First friendly game, first victory, aka a good start of the season
No better ambiance could be chosen for our first friendly game of the season than the pitch where only a few months ago the Squadra won the B2 league, against Serpiolle. The smell of champagne was still there in the dressing room and hunger for more victories was in the air.
This first half saw two well balanced teams trying to find their way into the game. The Squadra was trying to implement its football philosophy by bringing the ball from the left to the right, from the right to the left. It struggled a bit to go forward, but the few times it managed to so some good chances emerged. The highlight of the first half, from my perspective, was when after some tiki-taka football the ball arrived to our newcomer Francesco Castra, whose great shot went outside for just a few centimeters. The newcomers demonstrated to fit very well in our football phylosophy, as left-back Jonas and right-wing Gabo were directly linked by Francesco’s passes. However, The Man of the first half was undoubtedly our goalkeeper Rizzi, who miraculously kept us on the 0-0 on a few occasions in which our tiki-taka football was not going so well. The first half ended in 0-0, a fair result.
Then finally, five minutes into the second half, something happened that would make every mister proud to be a mister. I practically saw the speech I gave last sunday https://blogs.eui.eu/calcio/video-1st-pizza/ materialize into a goal: the ball went from the right (Gabo), to the left (D19), to the center, (our newcomer Besir), back to Francesco Castra who shot and…. GOALLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Squadra was leading 1-0 on the pitch where it won the league, with an action mostly set up by and finished by the newcomers! Old and new working together and becoming one: The spirit of the Squadra!
The goal gave the Squadra confidence and in the second half the ball was not only going from the left to the right, but the Squadra was also gaining meters on the pitch, hungry for more. And 10 minutes later the hunger resulted in a second fantastic goal: The Squadra holded the ball on the opponent’s half, waiting for the right moment to strike and then Gazza, out of the blue, gave an amazing pass behind Serpiolle’s defensive line, Capitano L11 knew exactly what he had to do, he ran after the ball and with a very subtle touch he made the ball go past the goalkeeper: 0-2, SPETTACOLO!
But Spettacolo was not yet finished, D19 had to leave his contribution. After the 0-2 the Squadra started to let Serpiolle gain some more meters on the pitch and this gave us more space for counter-attacks. A nice action outfolded on the right side, the ball arrived to Treno Regionale who after a (not so fast) run crossed the ball to the middle, a difficult ball to control which D19 managed to shoot at once: Ball under the crossbar, 0-3, a perfect technical execution, difficult to describe, hopefully there is a video of it… SPETTACOLO PURO!!
The game ended with Serpiolle trying to attack and the Squadra struggled to keep a clean sheet. In fact, Serpiolle got very close to scoring the 1-3, but the ball miraculously hit the crossbar. The game ended 0-3, a result which maybe gives IUE Calcio too much credit, but which certainly is essential for giving the Squadra the necessary confidence to start the B1. The evening ended in Finnegans, where the old players kept showing old pictures of the Squadra to our newcomer Jonas, telling legendary stories about our legendary members… El Eternalism is slowly becoming a religion…