Match Report 1-1 Tie vs. Taichung Tubbies
March 9, 2014
Although it was a very tough, occasionally desperate, fight, today's match is exactly the kind of challenging game that is extra enjoyable, satisfying and valuable for us. We fully expected the Tubbies to come out with the best that they could throw at us and they didn't disappoint, with most of their "first string" squad present.
Compass also turned up with a good side, although one that still integrating a significant number of fresh players and learning how to play comfortably together. Today, 5 of our 14 present players are recent arrivals, including two playing their very first match with us. A big welcome to Dutch player Nicky van Dun, who showed how versatile he is today, and to Korean defender MJ who also gave a good account of himself.
We got off to a bit of a slow start, looking a bit flat and on the defensive for the first 10-15 minutes before things starting clicking and Compass began to gain possession and confidence, and increasingly take the ball into the Tubbies' half. By about 20 minutes in, the ball was spending the vast majority of the time over there, as we had a number of opportunities that didn't go in. This meant that the half ended inconclusively with no goals.
Both sides came out with renewed determination in the second half, but it was Compass that immediately took charge at the 48:30 mark, after Cesar put a nice pass onto fellow forward Luis, who scored his first Compass goal. This confidence booster gave us more opportunities and at the 54:45 mark Marin pounced onto a ball for a nice tap-in goal which, unfortunately, was ruled off sides.
However, Tubbies were far from finished and began to increasingly press into our defensive third as the half wore on, creating scoring opportunities and shots. Matters were not helped with David had to be helped off the pitch after a knee-to-knee collision that ended his match. Paul moved in to fill his central spot but, with about 15 minutes remaining, Lukas had to depart for his coaching commitments, leaving us even more short-handed on the back line, just as Tubbies were gaining momentum. Fortunately, MJ was on hand to boost the back line, as was Nicky, who moved from his offensive forward responsibilities to a left defensive role, showing the above-noted versatility.
The Tubbies got their equalizer around the 83rd minute, after Nat pounced on a ball and scored with a shot from the left. The remainder of the game saw Compass hang on against its pumped-up opponents, although we still managed some great, rapid transitions to offense which gave Tubbies some nervous moments. I think both sides could agree afterwards that the 1-1 score fairly reflected the evenly-fought match.
I want to salute Compass for giving a 100% up and down the pitch. As usual, Robert and Laurent were true warriors in the central midfield, tirelessly transitioning between offense and defense the entire 90 minutes, and our defensive line showed its mettle, even when it was forced to reorganize a couple times under extreme pressure. This includes a great job in the net by Clement, who I want to thank again for willingly filling this role.
And, finally, it was very cool to have Ben with us again. Although he cannot play yet, he provided sideline support and stepped in to lead us in the "COMPASS" shout, as is his customary role. He REALLY wanted to play and we're hoping that today will encourage him to work hard on joining us again on the pitch as soon as possible.
A great job today, men!