ArchiSoccer Cup
News Report

ArchiSoccer Semi final Match reports 2018

21/03/18

Quentin V Marco

A roundup of last weeks Semi finals Plus V Bates Smart and CHT V FKA

Last Thursday evening 4 teams went to battle on the turf of Ross Straw field to claim a spot in the much sought after ArchiSoccer grand final; Each of the teams contemplated what their fate may bring over the subsequent 50 mins and whether the soccer gods would be favourable. The scene was set for the showdown of the 2018 ArchiSoccer semi-finals.


Game 1: Plus + 0 v Bates Smart 1
Plus had a convincing season in division 1 and were undefeated all year. They had a convincing route through the finals, easily dispatching of each of their challengers. Bates Smart similarly had a convincing season in division 3 only losing 1 game all year and with an impressive average of 5 goals per game. The finals however proved a tougher conquest for them, but they narrowly overcame 2 division 1 teams to make the semi-final. History will not remember how they succeeded only that they did.   

In an ironic twist of fate neither team had their captain at their disposal the most important game on the season thus far. One being at a conference the other on a mistimed holiday. As a bystander you could be forgiven for asking who the Div 1 team was and who the div 3 team was. Both started the game with good poise and control and playing for the counter attack, but with both defences remaining resilient chances were not forthcoming.  

Plus had a few near misses but were unable to break the deadlock by half time. The second half continued along the same and again plus had the better of the chances but without their captain Nik leading the way up front they lacked that clinical approach. With Marco pushing up from the centre of defence to break that deadlock left them more vulnerable at the back at Bates were able to take advantage with a quick ball to the feet Jacek Urbanowicz who broke quickly and slotted it into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. Boom, and the game was turned on its head 1-0 to Bates. Plus found themselves in unfamiliar territory and pushed hard for the equaliser to no avail. With 2 mins left on the clock Bates struck with the killer blow. A powerful strike from Quentin Leroy in to the top corner from about 15 yards out left the keeper with no chance and put their place in the grand final beyond doubt.

 
Game 2: FKA + 2 v CHT 2 –  CHT won 4-1 on Penalties
FKA season has been constrained by injuries but they nonetheless found a way to win games and make finals. Last week they faced last years champions and hotly tipped MAP Architecture. FKA were keen to avenge their loss to MAP in the same round the previous year and did so in an intense game. CHT made it to the semi-finals by defeating Hayball in extra time and DeNova on penalties. A qualification that could have seen them dumped out of the competition at a much earlier date but in winning we always need that little bit of luck.
FKA unquestionably started the stronger of the 2 and with their successful technique of Edgar Lopez breaking from the back he was able to drive a shot goalward from 15 yards out on the left hand side. CHT’s keeper Andrew Dal Pozzo wasn’t able to get on the it quick enough and parried it into the top corner. 1-0 FKA. CHT had plenty of the ball but were unable to penetrate the final third of the field. 20 mins into the half Edgar wend on another penetrating run defying logic how he can get around so many players and still come out the other end with possession. He sent the defender the wrond way with a dummy and found himself face on with the keeper 5 yards from goal and with a deft slot through the centre of the sticks FKA were 2 goals to the good. With CHT’s lack of penetration it looked like this game was done and dusted.
 
One may question whether CHT’s oranges were laced with performance enhances or whether they never say die. Hopefully for the integrity of the league it was the latter but the team that came out in the second half were completely different. This may have been helped by the reintroduction of Mark Gifford who was coming back after being out for a few weeks with a calf strain. He was a little ginger to start with but his poise on the ball allowed CHT to link up better in the forward half and get that much needed penetration and it wasn’t long before it paid off with a great goal from Manuel Gumucio.
This gave CHT the belief that the game was not done and the still could challenge for coveted spot in the final. With their tails in the air they pushed hard for an equaliser. CHT took a quick free kick in their own half they split the FKA defence who looked flat on their feet. Despite every defender throwing themselves at the ball they were left with the sight of Manuel slotting his second past the hapless Alessandro Dalsasso in nets.

And so, it finished 2-2 and after an additional 10 minutes of play neither were able to gain the upper hand and it proceeded to the dreaded penalty shootout. The crown gathered around the single set of goals for the anticipated showdown. CHT never looked like stumbling and ran out a comfortable 4-1 winners. It’s not easy scoring a penalty in such small goals and the experience of the previous week stood to them well.
 
And that’s it a Bates smart V CHT final on Thursday the 22nd of March at the Wesley College back turf. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

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