Thursday, April 22, 2010

3 game catchup post.

Capital Ale 2- Mamma Zu 1
Ukrops Park, grass field.

I barely remember this game, it was so long ago (like 2 weeks). I remember that the other team was good, that every time the ball went off the field it went down a massive hill, and that we lost. I also remember Manny looking forlorn afterwards, and Karl complaining about his back being hurt. No idea who scored, or how. Oh well, perhaps best forgotten. Injury notes: Karl (back), Yonni (hammy, I think), Carlos (cannot remember)

Mamma Zu 5- Galazy FU II 2
Dorey Park, Field 5

Now here’s a game for the memory banks. First half, up a man, we dominated play and took a 3-1 lead after falling down 1-0 about 10 minutes in. Our scoring started out on a fast break play when Manny got the ball in the middle of the field and made a nice angle pass out to Fawaz, who drilled a low burner past the keeper from about 25-30 yards out. Cosmin, unhappily wearing #7, scored 2 in the first half. One was a sweet curling shot over the keeper on a 3-on-1 break, which was followed immediately by Manny telling him “Good thing you scored, or I’d have killed you. I was wide open.” [This will be important later.]

In the second half, they scored relatively early to get it back to 3-2 on a slow motion goal by Jake from our summer team last year. Then we struck back quickly with a goal from PK (after a halftime shoe change—wear the Adidas from now on!) on a nice pass from Cosmin. Glad he made the drive back for that one. Finally, the drama began again a few minutes later when Chris (I think) got taken down in the box and we were awarded a Penalty Kick. Manny lobbied hard to take the kick, and buried it in the upper 90. Sadly, Cosmin entered the area before the kick, and the goal was taken off the boards (Manny, that’s what you get for sassing Cosmin)… Cosmin, either out of spite or because he felt bad about that goal, then made a sweet run from midfield to score about 5 minutes later, completing his hat trick. #7 was good luck for Cos.
Also, thanks to Alex for coming out and playing keeper for us, and to Matt Grove, for coming out to cheer us on despite his own injure-reserve status. Injury notes: Chris (ankle).

First victory of the regular season. 5-2 Zu. Woohoo!

Lightning 5- Mamma Zu 1
Dorey Park Field 3

Lightning have an appropriate team name, I think… the guy I was guarding was both faster than me and more skilled. Not a good combo! We held our own for the first 10 minutes or so before yielding a goal on a nice give and go run/finish play by them. Immediately, however, Cosmin (back to his old number, much to his chagrin) struck back with a sneaky little toe poke behind the defense and keeper to tie the game and give us a strong sense of positive momentum. Sadly, that momentum was short-lived as we gave up 2 quick goals, and 3 more total in the half. One was a nice free kick that got through Joao’s parry attempt, and another was on a jump ball that Joao got out-jumped on, and nobody else could stop it… Also of note, one of their guys got a yellow card for an unnecessary takedown from behind on Cos. And I think he was the same guy who took me down on a header attempt with a couple of elbows in the back. Fun stuff.

The second half we played better, but still ended up giving up a goal and not scoring. I have already blocked out whatever memory I had of that goal. I do remember Brien with a couple of miracle stops after odd mis-plays where he got caught up between men on run-outs… and myself getting crushed again on another header—maybe that’s why I forgot the goal. We also had a near-goal from Fawaz on another blazing low shot that their keeper just managed to get in front of. Also, Alex played, back in his customary forward position, which was a welcome return for us. Injury notes: Carlos (?, left mid-second half), Chris (out-ankle).

Let's get a good turnout tonight, and beat Rogues!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wednesday Night Special, Copa Bruce style. Mama Zu 6 - 0 River Plate

After 5 attempts, 6 months of waiting, AND an uncalled for delay due to lack of referees, Mama Zu finally got the 2009 (!) Cup season under way last Wednesday night under the lights at Dorey. And what a start to the Cup it was!

The game started a little slowly on the scoreboard, but not on the field. The Zu was flying around, passing the ball cleanly and crisply through the majority of the first half. The first goal came about 15 minutes in, with a strike from Chris off a pass from Cosmin or Adrian (I think—I missed this one from the bench due to the massive crowd of River Plate subs being in our sightline). Scoring continued about 8 minutes later on a corner kick/hustle goal—corner by Greg, hustle by Brien to knock the ball free from the keeper, goal by Tomasso, cleaning up the mess in the middle. Meanwhile, in the Zu goal, Joao was slapping himself to try and stay awake.

River Plate did have one nice, if odd, opportunity in the first half, also off a corner kick. Somehow Joao stopped a shot after it hit the crossbar, and then the ball lay spinning on the ground, right in front of the goal, yet miraculously surrounded by the Zu defense. Strange but effective D there…

Sadly, I cannot remember the 3rd or 4th goals of the first half (they all start to run together after a week), except that Carlos scored one of them. Halftime, 4-0 Zu.

The second half was, largely, more of the same. We were challenged a bit more on D, probably due to both our letting up a little and their determination not to be shut out… but we managed to keep a clean sheet. The closest calls on D came on a couple of plays when Joao had to come out and do his patented slide kick to clear loose balls, and one where he had to do the same on a rebound right in front.

On offense, meanwhile, Carlos again asserted himself with a goal, this time about 30 seconds after coming into the game for Adrian—great substitution there. The final goal also eludes me, but I suspect it came from Fawaz, who had the defense and the refs wheezing all game. My favorite comment came from the sideline ref who asked Delano to tell Fawaz to stop running so much and so fast. Oh, to be 21 and in shape again…

On to Sunday’s game on the carpet at Ukrop Park. Go Zu!