Match Report 3-1 Win vs. Chung Hsing University
March 2, 2014
As I suspected, Chung Hsing University showed up with a bigger, tougher side today. Although they were missing their German center defender (who has gone home) they had 3-4 of their African players including, I was later informed, a visiting member of the Taipei Animals. As Chris remarked afterwards, this resulted in the unusual chance to play against an opponent who focuses on possession of the ball almost as much as we do.
For Compass, today continued to see some experimentation with players in various positions, as we work our newer arrivals into the team and make up for the loss or absence of other more established teammates. Around the 11-minute mark Ivan scored our first goal off a pass from his brother and fellow forward, taking a nice long shot from the left that crossed into the right side of CHU's net.
The rest of the first half remained 1-0 in a hard-fought match that saw a fair amount of very physical play from our opponents and some dodgy calls from the linesman on the far side of the pitch. In the second half, a foul at the 55-minute mark saw Robert step up and take a beautiful kick from the right, outside the box, that arced up over Chung Hsing's wall and curled into the left top corner--a wonderful goal.
Our play seemed to fluctuate between some tremendous, beautiful passing sequences and drives, and periods where we seemed to be off balance and frantically defending. About nine minutes later, one of the latter resulted in a CHU goal, putting them back into the game. Fortunately, at the 72-minute mark, Laurent scored a nice long, low shot down the middle that gave us a bit of cushion that lasted to the final whistle and a 3-1 final score.
For this game, I want to especially recognize our defense, which I thought did a strong job throughout the game. Anchored initially by Justin and Paul and later by David and Paul, and assisted well by our midfielders, it was aggressive on the ground and in the air, snuffing out almost every CHU drive. Gary was his usual great self in the net and was tested a number times, including two strong shots in the final minutes--one that he dove onto and deflected to the left and another high shot that he deflected over the crossbar. It is my hope that this kind of defending will make "clean sheets" a regular future occurrence for Compass.
We can now look forward to our Sunday match vs. Tubbies. As Artem noted to me afterwards, we need to play a better match than we did today if we want to beat them so let's focus on doing that. I also heard some agreement today that our fitness levels need to be raised. Playing on Wednesday night and doing some exercise on your own during the week will certainly help with that.
Once again, today was a satisfying win, men!