On Friday, 09 December, FC Irlande Ladies III played against R.R.C. D’Etterbeek.
FCI starts the first half excellently. Even though the RBFA reports that FCI concedes five goals in the first ten minutes of the game, in reality, those ten minutes are among the best played by FCI. During this initial part of the match, FCI is constantly in the opponent’s half of the pitch, creating tremendous opportunities to score. Etterbeek scores two goals in the first half and goes close to scoring the third one, but Alice, who starts a game as a central defender for the first time, stops the ball on the line.
The match’s second half is the unluckiest half of the FCI season. Two of the three goals conceded by FCI during the second half are own goals. The FCI player, author of the own goals, has conceded them simply because she is a great defender, if not the greatest. She always arrives first on the ball and is well-positioned to be on the shooting trajectory. Whenever the ball comes in the FCI defensive half, she is the commander and lighthouse of the entire defence. This time her deflections finish into the wrong door. (She was not lucky as Weghorst, who deflected a shot of Enzo Fernandez and sent the ball for a corner kick).
Like in the first leg against Etterbeek, a lot of disappointment in the air and on the faces of the FCI players. It was a challenging game, and the cold weather was not of any help. The final score appears too heavy compared to the FCI performance on the pitch. And as a side note, we did not miss even one throw-in.
It is necessary to mention the beautiful hospitality of Etterbeek, who started a dancing and singing battle with FCI. But, this time, FCI won (videos available attesting to the victory).
On Wednesday, 21 September, FC Irlande Ladies III vs R.R.C. Etterbeek took place, the first home game for Ladies III.
During the first half, we saw a tight game. FCI put pressure on their defence resulting in corners and free kicks and giving continuity to its offensive manoeuvre. Some suffering in the defensive phase due to the Etterbeek incursions was solved with a small tactical change on the right wing. But in the last minutes of the first half, Etterbeek found its way to score the match’s first goal.
In the second half, FCI tests a defensive line with four players for the first time, proving to be solid and reliable as a back three. The second part of the game continues along the lines of the first half. Etterbeek will score the other two goals ending the match 3-0. However, the fact remains that FCI players made an incredible performance.
In the first match at home, FCI showed defensive solidity and the ability to keep the ball in the opponent’s half of the pitch. Fewer shots were conceded, and more offensive occasions and pressure were produced. Therefore, the one played on Wednesday against Etterbeek was an extremely close match.
This time, a little bit of disappointment was in the air at the end of the match. Not because of the performance, but because the team, now more aware of its qualities and the progress made, knew that it deserved more.
How not to mention the incredible FCI Irlande supporters that, to the cry of “Don’t stop believing because I won’t”, encouraged the team throughout the game.