After being downed twice in two weeks by title rivals Cozmoz, a resilient Legends squad returned to their winning ways by downing SC Eintracht, 2-1. The Legends again pulled in a strong side from the evite, having a full 17 players commit from the player pool providing depth and balance throughout the squad. Given the size of the field and the ever advancing age of the players on it, the player rotation would prove invaluable in the hard-fought win.
From the opening whistle Eintracht were off with their usual display of technical ability and footballing savvy. Clean passing and a gentle touch with the ball allowed the opposition to accumulate a hefty advantage in time of possession from the get go. But the Legends were not taken by surprise, and defended stoutly looking for opportune times to challenge for possession through timely tackles and winning a vast majority of 50/50 balls. Combination passes came in fits and spurts, with the final balls more often than not looking for the tireless Enticott with magnanimous through balls that never really threatened. Regardless it would be the Legends that drew first blood. Tony Vamvouris was set loose on the wing and as so often before, curled a whip of cross in from the right flank that was ultimately thumped into the back of the net by Nizam taking the Legends into pole position with a 1-0 lead. The lead suited the team which saw more and more possession. Pattinson and Simic held position with conviction collecting from the back and supporting the attack, while Williams worked furiously, flowing from side to side, providing respite to the team with sublime target and hold up play. Although the Legends were unable to extend the lead before the referee brought a close to the first stanza, the half time advantage was well-earned.
The second half was more of the same with Eintract seeming to be a step quicker and a touch more technical. The possession however didn’t really translate into stern threats on the Legend goal, with goal keeper Vamvouris in fine form snatching up long-range shots and crosses. That is until requisite brain freeze that is often characteristic of the Legends play. Teesdale inexplicably rolled a soft pass to Hahn who wanted nothing to do with it, and immediately returned to sender. While a simple clearance from there would have mitigated the danger, the issue was compounded as the ball was puffed towards a unexpectant Roberts who was wrong footed and could only watch as the ball rolled neatly to two Eintract attackers, who were only to delighted to take the ball to the Legends goal with a 2 on none. Unsurprisingly the Eintract attackers made short work of the mistake and tied the game at 1 goal a piece.
Mercifully, Pattinson and Williams combined to bail out the offending party with Pattinson sending a stinging ball at goal which was clumsily bungled by the Eintract goalie, who was mistakenly under the impression that keeping prowess is proportional to the amount of gear outfitted. Williams played Johnny on the Spot and expertly lashed the ball into the net for the game winner.
At full-time the Legends stood 2-1 winners of their 6 of 7 league matches, an impressive tally considering the teams best games are still to come, assuming they can avoid the shambolic gaffes that creep into the run of play from time to time. With the league competition so evenly matched, if they are unable to do so, they will certainly be penalized. But until then they will enjoy their bevy of wins and stalking the league leaders.
Competition: SC Eintracht, League Opposition
Location: Randall’s Island #10, Randall’s Island
Conditions: A brisk, mostly cloudy afternoon; Perfect footballing weather.
Fans: 3 (Mrs Enticott & child, Luciano)
Goals: 1-0: Nizam Assist Vamvouris
2-1: Williams Assist Pattinson
Yellow Cards: Nizam, Simic
Red Cards: None
Mike D’s aka No Shows: None
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s: None
”Mr. Glass” Fragility/Old Man Injury Award: Venkataraman with a calf injury, Resnik with an ankle, Tony Vamvouris with a hamstring
Old Man of the Match: The tight vote at the bar came down to Teesdale who broke the tie between Telly Vamvouris & Rich Enticott, both of whom put in sterling performances. The lesson as always, don’t campaign for the award, and showing up at the bar helps your chances
Old Man of the Bar: None
El Presidente (new award for Old Men who don’t make it to game but come to the bar): Mark Becker from the Old Boyz showed up, but given previous performances for the Legends deserves to be counted here
Statistic of the week: Nothing notable.
Team Bar Showing: 10 out of 17 (59%)
Team Bar Night: 3.5 out of 5. The seating didn’t promote interaction between teams until much later. 10 is a season high, and several stayed for the entirety of the Red Bulls playoff win (and Giants debacle against the Saints).
Team (No new profiles this week): Telly Vamvouris (GK), Luciano Belizan (DF), Steve Roberts (DF), Drew Faherty (DF), Mark Resnik (DF), Steve Teesdale (DF), Pete Hahn (DF), Simon Mckeown, Tony Vamvouris, Tom Pattinson, Ante Simic, John Hodges, Ugo Solinas, Manohar Venkataraman, Hakan Nizam, Rich Enticott, Chris Williams