In the return match vs FC International BEFC knew they would be up against the highest scoring offence in the league, so it didn't look too good when last minute changes forced a trial player Shouller into starting the match in the 3 man back line. However the match started positively with BEFC holding up well and pressing International in their own half. Unfortunately it wasn't going to be a fond debut for Shouller as a long ball counter got the better of him to allow the exceptionally fast International forward to race through on goal.
Not to be discouraged BEFC carried on always aware to the counter attack threat posed by International, and a very dubious penalty call against Villaneuva changed the match. In a foot race that went into the right side of the area the International striker cut in front of Villaneuva and decided that was a good moment to go to the ground under almost no contact. Penalty calls have been a recent occurance in Division 1 games, and this is not something BEFC have seen at all in their Division 2 campaigns. What has been very noticeable so far in Division 1 is the tendency for strikers to fall over in the penalty area and the referees to call penalties. In Division 2 strikers would tend to stay up, and penalty calls seemed only given where there was obvious contact. It's a little tiresome for BEFC to have been on the end of a number of penalty decisions where there was practically no contact and in one case none at all. Clearly strikers in Division 1 are more adept at mugging off referees! We even have strikers admitting it to us afterwards.
It's hard to make a comeback from 2 - 0 down against a counter attacking team, but despite the goals this match was no way a mismatch, with BEFC limiting International well and having a number of their own chances going close. Sakk got a consolation goal he described as 'probably the *shoddiest* he's scored'. FC International claimed another from a deflection on a counter attack, a free kick and a last second half way line long ball.
None of these goals were evidence of any dominance but largely from BEFC being forced to chase from two goals behind against a high speed offence.
One player who put in a huge shift bossing the midfield was Soutaro Kirihara, who also often found himself with the job of transitioning the ball from defence to offence and looking up to a wall of three to four International midfielders closing him down. Soaking up the pressure for BEFC as well as putting in a strong defensive shift, Kirihara posed International plenty of problem when advancing forward and threatening their defence in the air.
A number of good performances from Marenco, Oshima showing their ability in newly assumed wingbacks positions present a strong challenge for the MVP award but in this match the Adecco Most Valuable Players versus FC International is Soutaro Kirihara.