Oct 312013
 

Are we scoring enough goals?

It’s an interesting questions. Let’s look at the stats, then at a few other points.

HESC 01B White

 

Eclipse 01B White

3

Goals

0

17

Shots

0

11

Shots on Goal

0

8

Corner Kicks

0

6

Fouls

3

2

Yellow Cards

2

 

Another dominant game. If you recall from our previous game, I expressed some concern over the “lethality” of our shots, noting that while our accuracy was good not very many of those accurate shots went in the goal. When compared to the previous game we had an accuracy percentage that was roughly the same, but our “lethality” was twice as good. That’s an improvement, but still not as good as in our previous games. But that may not be a fair comparison, as those games featured few shots from our side, meaning that a couple of outlier games skewed the numbers.

In addition, there were a couple of other factors that may have contributed to a lack of scoring. Marcello changed our formation midway through the first half, from our normal 3-5-2 (that’s defenders-midfielders-forwards) to a 3-2-2-3 (defenders-defensive midfielders-attacking midfielders-forwards) in an effort to promote more attacking play and generate more chances. Ironically this backfired, as our boys were not used to playing the formation and weren’t sure what to do with it. Marcello admitted this was a difficult thing to do during his halftime talk, but I think this was certainly the type of game where we could feel free to experiment a bit. Also, in the second half the refereeing seemed oddly to turn against us. The first half was quite even, and I was pleased with how the referee called the game. But then suddenly things went awry as we started the second period. We had two very legitimate calls for a penalty turned aside. First João Moreira was pressured as he dribbled in the box from a player to his right, and then a player came in from his left and barreled into him. The ref called nothing, and when Marcello complained that the opposing player hadn’t even tried to play the ball, the ref’s response was a bizarre “but he’s so little”, referring to the diminutive Eclipse player—a shocking statement as nowhere in the laws of the game are the size of the players taken into account. Later João Mitchell was hacked down from behind in the box, and again no call was made. Finally, Kevin’s excellent tackle to stop one of Eclipse’s few dangerous attacks was not only not a yellow card, but shouldn’t even have been a foul at all. Again, I think size (in this case Kevin’s height) was the determining factor in the ref’s decision-making.

But for all these excuses, we caught a few lucky breaks. I happened to be sitting right on the line of Luis’s run to goal on his second tally, and the Eclipse goalkeeper made it as easy as could be: he wasn’t even in front of the goal relative to Luis’s position. Additionally, the Eclipse trainer was furious at the referee’s decision at the end of the first half to keep play going for four corner kicks in a row—four corners that weren’t even taken very quickly. And by my clock he was right to be upset; the referee is not required, not supposed to keep the clock going until the corner kicks have all been taken.

So while there are some extenuating circumstances for why we didn’t run away with the game, there is a valid point to be made that we made this game harder than it needed to be, and we will want to improve upon that if we want to maintain our lead in the bracket.

Soccer in Houston’s Three Stars of the Game

  1. Kevin Chen – Personally I thought Kevin’s tackle was fantastic. That he earned a foul and a yellow was unfortunate, but for me does not diminish his achievement. On top of that came his goal to seal the deal, the first goal for a defender and the first off a set-piece play this season. Great work Kevin.
  2. João Moreira – João was a real handful for Eclipse today, possibly our second-most dangerous player in attack on the day. He should have earned a penalty, and he did earn a yellow card on a similarly ill-timed tackle. João’s foray’s in attack ensured that Eclipse would be pinned-in on their right for most of the game. Well done by João.
  3. Daniel Olvera – Daniel’s assist on Luis’s goal was a perfectly placed pass, something that I have been hoping to see from him all night. In addition had three shots on the night. Fantastic from Daniel.

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