A blistering hot day at Turf City. You could feel the lava like pitch on the soles of your fit and still burn wearing factor 110 sun cream. We hijacked Shuntaro’s Singapore holiday through social media, naturally the little Cosmo legend went straight in to the first 11 forming a ridiculous front three with Dulpo and E. Lozza San and the Doc (full debut) came in at full back, and JR returned from injury in midfield. The pace of the game matched the weather, less pressing and more passing and patience. This suited 1TM who were playing one and two touch football, interchanging across the park. It was a matter of time before we took the lead. On 15 minutes E’s square pass to Lego was superbly fired in to the far corner of the net. Soon after Shun turned provider for E who took a touch when shooting looked the better option, steadied himself and beat the Vikings keeper from close range. We were all purring at the thought of Shun and E playing more games, alas, Shun is returning to Tokyo to sell whiskey. Snowflakes priorities are all wrong these days. We continued to create half chances and were quite wasteful, thankfully Duplo scored a third before half time which we deserved. A through ball was converted after what seemed an age of a one on one. Half time 3-0 and the feeling at half time was that was some of the best football we had played all season. Good shape, simple passes, few touches and movement. Have we said goodbye to the Terracotta Army? The Vikings looked dead and buried but they never go down without a fight. Countering a 1TM corner, their striker Mele (Chovsky) reacted quickest to his own shot from POB’s point blank save. Our lead was restored through our live wire E with another individual goal to add to his collection, after latching on to a brilliant thorough ball from LTG. In to the final quarter of the match leading 4-1 we freshened up the legs with a raft of substitutions. However, as we were in cruise control Vikings somehow reduced the deficit very quickly. Mele swivelled and finished in the six year box on 80 minutes, and with two minutes to go completed his hat trick after 1TM feel asleep at one of the many free kicks we conceded outside our box. Final score 4-3. A great result and first half performance, it was a shame we couldn’t maintain our lead but credit to Vikings for hanging in there on a sweltering day. Thanks to our supporters as always; Team E, KK, Tard’s girlfriend, and Polar Bear visiting from Europe. Vikings MoM: Mele 1TM MoM: E DOD’s: JR & Tommo( tackling each other in the 1st half) KIT: Captain Eyebrows BALLS: Lost them all WBA CAP: It’s in someone’s bag Next game: Purple Monkeys 23rd March
On a sweltering day down at Turf City Vikings displayed all that is good and bad about our play to date and why we have been rightly described as this season's enigma. We lined up with 4-4-2 but we were well aware that our wide slots were being filled with players playing out of position and that 1TM would look to play through the channels as much as possible. This became apparent direct from the kick off as a long diagonal ball was played deep into our right back position and chased down by four speedy players. The first 10 minutes were a relatively even affair but shortly after that came one of a number of key moments that may well have changed the course of the game, a ball over the top of the 1TM defence freed Meli to motor past the centre half and dispatch the ball beyond the diving keeper. Delight soon turned to dismay as our striker was denied the goal after being deemed to have committed a foul during the play-extremely harsh to say the least. This almost signalled the end of our first half threat as shortly afterwards 1TM started spraying the ball about and played some excellent 1 and 2 touch football that we found it difficult to match, a couple of swift passes down our right resulted in the ball being cut back to the on-rushing Lego and his precise first time finish opened the scoring. Worse was to follow shortly after when on the opposite flank the ball was fired in from the edge of box and found it's way in to double the lead. Moments before the half time whistle a glaring error in the heart of our defence saw a third goal fall the way of our hosts. We spoke heavily during the break about winning the second half and playing with pride and spirit, I was personally convinced that despite our first half showing there was still something that could be salvaged from the game. The next goal was the important one and should we still be in the game with minutes to go we had the fire power to threaten, were our thoughts. With that in our minds we rearranged our team and looked to get Domino in the thick of things and hope that he could provide the passes to set Meli free. We were rewarded within moments of the restart when Meli latched on to a Domino through-ball and fired hard at the 1TM keeper, who saved well but who could not stop the second effort from going in. 1TM continued to play some enticing football and were a constant threat throughout the third quarter and it was only a matter of time before they would restore their three goal cushion, Pizano finding himself free and his perfect chip beat our keeper. This could have resulted in our heads dropping and going on to concede further goals, alas this was not the case. A quick move down our left saw the ball find it's way to Meli with his back to goal, he swivelled and hit a low shot into the corner of the net. With seven minutes left on the clock a smart and quickly taken free kick arrived at the feet of our front man and his faintest of touches diverted the ball to get us within one goal of our opponents. Sadly we were not able to complete the comeback as the final moments were played out with no further goals despite all of our efforts. Congratulations to 1TM who played some tantalising football during the first half and who in fairness deserved the win. Well done to our boys for sticking together and not giving in, we need to believe in ourselves a bit more and not panic if we go behind as we are all aware that teams tire in the Singapore heat and can be pegged back in the later periods of the game. MOM for Vikings goes to Elbo MOM for 1TM goes to Ethan Pizano, although anyone of the front three could have been deemed worthy!