The only goal in the 1st half came from a penalty very well referreed (by myself as the official ref didnt show up 😁). Fabian scored it.
With the lead, 4ths became very confident in the 2nd half and added 3 more goals in only 10 minutes. Rest of the game was just keeping a cleansheet.
Final score: 4/0
3 points for the 4ths today.
Dominant all the 1st half but we lacked of efficiency in attack and conceded a goal before HT after a direct free-kick. 0-1 HT.
Subs were great today and changed the game. 2nd half was a pleasure and we finally ended up winning the game 4-1.
2 goals from Draga, 1 from Manu and 1 from Fabian.
Man of the match Costi with 4 assists in 25 minutes.
2-2 for the 4ths today.
We took the lead early in the game and we were 2-0 up at half time after 2 new goals from Draga finishing 2 nice collective plays.
Unfortunately we werent able to keep this score and the opposition came back early in the 2nd half.
We had a couple of clear opportunities to take the 3 points. We ll take them next weekend
1st defeat of the season for the 4ths today.
We were never really in the game except the 1sts 15 mins.
The opposition scored in the middle of the 1st half with a long free kick in the back of our defense. Their striker just had to win the 1vs1 with our keeper. We made it too easy for them…
4ths equalized during the 2nd half with a wonderful direct free-kick from Draga. The keeper didnt even try to move. 1-1.
We had the feeling that the game was now totally ours but opposition scored a very surprising lob from 25 meters 10 mins before the end of the game.
The game was very tough, with an opponent constantly talking to the ref, diving, provoking….
We should have been smarter. Hopefully the lesson will be learnt for the future games.
Thoughts for Kevin who left the pitch injured. Didn’t look good but lets hope its nothing too serious.
One last dance, many a missed chance, a rather unhappy circumstance
11 September 2021. 9/11. A date that will live in infamy for generations of FCI4. For this was the last dance of our prodigal son and recently appointed talisman, Alex Redmond.
No one embodies the spirit of the team more singly in their being than Redmond. His eyes maybe topaz blue, but his blood runs emerald green. And after encrusting himself in the core of the midfield and establishing himself as the soul of the team over the last two seasons, this year was to be his season. It was written in the stars – ‘Ireland’s favourite child leads his country to a famous promotion from the 4th division of the amateur Brussels League of Saturday Afternoon Ball Sports’. Alright…the title may need some work.
But alas, his time to shine has faded even before the fans could order the ‘Captain. Leader. Legend.’ Banner to be draped across the hallowed Nossegem arena – for the Irish diplomatic service came knocking…and that is too good an opportunity for any emerald-blooded man to turn down.
It was in this wistful context that the 15-man squad arrived at Nossegem on Saturday, 11 September 2021. Despite the rockin’ tunes in the changin’ room, the mood was one of solace. For we knew, just like MJ’s teammates for the Chicago Bulls in `93, that this dance would be Redmond’s last.
Gulping back the tears, an uncharacteristically emotional Santi barked out the team sheet in drill-sergeant fashion: ‘Matteo, Roberto, Santi, Roman, Fran at the back; Alex (cue whooping and cheering from FCI’s own class clown, Mario) and Tom in the middle; Draga, Fabian, Nick behind Costi up front’. Off went the troops to do battle, after an unusually moderated and well-balanced warm-up routine, in the ongoing absence of our wannabe drill sergeant, Benoit ‘The Butcher(ed)’.
After exchanges of pre-match niceties with the day’s adversary and a few final words of inspiration (the word of this day was ‘intensity’) from our outgoing captain, the peep of the referee’s whistle sounded to open the hostilities. Kicking downhill, FC Irlande immediately asserted themselves on proceedings and took a firm stranglehold of the game, setting up shop in the opposition’s territory.
It took only minutes for FCI’s first shot across the boughs of the opposition, with Dragastan, ever a livewire from the left, finding himself in front of goal no more than 5 metres out after a knockdown from his uncle Costi. Amid pleas of offside from the hapless defenders, Draga applied the finish – but the goalkeeper stuck out his leg to make the first of what would be a string of saves in his personal game of cat-and-mouse with Draga on this fated afternoon.
It didn’t take long for FCI to test the keeper again – with Fabian, who was dominant in the #10 role all day, getting in down the right and stinging the keeper’s palms with a curling effort from the right of the box.
Then, finally, the moment arose that would surely cement Alex’s place in the hall of fame. A ball over the top from left to right put Draga in behind the now-terrorised defenders (well, it was 9/11 after all). As he ran through on goal for a one-on-one chance that would surely bring the much-anticipated first goal of the match, he was felled by a flailing leg. Penalty.
Up stepped our talisman, leading from the front. He picked up the ball and placed it purposefully on the spot. He watched on unflinchingly as the goalkeeper’s remonstrations with the referee earned him a yellow. Then, as the whistle peeped, he stared the keeper down imperviously with those chilling, ice-blue eyes. One-step, two-step, three-step…and strike…
…But no. The script was written, but the Breu Utd goalkeeper hadn’t read it. He dived to his left and saved Alex’s side-footed effort with his knee, with the spin sending the ball wide of the opposite post. An anguish-stricken Alex shot a timid glance towards the direction of his on-looking father…who had immortalised the incident on camera. Was it to be ‘one of those days’ for FCI?
Unperturbed (excepting, perhaps, Alex himself), Irlande continued the onslaught in their pursuit of the lead their play deserved. And then, finally, after countless efforts were knocked back by the keeper, who would surely be in with a shout of winning his own team’s Man of the Match vote with this display, the goal came. Draga again skipped away from one, two, three men on the left of the box, before reaching the byline and squaring the ball across, where Costi was arriving to apply the simplest of finishes. 1-0!
With the heavens opening on the pitch, the chances continued to rain down for Irlande – with Draga and Costi frustrated time and again by the in-form goalie, who seemed to be taunting the strikers by using only his feet to save their efforts. Then, after some lovely combination play that saw the ball out to Roberto on the right, a sumptuous cross to the middle found this author free in the box – but the looping header was (mis)guided wide of the far post. With half time approaching, it felt like a travesty that FCI would go in with only one goal advantage to show for their play. If that.
In a rare counter from Breu, a ball came to their left-winger, who it turned out would probably pip their keeper to their Man of the Match award. Picking up the ball, he drove past Roberto and shimmied past Santi, before firing a rasping curler beyond Matteo into the far post – a finish reminiscent of Thierry Henry. 1-1 was how the score would stand at half time. But how?
No time for interrogations, the captains encouraged the puzzled troops – this was our game if we just carry on. And barely minutes into the second half, Draga was in behind down the right again, and this time he made no mistake, striking the ball with enough venom that finally he saw the net bulge. 2-1, and screams of select Romanian vocabulary could be heard ringing out across the Arena. Could Irlande kick on now and bag the 3 points?
Not to be. Breu again turned to their own pacey, skillful left winger, who cut in off his flank and left defenders trailing in his wake, before unleashing a powerful shot from the edge of the box into the near post that wrong-footed Matteo. Great finish. 2-2.
Irlande continued to hunt for what they felt was theirs, and the opposition also seemed to acknowledge this, with the keeper only too happy to waste time at any opportunity, while their left back took a liking to holding the ball up at his own corner flag. Sensing the moment to send in the cavalry, délégué Martin, sporting this season’s green t-shirt (‘fuchsia is out according to Vogue’ he was later recorded as explaining), rang the changes, bringing on Michal for his FCI debut, along with Mario, Kevin and Roman in quick succession. Alas, none of the fresh blood could unpick the defence.
Then, with less than 5 minutes to go, disaster struck. That man again, on the right-hand side of the FCI defence got past his man… went to the byline… squared a ball across goal…and there was a striker, to apply the finish. 2-3. How can this be happening?!
The game wasn’t quite done there, though, with Draga now taking on all-comers with the ball, seemingly on a personal, one-man mission to avenge his nemesis in the opposition’s goal. Combining well with Michal and Mario, Draga found himself in the box, all-but ready to pull the trigger and bring FCI back to parity. But then a desperate lunge by a defender sent him flying – the referee pointed to the spot without hesitation, and produced a red card for the defender. Unbelievable scenes. With the pressure on, FCI needed a hero with balls of steel to step up and rescue a point. And a hero duly presented himself. Marching to the penalty spot, he took the ball while all others looked around for a savior, and without hesitation nor a second thought, he chose his spot, and rolled it with precision into the side netting. Two keepers wouldn’t have kept that one out. 3-3. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And that man was Fabian, who was deservedly named FCI Man of the Match.
And that is how it finished. A profligate display that felt like 2 points dropped, but ultimately could have been a lot worse. Not the goodbye display we would have wished for our dearly loved captain Redmond. And that missed penalty will surely haunt his dreams for at least a couple of nights. All the best Alex. You will be sorely missed, even if not for set piece duties.
Score : 3-3
Goals : Costi ; Draga ; Fabian
Assists : Draga ; Costi
MotM : Fabian
The first day of the new season. During the trials and tribulations of multiple lockdowns and the heartache of last year’s aborted campaign, it felt at times as though this day would never come. And so the spirits were understandably high amongst the Fourths as, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we merrily made our way to the sun-soaked Nossegem arena. Determined to start the ball rolling towards (inevitable) promotion, the boys in green were to produce an impressive performance, outrunning and outplaying the somewhat lacklustre opposition on their way to a commanding 4-1 win that was rarely in doubt.
Starting in our tried-and-tested 4-2-3-1 formation, Irlande controlled the game from the off. In possession, we spread the play well and stretched the opposition defence, with wingers Mihai and Draga wreaking particular havoc down the flanks. Out of possession, we showed a tenacity and desire to win the ball back such as to warm the hearts of the captains. It was this tenacity that led to Irlande’s early breakthrough, as Thomas battled to win the ball in midfield before laying it off to Fabian. The latter proceeded to feed a delectable pass down the left to Draga, who slotted it in from a tight angle for the first of what would prove to be numerous debut goals. 1-0.
Irlande’s second came from a set piece. Alex attempted to place the ball in the bottom corner from a free kick just outside the box. His (admittedly rather tentative) effort was spilled by the opposition keeper into the feet of the onrushing Draga, who smashed it into the roof of the net. 2-0.
While Irlande’s back line of Diego, Roberto, Santi, and Felix was rarely troubled, dealing with any opposition threats seemingly with relative ease, Nivellois did manage to pull one back against the run of play. A pass through the middle saw their striker one-on-one with Matteo, who made a characteristically incredible save down to his left only to see the follow-up knocked past him. 2-1.
If Nivellous felt they managed to turn the tide and get a foothold in the match, they were rapidly disabused of that notion, as Irlande regained the two-goal cushion only moments later. The unstoppable attacking force of Fabian and Draga once again combined, and the latter blasted a daisy-cutter of a shot past the flailing Nivellois keeper to complete a spectacular debut hat-trick and send the adoring crowd (consisting primarily of uncle Costi) into rapture. 3-1.
The second half proceeded in much the same manner, with Irlande so dominant that Matteo confessed to feeling rather bored in goal. It seemed as though the fixture would be put beyond doubt when Irlande were awarded a penalty and Manu, showing the confidence and maturity of his years of ABSSA experience, stepped up to take it. Alas, he was to see his effort clip the side of the upright, as he let out a roar of untold anguish.
Never fear, however, for Manu was to redeem himself in style shortly thereafter. Receiving the ball with his back to goal, he performed his signature turn before threading the sexiest of through balls behind the opposition defence and into the path of Fabian, who nonchalantly rounded the keeper to finish. 4-1.
All in all, a marvelous start to the season for the Fourths, and an extremely solid platform on which to build over the coming months. A special mention also to Diego and Goncalo who (while not quite scoring a debut hat-trick) put in extremely solid performances in their first competitive game for the Fourths.
Satisfying though it was, the day was tinged with more than a hint of sadness, as we said goodbye to our favourite frogs, Fugo (or Helix depending on your inclination). Hugo and Felix have been beloved and valued members of the Fourths, both on the pitch and, perhaps even more importantly, in Funky. They will be sorely missed <3
Goals: Draga x3; Fabian
All fixtures and results
Sorry, no matches were found for this team.
FC Irlande Men 4
- Coach / Captain : Thomas Steiner
- Coach / Captain : Martin Stobbs
- Coach / Captain : Santi Vanni
- Coach / Captain : Roman Brenne
Top goals scorers
- Florin Dragastan 21
- Fabian Figueroa 9
- Michal Labecki 7
- Constantin Ifrim 6
- Nick Pawley 5
- Giuseppe Ionta 4
- Alvaro Lopez 3
- Benjamin Verdin 2
- Antonio 'Manu' Cabral 2
- Mihai Caciuc 1
- Mario Sanchez 1
Top goals assists
- Florin Dragastan 10
- Constantin Ifrim 8
- Fabian Figueroa 6
- Alvaro Romero 6
- Vicente Puchol 4
- Antonio 'Manu' Cabral 3
- Benoit Coulon 2
- Alex Redmond 1
- Carlo Didone 1
- Michal Labecki 1
- Giuseppe Ionta 1
- Nick Pawley 1