Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Final game -- Us v. Sweden 1 (again)

As luck would have it, we drew the first Swedish team in our final match. Hopefully, the outcome will be different this time!

The Swedes came out ready for us. Their better players #s 21 and 26 immediately penetrated our midfield and backfields with speed. But our steady guys in the backfield, took the abuse, and actually seemed to be getting stronger as the minutes ticked by. The field was smaller than the stadium field, which made for very quick speed of play and unfortunately, favored the Swedes. Quality shots and saves were made on both sides of the pitch.

17 minutes in, and Garrett is taken down in the box. Penalty kick is awarded to us. Italian Dani motions for our guys to take the kick, but no one makes eye contact with him, so Dani takes the PK. He strikes a beautiful low shot to the back right corner, textbook PK and scores! 1-0 us.

The half continued at the same high intensity. Yellow cards were given evenly to both teams. Bodies were flying and our guys were giving back as much as they were taking, totally opposite of the first game. Tommy, playing an exceptional game, kept the Swedes from scoring and cleaned up any balls deep into the backfield, classic sweeper. The Swedes were a bit more frantic since we were up 1-0. Half-time 1-0 us.

The Swedes take a corner 5 minutes into the half and score. 1-1 tie.

Both sides continue with high intensity play. #21 takes the ball down the right side, and Brodie attempts to delay him. Unfortunately, 21 gets off a great cross, switching the ball to the far-side, and inside our 6. There is flurry in the box, but no clearance. Swedes score, 2-1 them.

After several more minutes, run of play has the Swedes working down their left side of the field. Our defenders shift to our right trying to stop their forward movement. They get the ball inside our 18. Max gets entangled with one of the Swedes, who fell down quite readily. The referee blows his whistle and signals for a PK. Evan dives left, but the goal is made to the right side of goalmouth. 3-1 them.

Coach Jonny changes to three across the back, moving Tommy up into the midfield. Tommy immediately starts to change the complexion of the game; just making trouble in the middle for the Swedes. The ball somehow makes it to the top left and Matthew fights his way to the ball and gets a nice cross. Denis quickly gets to the ball and scores! 3-2 them.

Game ends 3-2. Very exciting, very good, very competitive. There were no losers today. You would have been very proud of our guys. We will be going to the closing ceremonies tonight at 7:30 back at the stadium.

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