Having gone top of the division after the previous matches heroics, BEFC needed to keep on winning to stay ahead of SUNS who were playing the following day. However Dutch FC were a team who so far had been BEFC's toughest challenge with a hard fought 1 - 1 draw in their last encounter. Unfortunately the BEFC squad drought continued with a large portion unavailable and BEFC calling in some Lions players and fitting together a team in unfamiliar positions and combinations.
The match didn't start well with a trademark Dutch counter-attack getting in behind the defence and a huge blooper of a defence miscommunication leaving the Dutch striker open for a tap in at the back post after a defender called for the ball to be keepers, the keeper having to react and missing the cross, the defender calling it for the keeper, not clearing it either, and the covering fullback also leaving it in the belief that one of the two in front of them was about to clear it. It was a bit of a shambles and BEFC were behind in almost the first 5 minutes.
Dusting themselves off it didn't get much better, with the lack of gel apparent as they struggled to string passes together with unfamiliar partnerships, and always at the risk of the Dutch counter attack in numbers, who were making best use of a 3 man defence to overload the flanks. BEFC survived to half-time and with minimal time for a team talk, talked a bit of tactics and came into the second half in a more positive manner. It still wasn't great, but at least the match started to look in their favour and the chance of getting something out of it was definitely on the table. Unfortunately it looked like it was one of those games....
A sandwich challenge on Ballet, had him step up to the penalty spot only to see it crash off the crossbar. Somehow a Dutch player managed to escape any caution for screaming in the referee's face, squaring off against him and chest bumping. If he played for BEFC he'd be looking at a year and a half ban!! Complete lack of consistency in by the league in disciplinary actions needs mentioning. BEFC went close with the Dutch keeper performing a string of fine saves, Sasada in the BEFC goal put together some excellent stops of his own and in the final moments a towering Blancafort header came flying back off the crossbar and cleared by Dutch to effectively end the hopes of the comeback.
It was a tough match but that's how it goes in the TML.
However despite the disjointed play and struggle of BEFC to get their game going, one player definitely was solid the entire match, putting the shutdown on countless Dutch counters and almost putting that last minute equaliser away with a marvelous header. The Adecco BEFC MVP aaward against Dutch FC goes to Olaf Marti Blancafort!!