This was the performance we needed to kickstart our season. Vish made sure the energy levels were high for kick off. Sprinting from the car park just in time for everyone watch him strip out of his cargo shorts. We began with plenty of hustle too, catching Nippon players in possession high up the pitch a few times. Eventually one these told, Max playing in Sergio down the right, who clipped a ball to Julio at the back post. His volley was blocked but he managed to bundle it over the line to get us ahead. Sergio quickly followed up with a goal of his own. Cutting in from his wing, he found a pocket of space near the penalty spot and placed an outside of the boot finish into the bottom right corner. Dan added a third before half time. Sergio's cross took a bounce in front of goal and popped up enough to let Dan volley in at the far post. The second half was less eventful, and far more even. Nippon put on some pressure straight from kick off, but we held up well, and then managed to get a fourth. A Nippon defender got a toe to Dan's attempt to play in Vasco, but it went straight to Sergio, who completed his hattrick of assists by squaring it to Vasco for a debut goal. Ishaan had to watch his brother squeeze what would have been a fifth just outside the post. Nippon spoiled our clean sheet with a nice goal near the end. Sergio gave nobody else a chance at MoM - a goal and three assists reflected the trouble he caused all game. We were solid all over the pitch though. The defence looked comfortable and our control of the game came from our quality in centre mid. Special mention to Xav for getting through 90 minutes, and Jez for bringing sliced cucumber with salmon dip to the sidelines.
After losing 2 seesaw games (4-5 vs OG / 1-2 GSAS), a win was a must for this weekend's game. However, it didn't turn out to be what the team wanted, and this reminded us how tough the Cosmo league is. The first 10-15 minutes almost determined today's game. Hibs put high pressure from the start and effectively repeated short counter attacks which led to the opening goal and the second. They were also strong in the air and scored their 3rd goal from a side feed before half time. Nippon struggled during the 1st half to pull themselves back to their strategy. In the second half, we managed to reorganise ourselves and started to put some pressure on Hibs goal, but despite the hard work, we could only score a single goal while Hibs grabbed another in the second half. Overall score was 1-4 and it taught Nippon that every game in the Cosmo is super tough. Well played Hibs! We will definitely keep ourselves fit and try our best to get the next game against Gaelic Lions.