BEFC Lions went to face Eastern Capital FC with a depleted squad in the early Japanese summer heat.
With Kaz and Toshi injured in the previous match, others unable to come because they actually have a social life, and 4 of our players also playing in the BEFC game that took place on the same pitch right before the Lions game, this was a skeleton squad.
Yu, Tsukasa, Akito and Yuta had already played for BEFC and were already fatigued by the time we started our game. In fact, Yuta had picked up an injury, and was unable to play any part in the Lions game, apart from a role as linesman.
With the heat bearing down, some of the team struggled, with players such as Viran finding it difficult to maintain composure and successfully complete dribbles and passes in the first half. With so many tired legs on the field, it was difficult to transition from defence to attack, with striker Charles often isolated up front.
The team went into half-time 1-0 down, but came back stronger in the second half. A free-kick was won on the edge of the opposition box, and vice-captain Mark made an awful decision. He adamantly wanted to take the free kick, arguing with our free-kick specialist Akito and the captain. The ensuing free kick was weak, off-target and pathetically whimpered over the line without troubling the goal keeper at all. This act of selfishness was a turning point for all the tired legs in the team, especially for those in midfield and attack, as it was the best chance to score a goal, and the team conceded another goal shortly afterwards. If a goal had been scored here, it would have provided the Lions with momentum and helped to reinvigorate the players. Needless to say, Mark will not be taking any direct free-kicks next season.
The team could have conceded even more goals if it wasn’t for Ben Knott’s efforts in commanding the defence from his position as centre-back. As one of the few players to have a good game, Ben was instrumental in stopping opposition attacks and ensuring that the ball was played to feet into the midfielders.
Following his equalizing goal in the week before, a consecutive excellent performance sees the Adecco MVP award for this game given to Benjamin Knott.