When i arrived at Turf City the sight of Whites limbering up & talking tactics made me wonder what was Arjit smoking when he agreed the line up with Raj. Then again besides being a great player Raj is also one of the best selectors in the business. I asked Arjit before the game if he knew what he was doing as Reds lacked a known centre back he shrugged if off by saying just play to his game plan.
The first 15 min were spent probing & testing without any real chances except for one which Babs, clearly rusty after 2 weeks away shot straight at me in goal. Nick & Babs were imposing themselves on the Reds' defence but Mark led his charges well. Reds were lucky that Raj (unlike some others) was unselfish to play in defence when they had Timmy who has been excelling in that position the past few games. Glenn even though a chain smoker didn't let it show during the game & combined well with Christian the Red's target man. That led to Rainer & Jan having room to run around behind Whites defence like a pack of midgets & in one of the rare attacks opened scoring.
A comical goal from a Route One playbook by Raj led to Fred making his only contribution to the game & the game tied 1-1. Of course the other contributions Fred made was to call for 5 fouls with 2 given.
Reds were constantly under pressure with Babs doing body checking in our box & in one of those moments i tried to do a Ronaldo step over, tripped over my own leg & sprained my ankle. No one bothered to carry me out despite all the pre-game camaraderie. Babs pretended to check on me and said i deserved it.
Reds had to play the remaining 30 min with 7 men & while watching from the sidelines i realised what Arjit meant when he said he had a game plan. In his pre-match team talk he said to restrict the Whites & then quick counter. Now Whites can only score from within the penalty box & that meant them pouring further afield & leave gaps for Rainer & Jan to exploit with their speed which In one of the rare counters Red scored but a moment of magic from Adrian saw him weaving pass 3 defenders & score with his left foot. Arjit was seen smirking.
Finally a text book counter with no less than 23 passes between the Reds led to a tap in through the goalie's legs. Now sure if it was Rainer's or Christian's but with the amount of time Rainer spent in the opposite half without ever coming back to help in defence he deserved a goal. Final score 3-2 to Reds.
If one team is a player short due to uneven numbers, a late withdrawal or no show, a player arriving late, fatigue, injury, illness or a player leaving the game, we try to find a replacement at the venue itself. If a replacement cannot be found, we continue with one team a player short. The team with the extra player is restricted in its scoring to within an imaginary line running through the penalty spot for the opposing goal. ....
Hey Chenny, why focusing on all the negatives? Alot of players had their 'moments' (myself, Fred, Raj, Babs, Nick, You,...) but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Isn't that a reason we all like the Sat game?
As for the positives.. CH and Christian had outstanding games. One avoiding at least 3 goals, the other scoring 3. Arijit got his tactics and selection right, Timmy didn't fall/ask for a foul when I used a bit of my body in a one on one, Babs talked Raj out of calling a handball, Glenn brought 11 Stella, ...
The game itself I thought was more one sided than the result. I felt reds had much more possession even w one man down. That, btw isn't necessarily an advantage in my opinion as the other team is only allowed to score within that imaginary penalty line.
As for the injury... I didn't see what/how it happened but after the game your ligaments looked badly swollen. I - and surely everyone else on the pitch - hopes it is not as bad and wishes you a speedy recovery.