First game back after the winter break, you just need a nice cool day to break yourselves back in...thanks Singapore. What felt like 50 degrees at 5pm must have been a nightmare for those playing at 3pm. Needless to say both Ranger's gingers had to start on the bench to avoid heat stroke within a minute. Rangers squad was assembled with another key member of the championship winning side staying home in Italy for the foreseeable future (think he ran out of likes on tinder). Despite that with a solid 15 players we knew we'd need every single one and that proved to be the case. The Germans were very organised trying to restrict Rangers to many chances and then counter attacking when they had the chance. Dom must have had someone different living in his body, one throw-in was launched directly above himself (presuming he thought he could run onto it himself, silly Dom). The rest of the first half was pretty much Rangers trying to create chances but the Germans took the lead when their number 10 was left unmarked from a pass across the box to tuck away. Paddy had a golden chance to equalise soon after but their keeper pulled out a fantastic save to keep the score 1-0 at half time. Dom had decided that the throw-in was the icing on the cake for him so he came off to be replaced by Whitshag. The second half started the same as the first with Rangers looking the superior without penetrating the Germans back line too much. The time kept ticking and, after more subs, around the 80th minute Sharples showed some wonderful Messi-esque skill on the edge of the box to dink a cross to the back post where Paddy stole a header off Nate Dizzle's head. Who cares, 1-1, game on. Good finish anyway. With their tails up Rangers were heavily pressing the Germans now, just a question whether there was enough time or not. A few crosses came and went, finally leading to one corner from the left that was half cleared in the air, when Nate Dizzle hooked it back over the keeper with all Rangers players watching in slow motion to see the ball finally drop in. Queue scenes of relief, final score 2-1. All in all Rangers deserved the win but the Germans were well organised and deserve credit for that. All the best for the season. MOM for Rangers was Paddy after his direct running all game and scoring (stealing) the equalising header. MOM for Germans was Jeff, quality on the ball all game and got the goal he deserved as well.
Enjoying high temperatures, sunny weather with no clouds in the sky, we were prepared to challenge the Rangers and to close up to them or at least share the points. Having many Stammspieler being injured, (still) on vacation or simply unavailable the German side was starting with quite a mixed team and needed to fill the gaps in the line-up. Although the Rangers were pressing hard in the first 20 minutes, we expected them to be much stronger being last year’s champions. The coaches made good choices for the line-up and especially the defensive centre mids Jeff and Victor, as well as Marius and Taka as right and left backs were able to give the Rangers hard times. So after a strong Ranger start, it took some 20 minutes until the Germans took the lead. After a critical situation in the own half, Teo and Marius brought the ball over Quirin to Micha who was able to serve Jeff who was completely blank in the box. The Frenchman stayed cool and scored – 1-0! The Rangers now attacked even stronger but were not able to create a lot of decent chances, And the ones they had were latest cleared by Tommy. Especially after the break the Rangers were starting fresh again and tried to push forward. However the very few but clearer chances were on German side. But the ball did not find the way into the net. After the last water break the Rangers brought some more fresh players and increased the pressure from minute to minute. Being unlucky but never frustrated, it was the Top Scorer Sharples that was able to serve a perfect cross into the box where three Rangers were waiting for the ball to easily score – 1-1. God of Football and the final stamina was not on German side on Saturday. So it took another 5 min for the Rangers to score again. In the last 5 minutes we were not able to create any more chances and the referee who successfully lead an intense match blew the whistle on time. All in all congratulation to the Rangers who never gave up and were a fair opponent on this Saturday. Looking forward to the next match.