By Michael Rafa Jorgensen
Ite Simei being one of the best pitches in Cosmoleague was the venue between two teams from the top half of the table (at the end of last season). And while Vikings were disappointed with their loss against the Germans two weeks earlier, all focus was on taking point against Hotspurs as it has been 1.5 year since that last happened.
Due to a lack of defensive players and a strong line up of attacking players we decided to go for a 3-4-3 and with a game plan of running with the Hotspurs defence. Our strikers were quick of the mark and we created a lot of early opportunities and in all fairness Charni should have scored on one of two big chances. A few whispers on the sideline – this is exactly like the game against the Germans – but the boys in red continued to pressure. On around the 30 minute mark a cross from Rasmus via a hotspurs foot made its way to Tommie who got the opener and his first of the season.
During the last 15 minutes of first half Hotspurs gained a bit of momentum and were on several occasions close to scoring but our goalkeeper JC had two brilliant saves to keep us up 1-0 by halftime. The half time talk was about taking our chances and closing off the game and to closely mark Hotspurs number 10 (Sam) who seemed the danger man on the day.
2nd half kicked off and the Vikings regained composure and started to move around the ball better again. On around the 60 minute mark we made a couple of changes and we are aiming on using Casper’s speed against the Hotspurs defence, but only a few minutes later we saw Casper send off alongside Binns from Hotspurs. A bit of pushing after a free kick resulted in a two straight red cards and while Binns and Casper (from our perspective) should both have seen only a yellow card, it was amazing that Hotspurs last man being 30m away from the incident came running over and grabbed Casper by the throat, did not see any card. No, Andy, I generally do not call for more red cards in this league – but I hope we both agree that this does not belong on the football pitch.
On a different I do hope that Binnsy will get a few more games before returning to Europe, its been a great pleasure knowing you on and off the pitch and we do hope to see you back in Singapore.
10 against 10 and Tommie slotted in the defensive midfield next to Johan while Domino provided the attacking support for Rasmus, while Marco came on to take over for Hansen who had done exactly what he was asked – neutralizing Hotspurs number 10. Some 10 minutes later Hotspurs were reduced to 9 men and while it by the rulebook was a red card for Marco it did seems a bit harsh as he were pushing Tommie away to get the free kick taken.
10 against 9 – Vikings saw themselves with more opportunities and with 15 minutes to go a swift counter attack saw Domino crossing to Rasmus who beautifully headed in to make it 2-0. We made our 4th substitution taking off Tommie being on a yellow card and Lars Moeller slotted in on the midfield and won some important tackles. With 5 minutes to go Rasmus returned the favour of the 2nd goal and after taking on the Hotspurs defence he neatly passed the ball to Domino who scored his 2nd of the season to make it 3-0.
All in all a great performance – but no need to celebrate, next week we are facing Latini – a team that we have been struggling to beat for quite a while as well. Man of the match for the Vikings goes to JC in goal saving us on two occasions in the first half and in general having a solid game in goal. Our defenders all did very well and Rasmus had two assists and a goal in his comeback game. Good to see you back!