Match Report 3-0 Win vs. Taichung Tubbies
June 8, 2014
Hi Compass Men,
I have little doubt that today's glorious victory is one that will raise your happiness levels a few notches this week. It certainly was one of our best in recent memory.
Our long-awaited match against Tubbies this afternoon started on an apprehensive note for Compass, and not because of the uncertain weather. I originally thought that I would have 14-15 players, but a string of cancellations/no-shows left us with 10 guys minutes before kick-off. In the meantime, the Tubbies were clearly there for an all-out push, showing up with a full-strength side of about 16-17 guys, dressed in their nice, new blue-and-white Adidas kits.
Fortunately, we managed to field 11 players with Tom, an English midfielder orphaned by the Scunners. As the game got underway, I desperately sent text messages and calls to anyone I could think of, knowing that Lukas would have to depart early, but found no takers. The only consolation was the much cooler weather, compared to last week's football roast.
The Tubbies were very aggressive from the starting whistle but, fortunately, Compass matched them evenly up and down the pitch. In particular, our center defense and midfield were rock-solid, with Dave and Paul in the back and Oto and Lukas in the midfield. This English-Czechoslovakian partnership repeatedly snuffed out Tubbies attempts to make a dent offensively and regularly transitioned into blazing runs into our opponents' defensive third. Out on the defensive wings, Chris and Justin also did a great job, matched in midfield by Artem and Tom, who was a pleasant surprise for Compass.
Up front, Robert and Luis kept looking for opportunities and were rewarded in the eighth minute when Luis put a nice pass through the Tubbies' back line to a charging Robert, leaving him to score in a one-on-one with Tubbies keeper Jon.
It was far to early to celebrate, though, with Compass having no subs on the sidelines and Tubbies more than able and willing to equalize. The rest of the match was a back-and-forth slugging match that saw opportunities for both sides. One that stands out is a brilliant save by Gary just before half-time after Steve Chen broke through and got a close-in shot off from the left side. Gary would continue in the same style, with yet more great saves as the game progressed.
At half-time, Marin showed up to give Compass a narrow, but absolutely essential, margin of help in the event that someone got injured and Lukas' expected early departure. I'm sure the Tubbies were determined to use their numbers to overwhelm Compass in the second half but, in the 52nd minute, Tom went up in the air with a mixed bunch of players in the box and scored a nice header to give us a 2-0 lead. However, with 38 minutes still left to play, even that didn't feel like an entirely safe margin.
Then, with about 15 minutes left, Lukas had to leave and Artem ably filled his position. Appropriately, it was Oto who put the final nail in the Tubbies' coffin 10 minutes from the end, when his header off a corner kick by Robert took a little arc up and into the upper right corner, sealing a 3-0 Compass victory.
Outnumbered from the very beginning against a very aggressive opponent that was very intent on beating us, Compass might have had good reason to be nervous and even pull back a bit. However, I'm truly proud of the way all of you guys played today--brilliantly, aggressively and as a team, supporting one another all the way. To me, that is much, much more important than continuing our undefeated streak, which I have lost count of.
Once again, we also bid a very sad farewell to Oto, who was, is and will always be a valued Compass FC teammate and friend. We fully expect and hope to see you again on the pitch with us at some point in the future and wish you all the best. Although he wasn't out with us today, I'd like to also express the same sentiments to Dennis, who became a great part of our team in the relatively short time he has been with us.
A huge job well-done, Compass! You are awesome!