We finally learned our lesson after 2 frustrating defeat while trying to play some good football, OG manage to secured their first 3 points by handing over an almost perfect copy. Evening starting strangely. 9pm kick off delayed because the ref considered the pitch un-practicable while all other 3 pitches were about to kick off. But both teams were here to play a game and therefore took on the brushes, the empty water containers and started draining the water out of the pitch for the next 30min under the supervision of the referees enjoying the view. Finally after 30min+ of labour and a few begging to the ref, he allowed the game to start but for only 2 times 35min. So be it, both teams agreed as this was the best we could get and none of the players wanted to see our effort been wasted. The game started at a very high pace with clearly both team eager to get their first win of the season. After getting smashed twice in a row with counter attacks, we deliberately decided to give the ball away and almost split the team in 2 blocks leaving Eric and Quique upfront , and the rest of the team focusing on closing up all the spaces at the back. Strategy worked pretty well as we got the opener after 15min from Eric. We managed to keep the Nippon away from our last 20m and only conceded a few long range shots or dangerous free kicks. We kept the same strategy in the 2nd half, which again paid off. A good team effort to recover the ball, and within a few passes, we got Quique in the last 16m, a bit of magic from him to dribble 2 defenders, and calmly finished in front of the keeper. 2-0. We kept control of the game that way, and could have scored a few more on some nice opportunities, but legs started to feel heavy. Finally the third one came from a good corner kicked by Remi and strongly headed by Juan. 3-0. Game over. We closed the gap even more at the back leaving no space, but a few minutes before the end Nippon got a goal back from a corner too. 3-1. It was a great game of football, and by looking at the skills, the energy and the pace displayed by both teams, it is hard to believe that it was a bottom of the league clash. Without any doubts a lot of other teams will break their teeth again the Nippon, and we are glad we got the 3 points tonight. A special thanks to the entire Nippon team for their hard work clearing the pitch before kick off. MOM OG: A lot of contenders as everyone got a great game. But Ouss was just instrumental at the back, ruling the defense like a maestro.
On Friday night, after we declined the several invitations for drinking, all of us managed to come to the pitch for first win in the new season. However, what we saw there was just a lake, which was really incredible sight. Yes, it rained but was not so heavy. I had never seen such disaster even after the heavy rain. Anyway, we started to drain the water off from the pitch very very manually, however it didn’t work so much and was so inefficient. We gave up and waited for the decision by the referees. After the discussion among the referees and both captains, OG and Nippon decided to try drainage to satisfy the very high requirement for the “Safety” given by the referees. Both teams made a plenty of effort around 60 minutes not for coming and doing drainage work only but for playing the game on Friday night. Guys from OG especially did quite well and their concentration and passion for this game might be greater than the one of us like the score of the game… Game started but it was 35 minutes half. We shared several common concepts and tactics prior to the game, as we found after 3 games in the new season we as team should have and keep doing it through the game. Some worked well but others didn’t work so well in the end. We possessed the ball more but we could not create opportunities for scoring, while OG created some opportunities and made it efficiently. It still has been on the way to improve ourselves and hope to obtain first win as soon as possible. MOM to OG: No. 10 Enrique Sanchez? He was threat to us as always (No idea how many goals/ assists we devoted to him when he played in the previous team.) MOM to us: Nanai who scored our only goal at the almost end of the game. Many thanks to all of guys OG for the good game and see you in the 2nd half of the league again! From Japanese fellow workers shared really unusual experience prior to the game. To referees, thank you very much for trying to secure our “Safety”, which might be a bit too much though. We hope not to see a lake again at turf. Thanks.