FC Kosova Schaerbeek
The colder-than-usual temperatures recorded on Saturday 14th, October not only (probably) marked the onset of autumn but also, and more importantly, the true beginning of the season for Ladies 3. With a record number of players available, a strong squad was put together to face FC Kosova Schaerbeek and hopefully conquer precious points.
But we were aware that the opponent, victorious in their last match, wouldn’t make it easy on us. “This will be a tight match, so we need to stay compact and be focused from the first minute”. With Francesco’s reverberating words, FCI took to the field and started the much-needed warm-up. That was when a familiar (but way more tanned) figure appeared in the distance and greeted everyone with the candid voice we all missed: it was António!
This surprise set the tone for a powerful beginning. Dominating the game for nearly 20 minutes, FCI clearly made the passes “mean something” by exchanging the ball firmly and communicating in “many different languages”. The team tried to find spaces forward, and the offensive triad Béa-Liza-Antónia was able to create some danger.
However, despite the great quality delivered by FCI, Kosova found the space to score their first goal by getting the ball over Mariana at 24’. This unfortunate moment came as a shock for our team and the many supporters who came to watch. The game resumed with a seemingly stronger Kosova putting pressure on our defensive line, but our defenders and mid-fielders succeeded in blocking several attacks and shots. Nevertheless, the second goal for Kosova originated from a corner kick 10 minutes before the end of the first half.
Determined to challenge the 2-0 result, FCI started the second half with a more compact formation. But five minutes in, another goal was conceded from a corner kick, almost identical to the one of the first half (and, in fact, previous matches). FCI seemed to be struggling more during the second half, although a few offensive actions, among which a brilliant shot from a free kick by Liza, made us dream. The defence side counted on the relentless support of the whole team, with Eva risking her own life to (successfully) block a shot. If the result wasn’t already unfair, given the quality of FCI’s performance, another goal by Kosova at 80’, much in the same style as the very first goal of the match, sealed the final 4-0. The ten last minutes were dominated by FCI again, with Dilara carrying the ball forward and helping the offensive line. If the game had lasted more than 90 minutes, for sure, we would have seen the result turning in our favour.
The aftermat(c)h came with a certain feeling of frustration and no sandwiches. For a split second, we thought that it would have been a good idea to bring the extra sandwiches we got from the match that didn’t happen the previous weekend, but most of them were consumed after Monday’s training and neutralised during the subsequent days by our beloved captain Mazzi. But then, Dakota saved the day by serving delicious pancakes (thank you, Dakota!), which were later topped up by a surprise round of free beer.
Despite the result, it is undeniable that FCI is getting more comfortable with triangles and diamonds. The take-home messages, along with all the lovely people who came to support us, give us hope for better days. And trust us, the best is yet to come!
Player of the match: Dilara