IUE Calcio VS San Martino 3-2. Match report by Jonas
After a nerve-wreaking finish against Quona in the mountains last week, we were determined to not leave it to the end against San Martino, and score as early as possible.
The first half started off with complete Squadra dominance. In the defence Jan, Ludvig and Julian had no problems keeping the opponents at bay. Fede and Alberto were in control of the midfield as if they never had been out with injuries. Frank’s speed on the right wing made the San Martino right back look like he had chewing gum stuck to his shoes, and Gabo had such control that one could almost smell Gazza’s fear of losing his place from the sideline. Lore and Bomber looked dangerous on top, and showed plenty of initiative from the first minute. About twenty minutes in, Alberto picked up the ball and threw a perfect pass to Gabo. Like so many times before, Gabo showed no remorse and put the ball beautifully in the back of the net. A well deserved 1-0, and we were convinced it would only be the first of many that night.
Our luck turned when, after half an hour, our arguably biggest star Cosimo was injured following a collision with an opponent and one of our defenders. It was a very unfortunate injury, not least because neither Marco nor Gatto were on the bench. Our fourth choice in goal, Julian, had to step in again, and we were hoping he would replicate his excellent efforts from an earlier match this season (minus the mistaking the ball for the opponent’s head when coming out to box-part).
During half time, I asked Cosimo if he had injured his breastbone. The reason I asked this specific question was that I wanted to practice the only medical term I know in Italian (lo sterno), which I have learnt from a joke about Francesco Totti I have seen on Youtube. Before Cosimo could reply, Ludovico unknowingly took on the role as Totti by saying: “l’esterno? No no, l’interno!” (the joke can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stxa0cgUGE4 – from 0:53).
The second half started off quite similar to the first. We had most of the possession, but were unlucky in front of goal. This changed some fifteen minutes in. A powerful free kick from Jan forced the goalkeeper to punch the ball back into the penalty area. It bounced around and suddenly it rolled in front of my left foot. I gave it a clumsy little push, and saw it slip between the keeper’s butterfingers and into the net. My first goal for EUI calcio, and undoubtedly my personal highlight of the season. The goal was no beauty (some even say it should have been offside), but we certainly deserved a goal at that point.
Five minutes later, the real stunner of the match came. Luis found Gabo on the right side, who dribbled past one defender and played a 1-2 with Bomber. Gabo continued dribbling past the defenders until only the goalkeeper remained, and served a perfect pass back to Bomber, who made no mistakes in front of the goal. An incredible goal, and the fact that it was Bomber’s fourth goal in three matches made it an even more special occasion.
We continued to control the match, but with only minutes left to play, a San Martino player broke into our penalty box, and lobbed the ball over a rushing Julian. Heroically storming back to head the ball away, Ludvig was surprised to see the goalpost fast approaching, and raised his arm to protect himself. By this move he also punched the ball away from the goal. The referee blew his whistle, indicating what in all fairness was a clear penalty and red card. Yet fortune struck us in the midst of our misfortune. The referee was so busy handing out yellow cards to complaining San Martino players that he forgot to hand Ludvig the red. San Martino scored on the penalty, but posed no threat to our goal in the final minutes. Soon after the referee blew for full time, and we could celebrate yet another well deserved three points.
EUI Calcio has had a fantastic development at the end of this season, and the Misters should be honoured for their tactical changes that have proved to create a winning formula. Equally impressive is the collective effort the team puts down both on trainings and in matches, showing a strong willingness to win and loyalty to each other. Our biggest challenge of the season finale awaits us this week, as we will take on the contenders for the third position in the league. No matter how that ends, we can all be proud of what we have achieved in our first season in this league.
(text accompanying picture: Ludvig’s rolemodel)