Bangkok Veterans League Season #4, Event #21 — Annual Traditional Friendly Derby Match — • 2nd Annual "Bangkok Veterans -vs- Storming Fusion" • 16/Nov/2008 • Samitivej Srinakarin
Fusion too much to handle for the Vets
After nearly a year, we met Storming Fusion again in our 2nd annual traditional friendly derby match. Following last year's comfortable 4-0 victory, this year, it seemed like the Vets felt complacent, and brought a rather thin squad on the ground.
With only 11 players and no subs, playing 3 periods of 30 minutes was something Keith would have adored, but not the lads who were gracious enough to show up to play against the youthful Fusion.
A quick e-mail went out to all the Vets on the VetsLeague mailing group, and we had the following volunteers turning up: • Veterans League
- Eralp (M) • British Club
- Preben • Eton Rifles
- Graham • BSL Veterans
- Marc (C)
- Bruce • New Wave
- Steve • LeCoq French
At some point, there was the prospect of playing with 8-men, when all (8) of us joyful to see Marc, Christophe and Steve appear out of nowhere at all.
The Starting-11 was decided as follows — our typical 4-4-2 formation.
After the initial pleasantries, handshakes and photo-shoots, the match kicked off to a storm of attacks from the Fusion, and within 10 min, the Vets found themselves 0-2 down — first goal on a clearance from Bruce hitting Fraser's back and going in as a bizarre own-goal, and the second one on well built-up attack by Fusion after a number of precise passing, reminiscent of Argentina's 26-pass goal against Serbia in the 2006 World Cup in Germany [watch on YouTube].
In the remainder of Period-1, the Vets woke up and found their footing, and started testing the Fusion goal.
The defending towers in the team, Darren and Fraser, made their way to the Fusion penalty-box on some of the corners, and put the Fusion goal in serious danger on headers. Steve was also showing his prowess, sprinkling balls all over the park from the midfield, and had 1 or 2 close calls on the freekicks.
Even Eralp got in the act by beating the offside trap and connecting to the end of a long ball, yet shooting it wide left from the top of the penalty-box where the goal itself couldn't have been any wider open.
• First Break ==> Veterans 0 - 2 Fusion
The game continued at about the same tempo in Period-2, both teams finding chances and missing them to each other's amazement (and pleasure).
In one of the counter-attacks the Vets mounted, Fraser happened to just appear on the goal-line and simply tapped the ball in, lifting the Veterans's hopes of a comeback.
• Second Break ==> Veterans 1 - 2 Fusion
Having no subs, and even borrowing speedy Jimmy from Fusion, the Vets started showing signs of fatigue in Period-3. Injuries also started creeping up in this period, when Darren decided he had enough of striking, and took over the goalkeeping as he limped from the forward to the goals with a pulled hamstring.
After our Marathon Man Christophe used up all his energy, frequently veering off from his left-fullback position over to the left flank, he learned a bit of a lesson in the searing heat and cooled things down, only to explore the right wing often times.
On another defensive mistake, the Vets found themselves 1-3 down again, yet, redeemed by the wise 3rd Period transfer, Jimmy, pulling us one back right away.
As the Vets were getting more hopeful and threating the Fusion goal even further, we slipped again, our chances of winning dwindling by the minute.
Then, Fraser came to the fore-frame once more, and nicely slotted one more for the Vets, making it a close 3-4, giving us a fighting chance, and completing his own hat-trick (counting the own-goal from the first period )
All of which came to a telltale ending with another own-goal from Gonzague to close the curtain as we opened.
• Full Time ==> Veterans 3 - 5 Fusion
Overall, a very friendly day with plenty of handshakes and beers and trophies afterwards.
As Fusion headed home, the Vets reminded them that next year, we will return to our winning ways to reclaim the Permanent Cup back. All the Fusion lads could do was to nod and laugh ..!
Looking forward to the 2009 derby!
PS: Do read Kenji's take on the match below from Fusion perspective.
Picture 1 — Veterans squad on the day posing happily. Pictured are: Standing: Darren, Marc, Preben, Bruce, Christophe, Graham Front: Peter, Fraser, Gonzague, Eralp, Steve
Picture 2 — Fusion Manager Kenji dishing out precise instructions at the First Break.
Picture 3 — Veterans appear bereft of any energy at the Second Break.
Picture 4 — A very congenial joint-photo at the end of the day.
Picture 5 — Eralp the Organizer can't hide his frustration of another annual traditional friendly loss this season.
Picture 6 — As the Vets Captain on the day, Marc receives the Runners-up trophy from Eralp.
Picture 7 — Bruce presents Goal-of-the-Day trophy to the Man with the Golden Boots, "Tun", for the best goal of the day, as well has for his remarkable hat-trick.
Picture 8 — Fusion Manager Kenji in all smiles receiving this year's Winners trophy and Permanent Cup of this annual traditional friendly from Gonzague to keep it till next year's derby.
There's nothing like a good friendly game where goals flow, and offsides are weakly protested :)
Bangkok IFC Fusion stamped their mark on the inaugural trophy, thanks to a hat-trick from our new winger, "Tun", and couple of own-goals from a Vets defenders.
The Vets couldn't be underestimated as they played all out and created many good chances. The Vets performance was a lesson to us. Despite the fact that they barely made 11 players, they ran, harassed, and challenged for every ball for a good 90 minutes!
Fantastic work ethic from the Vets.
Our abundance of creative players in Giri, "Tun", "Jay", Ukit, and Manu (fresh from winning his school league championships), was truly an asset. With "Pot", Hsar, and later Sanki, providing cover in the midfield our creative players were free to play their game.
Solid performances from our defenders too! I just hope our impressive new defender, "Nine", will recover from his injury soon (ankle, hey physio! he-he!).
Our goalkeeper, Varikan, put in some good saves too!
Big thanks to Hsar and Manu, "Tin" and Ranon for making it! It was a good reunion.
Fantastic goals from our winger, "Tun". He truly deserved his hat-trick! (His last goal was a diving header off a low cross. Great stuff!)
I think Jimmy deserves special mention. Jimmy played really well for us . . . despite missing SEVERAL chances in front of the goal.
But when he very kindly substituted for the Vets, he hit a screamer from outside the area into the top left corner. It was really funny watching the Vets congratulating him, while Jimmy's Fusion team-mates looked furiously. Amused, Jimmy walked back, looking very apologetic, but proud of his strike.
Great quality strike, Jimmy.
Great game guys! (EG's pictures will be posted soon so the world can see you ugly smiling faces.)
Now that we have Fusion's name on the trophy, let's make sure you hold on to it next year!
For the team,
Feel free to e-mail to me if you would like to voice your take on the above summary, or would like to obtain the original resolution pictures.
• FB: First Break
• SB: Second Break
• FT: Full Time