FC Fem. White Star Woluwe C
The Ladies II, led by the solid insight of Diego and Martin, went to meet one of the fiercest opponents in Provincial 1, the White Star (WS) – coached by no other than FCI alumni Karim. The away match was played on one of the coldest evenings of November, testing the long johns of the players as much as their footballing talent. The opposing White Star was ranked second in the division, and the Ladies in Green were expecting a tough fixture even before the first whistle. Nonetheless, the spirits were high and we wanted to bring some points back home.
The always solid starting squad was made of Mariana in the goal (after playing the 1st half of the Ladies III match), Math and Ebba as central defenders, Marianne playing left full-back while Claire took the right side of the defence, the middle had Becky, Adi and Pris, Fra on the left wing, Eli on the right wing, and Jenny debuting as a striker.
The game kicked off with unexpectedly high pressure from the WS, resulting in a goal during the first minute of the match. Despite the lighting start, the FCI Ladies did not let the early trailing discourage them and kept their focus through the early minutes, however, the scoring chances went missing. Yet the opponent proved why they are fighting for the lead of the division. Despite the FCI Ladies competing well for possession, WS managed to score again at minute 13′, leaving the Ladies in Green to trail by two.
FCI took two early substitutions to keep the momentum during the first half. Fanny, who never stopped warming up, jumped from the bench to replace Claire still during the first half, while Lisbeth also played a couple of minutes in the first half after replacing Eli. Despite conceding early, the team kept its formation and fighting spirit, and the teams left the field for the half-time break with a 2-0 result.
The 2nd half started with more intense pressure and attacking efforts from the FCI Ladies. Su replaced Becky and Elli replaced Pris. The revitalised team manage to turn the tide of the game, and the WS defence ended up fouling Fra in the penalty area at the 59’ minute. Jenny converted the penalty solidly, making the game 2-1.
Both sides wanted to clearly win the match, and the contest was intense, yet fair. The two teams both managed to build goal-scoring opportunities but the end product was yet missing. FCI did some tactical substitutions, and Pris replaced Fra as a striker to keep the momentum going.
Finally, in the 72nd minute, the WS managed to find the FCI net making the game 3-1 for a couple of minutes. The opponent’s joy proved short-lived. FCI did not finish fighting for the points, and just four minutes after the WS goal, Eli scored 3-2 for the Irish Ladies! The newly found momentum led to even stronger attacking efforts for the away team, aiming to equalize the game, yet the home defence held their lead.
Ten minutes before the end the WS managed to break away from the pressure and pull one more goal to strengthen their lead. Despite this, FCI kept on fighting for the points until the end of the game, but the final 4-2 scoreline prevailed. Nonetheless, the Irish Ladies performed well and showed that they can challenge even the top teams of the division, and most importantly, the players kept a good formation and morale throughout the match!