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!