A wildly fluctuating squad went from 18 to 14 before finally settling on 15, a good round number to play one of the elite teams in the Over 35 division. SC Eintracht had put on a clinic in the debut game of the season against the Legends, winning handily 3-0. Although CPR came back to win the follow up it was always going to be a tough match, especially given the lopsided nature of the squad. Once again the Eintracht team showed themselves technically adept with universal ball control as well as crisp passing and aerial ability. Fortunately the stout defence of the legends ensured the trenches were set in the middle of the field, with Eintracht shading the play but to no large advantage. Indeed, the Legends had chances of their own but they tended to be half chances from distance, the exception being a dubious handball called on Venkataraman inside the 6 yard box which should have been called on a defender for a penalty. Right at the end of the first half a pleasing interchange by the opposition gave them a one on one near the penalty spot that Telly brilliantly came out to block and ensure a half time deadlock.
The half time talk was blunt. This was indeed a team that as constructed on the day was better than the Legends, but that did not necessarily mean a victory was out of the question. The important part was to stop the thrust coming down the middle and then try and make more from set pieces that were currently impotent. The second half did start well only for a tragic mixup at the back allowing the sharp Eintracht striker to waltz in and finish this particular one on one. Trying to tamp down the Volcanic Vamvouris eruptions the Legends tried to rebuild again, but soon after a scramble at the back resulted in another goal. 2-0 was going to be exceedingly difficult to come back from, but fortunately Eintracht showed it wasn’t immune to the defensive buffoonery going around with an ill-advised cross field pass at the back resulting in an expert finish from Nizam. Alas, with the wind in their sails and the formation aggressively changed to a 3-5-2 the Legends could not quite get that equalizer. A wayward volley by Venkataraman and a snap shot directly at the keeper by Nizam were the closest they came, but another gift was presented to the voracious Eintracht strikers who gleefully accepted to put the game beyond doubt at 3-1. There was time for an additional strike, the pick of the bunch with a pirouetted turn and strike from Eintracht to make the final score 4-1.
4 consecutive losses from the Legends is no doubt worrisome, in particular the scoring of only 2 goals in those games. Although those games were all against top notch opposition CPR should and can do better, starting with the next match.
Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition
Location: Randalls Island #74
Conditions: Bitterly cold, temperature in the mid 20’s (virtually in April!). The wind started picking up as well later on
Fans: 1, new papa Hollins showed up early to say hello before his game
Result: 1-4 (0-0 at H/T
Goals: 1-2: Nizam
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: Volper updated the evite late Saturday regarding an injury reoccurrence. Fortunately D’Andrea was able to make it which helped the numbers.
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Pete Han welcomes himself back to the Legends with an injury that took him off the field. Cassidy complained about a knee issue but was able to run it off.
Old Man of the Match: There was some healthy discussion at the bar including the old saw that to be voted OMoM you should actually be in attendance. In the end, despite another stellar performance by Telly it was Hakan Nizam who got his debut OMoM with a smart piece of poaching.
Old Man of the Bar: This award will only be given for an exceptional performance, or what in the old days we called a normal Sunday. There certainly wasn’t one this Sunday.
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): None
Statistic of the week: Resnik hits the 40 cap mark. Another 10 and he’ll hit an impressive 50+ caps for 3 different CPR teams.
Team Bar Showing: 9 out of 15 (60%)
Team Bar Night: 3 out of 5. Adjusting to the new normal we will give the rating an above average score as more than 50% of the players made it back for awhile
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Mark Resnik (DF), Olle Roberts (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Luciano Belizan (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Tony Vamvouris, John Hodges, Tom Pattison, Ugo Solinas, Hakan Nizam, Mike Cassidy, Manohar Venkataraman, Willian D’Andrea