Bangkok Veterans League Season #5, Event #11 — Annual Traditional Friendly Derby Match — • 3rd Annual "Bangkok Veterans -vs- Storming Fusion" • 12/Jul/2009 • Arsenal School
Fusion storms to a comfortable victory over the Vets
After almost a year of hiatus, Bangkok Veterans scheduled to meet Storming Fusion again in this years 3rd annual traditional friendly derby match.
Both teams, at 1-a-piece from the last 2 derbies (2007, 2008), it seemed both of them were taking this year's derby rather seriously.
A quick e-mail went out to all the Vets on the VetsLeague mailing group, and we had a formidable team in a flash: • Veterans League
- Eralp (M) • Southern Cross
- Martin • LeCoq French
- Gonzague • British Club
- Alex • Crossbar Southerners
- Craig • Fosters Masters
- Guy (C) • Los Latinos
- Cem • Anatolian Turks
- Yilmaz • BSL Veterans
A quick juggling act among the many talented players, the Vets settled in an unusual 4-3-3 attacking format, thinking that the undermanned Fusion at the beginning of the game is when we should go all guns blazing for a real advantage.
The Starting-11 was decided as follows:
After the initial pleasantries, handshakes and photo-shoots, because we had booked the beautiful pitches of Arsenal School for 2 hours, the 2 teams agreed another "first-ever" in the history of the Vets League to play this friendly in a 3 period x 35 minutes format, giving everyone plenty of time on the pitch.
The match kicked off to a massive slew of attacks from the Vets — just as planned. Only 5 min in the period, a cutting attack from the right found the ball with Preecha who crossed it in nicely to link with Alex who knocked in the ball in his nice-&-easy style. [Score: 1-0]
About 10 min into the period, after a back-to-back clearance errors in the Vets defence, Fusion strikers intercepted a pass at the mouth of the goal, and convert it for an equalizer. [Score: 1-1]
About 25 min into the period, off of a corner, Vets towering defensive line somehow fell short and Fusion's tall striker headed the ball in to go ahead. [Score: 1-2]
• First Break ==> Veterans 1 - 2 Fusion
Right towards the end of Period-1, the rain clouds that looked so far away slowly started making their way over the Arsenal School pitches. The drizzle that was in Period-1 turned into a massive torrential monsoon when the skies literally opened. Of course, we preferred not to associate this natural occurence in any sort of voodoo way with our opponents name at the beginning of Period-2.
And the unfortunate part of it all was that in Period-2 the Vets were facing right into the eye of the storm, when the rain (not the wind) was coming horizontally sideways, all towards the Vets. As soon as someone . . . anyone got the ball and turned towards the Fusion goal to advance, the Vets were actually getting blown backwards. There was no possible way to cross the midway line.
Consequently, Storming Fusion made the most of Period-2 and knocked 4 goals in — none of which were seen going in by the Veterans.
Of course, 4 goals without being able to respond, the Vets started losing their nerves, and undesirable words started flying.
• Second Break ==> Veterans 1 - 6 Fusion
After a poignant 2nd Break teamtalk (oh, about nationality, religion and world economy in general, plus a nice-&-cool beer shower ), the Vets seemed to catch their wind back in Period-3, and started to play with the interesting football they were displaying in Period-1. And, having the rain stopped also helped in their silky style of football.
The Vets brought the ball to the Fusion goal effectively, and created numerous chances through Martin, Alex, and Craig (with Keith also making his mustang-like wild runs).
In one of those attacks, when we won the corner, our left winger, Guy, stepped up to the corner all the way on the right side. With his masterful left foot, he bent it like Beckham right on towards the goal-line. From the way it was sailing like a gliding squirrel, noone was getting in front of this curling beast. We saw all sorts of jumping, limping, reaching, nodding or slapping by players of both teams and the Fusion goalkeeper, it just kept sailing in like a self-guided cruise missile from the Gulf War, right into the back of the net.
The Vets were ecstatic, and Guy was "Oh, look, what have I done?" [Score: 2-6]
The Vets were back in the game (from a distance), and were pushing hard.
Another corner on the right side, Guy steps up again, curls it in, Fraser heads, agonizingly sails wide.
Another corner on the right side, Guy steps up again, curls it in, Darren heads, Fusion goalkeeper holds on.
Another corner on the right side, Guy steps up again, curls it in, Martin heads, Fusion defence barely clears.
Perhaps 4th time is the charm. Yet another corner on the right side. This time, Guy takes the matters in his own hands (or, shall we say, feet!). He repeats his same corner-taking rituals one-by-one, and off it goes. This time, from the way it got to the air, it was a case of deja-vu. We all knew it, like his previous goal, it kept on sailing all the way in, despite hapless efforts of the Fusion goalkeeper, to the back of the net.
The Vets were delirious, and Guy was "Oh, look, I did it again!" [Score: 3-6]
Yet, the Fusion that the Vets faced this year had many new and young faces, who were in rather good shape. In the remaining minutes of the last period, they ran away with 2 more goals, punishing us on our defensive mistakes, and left us no chance to make a comeback.
In addition to Guy's great corner kicks, one additional positive spot on the Vets side was the saved penalty of Martin who just stood on the goal-line and made himself big (which he doesn't really need to do ).
• Full Time ==> Veterans 3 - 8 Fusion
Overall, another epic battle against the Storming Fusion, and another loss — this one being the 2nd in-a-row. There were a few cordial moments this year, and taking advantage of the wet pitch, 1 or 2 flying-tackles on both sides.
In the end, we shook hands, gave hugs to one another, toasted a few Chang Draft, and shared the trophies of the day. A great fun day indeed. Fusion was the better of the two sides, and deserved the win, and bring the Permanent Cup home to keep it for another year.
Thanks to Kenji for organizing the Fusion side, and giving us the chance to experience the new Arsenal School venue in town.
Looking forward to the 2010 derby!
Picture 1 — Bangkok Veterans brought an impressive squad to this year's friendly. Pictured are: Standing: Gonzague, David, Mark, Martin, Bruce, Fraser, Preecha, Cem, Martin, Darren Front: Eralp, Craig, Keith, Yilmaz, Martin, Guy, Alex, Yao, Peter
Picture 2 — The youthful Storming Fusion in their new Roma kit looked even more impressive. Standing: Kenji (Coach & Official Waterboy), Abi, Gurnam, Tun, Pot, Sukit, Wayne, Nut, Cuno Front: Giri, [GK], Sanki, Vic (Manager), Anoop, Ranjan
Picture 3 — Mark and Guy threatening the Fusion goal from the wings, with Guy's wickedly curling freekicks and corners.
Picture 4 — Vets Captain on the day, Guy, receiving our Runners-up trophy from Fusion's [?].
Picture 5 — Eralp the Organizer presenting Guy the Goal of the Day trophy for his beautifully curved corner-kick for a clear goal.
Picture 6 — Fusion's Captain Vick collecting their Winners trophy and the Permanent Cup of this annual traditional friendly to keep it for another whole year.
Not bad for our first outing on an 11-a side pitch. 8 goals to Bangkok Storm, 3 goals to the Bangkok Vets.
It was a great experience playing in a downpour too! We thought we were in for an agonizingly hot afternoon, so when the thunderstorm started it was such a relief, although it was clear many of us were not used to playing on a wet surface (Wayne, who's a West Ham lad, seemed right at home).
We've also had some problems with the "no slide tackling" rule, with a couple of our defenders getting increasingly frustrated by being limited to shoulder charges.
When the game kicked-off at past the scheduled time, we had difficulty settling down and were immediately pegged back 1-0, but Sukrit's fantastic header off a corner opened the floodgates for us, with Tun (5 goals), Nut (1 goal), and Cuno (1 goal) all contributing to the washout of the Vets.
I'm at a loss to choose the best goal of the match: Could it have been Tun's curled shot into the far post, Sukrit's powerful header, Nut's long shot that skipped under the keeper, or Cuno's solo run up the left wing, and then beating the keeper at the near post.
Or maybe it was from the Vets defender who curled in his corner kick straight into the goal. That was something special!
That 8-3 scoreline was just the buzz we needed to get us through another tedious working week.
But on a more negative note, the 8-3 scoreline flatters us.
We didn't do bad, but then we didn't do terribly well either. What the Vets showed us was that certain things do become better with age. Of course some of the pace and agility goes away, but the intelligent understanding of the nuances of the game, the passion, and the sheer joy of playing will more than make up for it.
The Vets played a really fantastic game despite not winning, and many times throughout the match, we were the ones aimlessly chasing the ball. They were unlucky to lose by such a huge margin.
They played the patient, mature kind of game I really want us to adopt.
Big thanks to Eralp (also known as EG) who runs the Vets League for arranging the match. It was a learning experience for us. And, for those of us who will soon be hitting our mid-30s the Vets League offers such a wonderful opportunity to indulge our obsession with football :)
If the Vets continue to play the way they did in the next derby (2010) match, we are in danger of losing our trophy!
But, on the other hand, if we start to play like them (which we're starting to do!), we might hold on to it for a few more years . . . . . until WE start to join the Vets League!
(For more information on Bangkok Storm visit us at ==> http://www.bangkokstorm.webs.com/)
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