Quona – IUE Calcio 0:1

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Against Quona, IUE Calcio had a good chance to match its incredible two victories record streak this season (Barca who?). After a decent game, we managed to live up to the expectations of our tifosi, so confident in the result that they did not bother showing up. The infamous microclimate of Molin del Piano probably deterred the bravest among them. Warming up was indeed much needed in the face of sub-zero temperatures and a 90% degree of humidity that had only been measured before in Bar Fiasco after a smile by Jonasino.
After we happily retreated to the spogliatoio, the misters announced that we would go back (one more time) to our beloved 3-5-2! While necessity was the mother of this re-invention, the news was met with enthusiasm among players. This formation, some say THE formation of IUE Calcio, brought many victories since Coach Karremans designed it at 5am on a sleepless night after he burned his hands from scrubbing them. Albert’s and my enthusiasm receded though when we learned that we would play running backs… The starting formation was the following:
Simon Reto Ludvig
Albert [+10m on the right] Gazza Gabo [+10m on the left]  Vincent
Bomber Ozgur
A noteworthy fact, IUE Calcio gave its chance to its young and promising goalkeeper Lian. His fame had already crossed the hills to reach Molin del Piano. Indeed, during the game, the opponents’ tifosi referred to him by his affectionate nickname of « Ci****ne ». Lian actually delivered a startling performance, blocked a dangerous free kick and generally imposed his authority in the penalty area.
As we started playing, the 3-5-2 worked its magic and we dominated the pitch. We had space to run deep on the sides, time to pass the ball in the back and a clear advantage in the midfield where the backbone Gazza-Gabo/Dimi/Bomber Ozgur was exhaling testosterone. That being said, we suffered from our usual eagerness to play the ball up. It was not always easy to verticalize the game on a slippery and small pitch, while enjoying our density in the midfield to play the ball down was probably a better way to go.
Naturally enough with this formation, the light came from the sides with a great dribbling by AlbAcar. His cross was a bit too long but I somehow managed to put it back in the box for Bomber, just two meters away from the goal. This was a piece of cake for him and his clinical shot gave us a well-deserved lead about 10 minutes before half time. Although our domination was clear, there were only few attempts on goal including a shot by the author of these lines… with his left foot (you can stop reading: no chance of a goal) – strangely the only one I remember. Half time came and although we were leading by the smallest margin, there was a general feeling of confidence in the team.
The players on the side were substituted first to bring fresh blood at this important position. Giuntinio came in for Albert and some minutes after, Fred for me. I’m uncertain about the timing of the events I describe below as I was enjoying a hot shower in the generous company of teammate Acarons (specific « match report » available by private email). There was also a lot of shouting outside, part of it triggered by the referee’s cancellation of a valid goal by Bomber for offside. He later told me he was not offside, then that he received a back pass, and finally that he started from our box, with the usual taste for precision and modesty of Italian players. Amid the usual increase in tension, lack of fairness from the referee (notably bad this time), the second half went on with two important events. First, Tore substituted Ozgur only to put and end to his honeymoon with Italian football. As another player pushed him, he bumped into the goalkeeper, who, unaware of the chain of events vented his frustration at our poor striker. Then, Giuntinio aka war-machine della partita del cuore del cazzo, got injured as he did not have enough time to warm up his impressive mechanics. Bjorn came in for him and did the job very well although with a more defensive attitude.
The game ended with the same score of 1-0 we had secured at half time although I’m sure we could have done (and hopefully will do more) with this formation. The squadra then reunited in Finnegan’s to enjoy a beer with the taste of victory. Happiness confined to ecstasy when our Presi (clearly c’e solo un’ presidente) showed up at 00:45 along with co-author/partner in drinking/spiritual son Diego 19. The road is now clear to break our record 2 games winning streak tomorrow. The sky is the limit!!