BEFC vs Pumas matches are always great games, with their previous D2 head-to-head being 1 each both with a 1 - 0 scoreline. Since their last meeting Pumas have had a season in Division 1 to improve their game and BEFC headed down to Yokohama on the halloween weekend to find out exactly what this would mean.
Unfortunately for BEFC it wasn't under the circumstances they wanted with a huge number of regular players out through injury, commitments or misfortune. Lining up with 10 players against one of the TML's well known attacking forces BEFC planned to minimise the damage at least until their 11th player could arrive at halftime. Ironically Pumas goal came exactly at that moment from a BEFC error, but also in that moment of change where maybe the adjustment in shape momentarily allowed Pumas to take advantage.
Playing almost an entire half against Pumas with 10 men and it only being 0 - 1 was something before the start of the match BEFC would have taken happily. Especially after the slaughtering from BFC given in the previous game and especially against the team who put 9 goals past Swiss Kickers. And while the second half was still rough, it was not without chances for BEFC, with Pumas looking the most worried of both sides when BEFC comfortably kept them at bay (reminiscent of the 10 man JETRO game). The keeper rarely felt troubled thanks to the stella defence in front, only really having to palm away a few shots from range.
What BEFC often seem forget is that when they decide to defend they are probably one of the best teams in the TML at it. At the start of TML 13 they went 6 straight games without a goal conceded and the tide of goals in the previous season came from having a strong defence first, as the platform for a free attack.
One player who knows all about this, continued to add to his BEFC legend status with a commanding performance in a back three, shutting down and cutting out the waves of Puma attacks and creating great communication with his team mates to really run the defence unit as a cohesive, moving barrier of shutdown fury! Takahiro Yoshida was everywhere, and everywhere he should be, bringing with him crucial tackles and motivation by example and his signature yells of 'COME REDS!!' oozing passion in every challenge.
Despite the final score the effect of BEFC's effort was hugely noticable as Pumas barely remembered they had won. After the final whistle and a period of quiet, a Puma voice piped up 'hey...Pumas... we..won!', as if they had all forgotten. For them it definitely did not feel like a win for an attack specialist side blunted so strongly, their sole goal not a product of their play but small moment of error, which could have equally happened to them.
So when it came to MVP nominations there were plenty of top choices, including some more unique ones such as Marenco's balloon shaped ankle as he managed to stay on the field despite playing with a golf ball growing in his leg after a nasty challenge, and stand-in goalie Ben Palmer's right testicle who heroically sacrificed itself to keep the score at 0 - 1.
Even if it was Halloween and nearly dismembered body parts being elligible for nomination the wizard on the pitch with his REDs magic was Takahiro Yoshida for the Adecco BEFC Most Valuable Player against Pumas.