City hands Mitsukoshi another defeat

by Michael Christie

Location: Bai Ling A
Time: 1pm
Opposition: Mitsukoshi
Conditions: very hot and humid
Formation: 3-5-2
Team: Sam, Spencer, Christie, John, Steve, Chris, Tim, Alex R, Danny (Rojen (Alex D)), Gustavo, Dan.

The last time Taipei City played Mitsukoshi the score was 6-2. It was the same this time. In the hot midday sun, City put together a good performance against uninspired opposition. Though not without talent in some positions, it seemed like Mitsukoshi were firmly put in their place after just a few minutes. Even for the first ten or so minutes, when the City midfield hadn’t yet clicked, Mitsukoshi didn’t threaten much. When the midfield did start playing neat, passing football the domination was near total. Alex R, Tim and Chris started combining very well with short passes, cutting through with regularity, and they also spread the ball wide to Danny and Steve a lot. The widemen worked hard coming back but were certainly able to enjoy themselves most of the time going forward, which they did to great effect. Mitsukoshi sat back quite deep and tried to stifle play around the penalty box. Most of the time they succeeded in limiting chances; given the possession enjoyed by City, 3-0 at half-time was hardly cause for celebration.

The goals in the first half came from deflections. The build-up was always good, but the ball didn’t seem to want to go in for the best combinations, which is a shame because sometimes it was excellent from several players in succession. Anyway, it took sharpness from Gustavo, Alex and Dan to put those bobbling balls away.

The defensive three in the first half held their own although they were hardly tested. Mitsukoshi relied on the long-ball up-field break-away, but they only ever had two forwards on their own against Spencer, John and Christie. There were no incisive balls for the Mitsukoshi forwards to feed on and they never received any meaningful support from their midfield when they did have the ball. They were on their own!

For the second half Danny gave way to Rojen. Unfortunately, Rojen suffered an ankle injury quite early on and so had to be replaced by Alex D. This gave Spencer the chance to move up into the right wing-back position. He performed well here, just as he’d performed well as the right full-back in the first half. Steve moved over to the left and was just as effective on that side.

Very early in the second half, there was a balls-up somewhere when the City defence stopped still for an off-side decision that never came. Sam was powerless to prevent the Mitsukoshi forward, as carefully as he liked with all the time in the world, slot home. This was 3-1, and perhaps there was now going to be a game! A matter of minutes later, first Dan and then Alex scored to make it 5-1. For the rest of the game it was literally a walk. Tim netted a fierce shot to make it 6-1 and then Christie hit a cross-field pass too short from deep to gift Mitsukoshi a late consolation, but these were bizarre spasms of life in an otherwise dead game.

The sloth near the end was understandable given the conditions and the fact that many City players were playing their second game on the day, but it would have been dangerous against a team like the Lions, say. Against a good team there are no hiding places for 90 minutes.

Linuep

Steve Reymond advances the ball down the field.

Alex scores a goal.

Spencer Pangborn battles in the midfield.

Tim Murphy crosses one in.

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