With a loss and two draws, BEFC Lions went into their fourth game of this season looking for their first win in the new campaign.
Their opponents, Bruno FC, are a Japanese team in their first season. BEFC Lions remembered that it took time last year to gel as a team when they first joined the league, and were looking to exploit this during the game.
BEFC Lions started fast and furious, with two disallowed goals from Tim and Charles signaling the intention of the Lions to win big.
The pitch was particularly large, which allowed the BEFC Lions runners to counter-attack at pace. With Tsukasa picking the ball up at right back, he played a simple pass into Viran who was ahead of him on the wing. Taking the ball, and threading a through-ball behind the defence for Tim to run on to, Tim put the goal in the net for his second time of the first half to score our first goal.
Soon after this, following heavy pressure from our attacking players in the opposition box, the ball bounced off the defence and was cleared away. However, Viran was waiting outside of the box and was in exactly the right place at the right time, catching the ball on the volley from the right side of the pitch which went over the keeper’s head and nestled into the top left corner to everyone’s disbelief.
BEFC Lions were guilty of complacency numerous times last season, and some dangerous defending and a quality finish from Bruno FC’s best player saw the sides go into half time at 2-1.
With a few changes to the formation at half time, the BEFC Lions were much more stable at the back in the second half. In particular, Rishi moving to left-back was important to close up an obvious weak spot. Richard did very well marshalling the midfield, and his contribution became more obvious when he was substituted off.
Charles and Tim worked well up front, with Charles playing in a beautiful outside-foot pass for Tim to slot in with ease, and Charles following up with a goal of his own minutes later. Tim passed up the chance for 2 more goals with two wayward headers, and Goran also missed his chances to get on the scoresheet again.
Bruno FC were tiring in the second half, but almost all of their attacks were closed down by Masa who had an amazing game, limiting the opposition to long-shots which goalkeeper Yu could deal with. Seth, Kaz F, and Tsusaka also had good second halves, helping to calmly get the ball from defence to midfield to set up our deadly counters. Thanks to the defence, we finished the game 4-1.
It was a great game for all of the players mentioned, with a particular mention for Chin who filled in a number of positions across midfield as substitutions were made. We wish him all the best with the Shanghai Lions.
For leading BEFC Lions to their first victory of the season, and for his involvement in both of the first half goals, the Adecco MVP for this match is the captain, Viran Pandya.