Nov 142013
 

A too-close thing.

Didn’t it feel that we should have had more control of the game? That the win should have been easier? But it wasn’t.

Here are the stats:

HESC 01B White

Texas Rush 00/01B Nero

2

Goals

1

10

Shots

6

6

Shots on Goal

4

6

Corner Kicks

2

14

Fouls

11

0

Yellow Cards

0

 

Nothing too surprising here, except for the fouls. 14 to 11? That was the most even count on fouls we’ve had since our 2nd game against Texans 01B Houston North, where each team had 2 fouls. Our average for the season is more than 2:1. But the game didn’t feel even, did it? I know many of us were going apoplectic about fouls. I think the key here is what happened to Luis, who was called for 4 fouls and drew 2. But this was a physical team we were against, and personally I felt Luis was playing less physically than usual in an effort to react to the referee. By calling so many fouls on Luis, the referee took him out of the game—Luis didn’t get a single shot off, where he usually gets two or more (and usually a goal).

So how do we deal with that kind of situation? If Luis doesn’t (because he is not allowed by the referee) play physical, the defender who is allowed to be physical can just strip him of the ball as he tries to dribble past/through him. So Luis needs other options. Fortunately, Luis is also good at passing, especially crosses, so one option is for him to move wide. This will pull the defender wide, too, and then he can send a good ball in as a cross, or cut a ball back and in. Unfortunately this tactic hasn’t been productive lately, because he hasn’t had enough options to deliver the ball to. Our other forward is usually in the box, but one player is fairly easy to defend. We need to get our right winger and our central midfielders closer to the play so he has a multitude of options to deliver that ball.

When we got those options, we scored. When we didn’t, well… see Sunday’s game.

Soccer in Houston’s Three Stars of the Game

  1. Nicholas Fetzer – Nick had an especially tough game Saturday, fending off some very fast and physical challenges down his left side. For the most part Nick succeeded, allowing them only a few chances from his side. Well done from Nick.
  2. João Mitchell – Although Nick was pretty solid, he was beaten a few times, and there was one time in particular when it looked like once he’d gotten past Nicholas the Rush player was almost certainly going to score. And then, from out of nowhere, came Zinho—flying in and sacrificing his body to block the shot. The rest of the time Zinho was his usual active, effective self. Excellent game from Zinho.
  3. João Moreira – When you get two stars in two subsequent games that is high praise, indeed. Obviously João scored the game-winner and that is certainly a big deal. But just as big a deal is how much work João did, constantly calling for the ball, offering himself as a passing option to players in trouble. He never stops running, never stops playing, and he’s much more of a team player than he used to be, and he’s lifting the team up because of it. Great work from João.

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