Between Two Rivers 2 – 0 CPR
This game will be remembered for the incessant wind and rain. Two Rivers won the toss and decided to play the first half with the wind at their backs. All forward passes by CPR hung in the air and Two Rivers pounched on them.
A five minute spell of pressure around the 20 minute mark seen Two Rivers score from two well worked, one-touch moves and tidy finishes.
Instantly CPR tried to claw their way back in. Lalo played a nice ball into the box but Duffy was just unable to reach it before the keeper. Ernie then had an attempt from the edge of the box that skewed wide. There was then a big shout for a CPR penalty as a Two Rivers player seemed to clearly handle in the box, however play was waved on.
Although CPR had chances, Two Rivers continued to have the majority possession and went close with series of corners towards the end of the first half but the team’s went in at the break at 2-0.
With the wind at their backs in the second half CPR enjoyed more of the ball and more of the game was played in the Two Rivers’ half; who reverted to the counter-attack.
Space was limited in the Two Rivers’ half; they sat back seemingly content with the two goals they had, and tried to catch CPR on the break. There were a few occasions that they ended up with a four-on-four on the break, but Clarke, Kevin, Marcelo, Bruce and Pablo did well to snuff out their chances.
Lalo and Engler had long range efforts that went over the bar. CPR did get a chance in the box when Marcelo played a nice ball into Big Sebastian, who did well to control it and set himself up, but his shot was blocked by some good last ditch defending. Lalo then forced a good save from their ‘keeper from a free-kick that skidded off the wet surface.
There was another big shout for a CPR penalty for handball, but the referee — who on the night seemed averse to making big decisions — waved it away. The CPR players were adamant.
As CPR piled on more pressure Two Rivers’ began to run down the clock and won some clever free-kicks from play acting. I counted five rolls by their center half after a 50/50 shoulder with Ernie (think Neymar, World Cup).
There were many changes for the opening fixture of the 2018/19 season, with a total of five players making their CPR competitive debuts: Pedro, Marcelo, Dan, Christian and little Seb. All debutants acquitted themselves very well in the difficult conditions.
In all, it was a disappointing day for CPR who will rue a slow start. In saying that there were many positives to take; they never let their heads drop and continued to probe and look for that elusive goal, they also ended the game the stronger and fitter of the two teams. Almost half the team are new and this game will do the team the world of good in terms of getting the players familiar with each other.
We go again next week!
CPR Man of the Match: TBD