Category Archives: vs. Rogue FC

The Season So Far

By Michael Christie

After twelve games played, with ten victories, one draw and one defeat, Taipei City face into the penultimate game of the BML season in top spot. So, how has the season actually progressed for Taipei City so far…? Read on…

Game 1: An Easy Opener against JFC

Taipei City was lucky to have their easiest game of the season first. New to the BML, JFC strangely decided to field a weak team. Or maybe it was too early for some of their better players? Anyway, Dan, Dawda and company had a field day. The final score was 11-1 and that was a fair reflection of the match.
JFC improved later in the season, but after losing to the Red Lions on January 23rd missed out on a chance to claim sixth spot and with that a place in the top league for round 2.

Game 2: A Second Convincing Win against Feng Ching

Buoyed by the previous week, Taipei City struck again to inflict a big defeat on Feng Ching. Dan and Dawda led the scoring with goals galore! Some others chipped in with a few beauties, too!

(Feng Ching has done little to suggest they don’t deserve to be near the bottom of the league this season. They won’t need to worry about us again this season as they battle it out for seventh spot.)

Game 3: Mitsukoshi Give City their First Test

This was City’s first competitive game. Mitsukoshi have one of the meanest defenses in the league and City needed to work hard before Dawda or Dan delivered in the last few minutes before half-time. It was 1-0 but it had been a really even game in all areas. After the break, City again worked hard and played some fair football to make it 3-0 before Mitsukoshi scored a deserved consolation.

(Mitsukoshi have a really mean defense and keep the games tight to the very end. Nobody else has come close to beating Mitsukoshi 3-1. Dan and Dawda were in excellent form in this game. The results tell us Mitsukoshi beat Fritz 2-1 and drew 2-2 with Bulien. Apart from losing to City, Mitsukoshi were beaten 1-0 by Dentway. They also got a few 0-0 draws against lower-ranking teams. They are as hard to score against as Bulien and Fritz but less likely to score goals – only ten in eight games this season. Anyway, they are certainly capable of beating anybody in this league. With the acquisition of a really good striker, they might be giants!)

Game 4: City Stumble and Fall against Bulien

After four straight wins, Taipei City suffered a well-deserved defeat against the under-regarded Hong Min Bualien. Lateness and arrogance (thinking we could still perform against a football team just by making sure we turned up a few minutes before kick-off) were the undoing of City. Credit should not be taken away from Hong Min. They were clearly the better side and deserved the 3 points on the day. Every Taipei Citizen who came to the game was justifiably upset and disappointed with himself. This was a low point for everybody connected to Taipei City FC.

(Hong Min have a disciplined and settled formation, work hard and absorb pressure. They are good at getting an early goal and then being patient. How good are they? Well, they are always solid and are a team who simply cannot be underestimated. They will give us a very stern test.)

Game 5: City Return to Winning Ways

Without player-coaches Ross and Dan, the Taipei City players were determined to redeem themselves after the loss against Hong Min. Alex Ramirez and Dawda ably managed this week’s incarnation of Taipei City to a hard-working 5-0 win. This was another potential banana skin for City, as Dentway have had a good season. (Indeed, after beating Mitsukoshi 1-0 on January 23rd they are neck and neck with Fritz on seventeen points!) This was a hard game until City put away some difficult chances with good finishing late in the game. City really had to work hard for the win, and the late goals were the result of some great finishing, which doesn’t always happen late in a game but is great when it does.

(Dentway are obviously a better side than this result suggests. A dominant performance by the City defense, in particular Tom on this occasion, nullified their attack. Dentway will be determined to beat us and should be ear-marked as potential champions. They will definitely give us a hard game.)

Game 6: City Bring it Home to Rogue

In City’s first “expat derby” Rogue seriously wanted to dent some pride. However, City just didn’t allow Rogue to get any foothold in the game. Rogue defended stoutly but couldn’t keep out Alex Ramirez’s sweet left-foot volley before half-time. In the second half further goals from Christie and two others sealed a 4-0 win!

(Rogue just haven’t had a good BML season. This was the one and only BML game we’ll play against them this campaign. Rogue will have to try to redeem themselves by grabbing seventh spot if they can.)

Game 7: City Bring it Home to the Lions, Too

This was City’s second “expat derby” in as many weeks, but like Rogue the week before, the Red Lions failed to give City much trouble. The Lions had assembled a good group of players for this game, including the excellent Mike O’Gorman, City’s Player of the Year last season, but collectively didn’t play their best on the day. The Red Lions went down to a Dawda strike and a Dan header and one more goal from Oumar.

(The Lions look like they will make it to sixth spot, in which case we will play them again. Don’t be fooled that they played anywhere near their best in this January 16th game. If they can improve in a few areas they will mount a challenge. They also have a new forward, an American who by all accounts has the ability to challenge Dan and Dawda for the title of best foreign striker in Taiwan.)

Game 8: City Spank the Boys

Poor, old Sanchung, firmly rooted to bottom spot. Poor, old Sanchung? Poor, young Sanchung, more like. Despite having a good coach, bags of running and great potential, the new-look high school team is simply too raw at this stage to compete against fully-grown men. Two goals from Dan, two from Dawda (including a penalty he won following an amazingly cheeky dribble around two teenagers very close to the goal) and more from Brian McGuinness and Alex Ramirez put paid to Sanchung. City had a good work-out in this game. Will they be ready to forgo the “Thank You, Coach” next year?

(When they learn to get stuck in they will be a good team. Let’s give them time. This season is a learning experience for them. They are still a little too nice and like all young people, don’t know who their real friends are. Hopefully, playing against Rogue will bring out the anger that is no doubt welling up inside their adolescent minds but needs an adequate outlet. Let’s hope they kick out against the Rogue!)

Game 9: Fritz have no Answer to the Pressure of City living

There was a time when Fritz was feared for their clinical sharpness and ability to keep the ball. They would make the opposition run all day. This time, even bolstered by a few new players in different positions, they struggled to compete on even terms. City pegged them back for most of the game and restricted them to breakaways. Against most defences they would have been dangerous, but with Tom Clarke and Yunusa Njie marshalling at the back they hardly got a shot on target. City played one of their best games of the season to win 3-0.

[Round 2] At this stage the league is split into two sections with the top 6 teams remaining in the top division and the bottom 4 teams relegated to the second division.

Game 10: City narrowly escape from Hungry Lions in a Fierce Encounter

The Red Lions gave City a much stiffer game this time. With some new players and new ideas, the Lions never gave City enough time to settle on the ball, and so the spectators were treated to an old-fashioned end to end game, in which anything might happen next. Thanks to some good forward play near the end of the game, particularly a good finish from Alex Ramirez to make the score 2-1, City still had enough class to edge this encounter, but it was always too close for comfort. Dale and his defence played well to keep the Lions to a single goal. The Lions hit the post twice thanks to their new forward, who impressed everybody. City were certainly lucky the Lions didn’t have a few more performers of the same calibre as him (the new forward) and Mike O’ Gorman, City’s Player of the Season last season. That’s probably why, in spite of playing poorly, City did enough to earn a 3-1 win come the final whistle.

 

Game 11: No Sale at Mitsukoshi on a Sloppy Saturday Night

On one of the wettest days in years, City was obliged to field a team to play a game of football on a swamp, which was a pond in places. The referee, seeing that City was ready to play, tried to cancel five minutes before kick-off at six, but Ross insisted on playing. It was the right decision because the only thing worse than being asked to play in those conditions would have been being asked to postpone when everybody was kitted up and ready to play. The game? It was not football. City went 2-0 up in the first half courtesy of two fine long range strikes from Michael Christie but conceded before half-time from a well executed free kick. Then, Mitsukoshi hit long balls in hope and eventually, near the end, somehow fluked an equalizer.

Game 12: City strikers dread trip to the dentist.

On the form they displayed in this game, Dentway are surely not capable of getting results against the best teams in the BML. Actually, they have a dangerous forward, so they relied on defending in depth and the break-away. City gifted the Dentway forward a goal in the first ten minutes and then, even with most of the possession, struggled to make any effective inroads in the Dentway penalty area. Just before half-time, Dawda managed to snaffle a goal at the end of one of the few meaningful City attacks, but the evening was looking bleaker and bleaker the longer City couldn’t put the ball in the net. With the second half, City brought on Ebu and Paco. There was more fluency in possession from City in the second half, but Dentway still held out. In the end, when nerves were really being fried, only a daisy-cutter from Dan separated City from a night of real embarrassment. 2-1 to City.

So with two games left to play Taipei City find themselves one point ahead of their 3-0 defeaters from earlier in the season, Hong Min Bualien.  The two remaining ties couldn’t be tougher with old rivals and 7 times BML champions Fritz this weekend and a final day show down with the aforementioned Bualien. It’s games like these that make the difference between good teams and champions.

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Retribution for City, Rogue Run Ragged

Time: 1pm, January 24th, 2010
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Michael Christie

The last time City and Rogue met, in November, produced an upset and the only loss City have suffered this season. The Rogue were without Canadian Andy, scorer of a spectacular goal in the earlier game, but still assembled a good, determined side. For their part, the Taipei City management team of Ross and Dan urged every every player to maximize their effort levels, and only then would football skill and know-how decide the result. The starting line-up was Alex Moga in goal; Yunusa Njie, Matt Wharton, Tim Murphy and Mamadi Colley at the back; Steve Reymond and Ed Cartee on the flanks with Mike O’Gorman and Ebrima Njie in centre midfield; and the in-form strike partnership of Dawda and Dan (DAD).


The first five minutes were all City. Looking strong and hungry, City put pressure on the Rogue goal. There were good short passes and quick balls to the flanks in equal measure. City were winning all the tackles, too. Still, something clicked for Rogue after five minutes and they proceeded to dominate the next five minutes. They had three or four strong attacks in as many minutes. Undoubtedly the closest they came was when Ian Edwards, cutting in from the left, contained but not muzzled by the shadowing Matt Warton, laid on an inviting ball for Russell Curtis to crack against the bar. The question at this stage was would this become a game of two equally matched teams both attacking with penetration? Unfortunately for Rogue and impartial spectators, this was as good as it got. City started dictating the pace again and after another five minutes Rogue were panting running after the ball, a pattern that would continue to the end of the match.

Calvertn opened the scoring with a near post header from a corner flighted by Reymond after twenty minutes. Then, on twenty-five minutes Calvert returned the favour, laying on a square ball for the incoming Reymond to finish clinically. Not long after that, again through a combination of strength and astute positioning, Calvert was able to lay on another square ball, this time for Dawda to finish coolly with his left foot. All this time the defence and midfield were functioning very well, keeping the ball, making very few mistakes and displaying a considerable amount of flair in some tight situations. Rogue were running hard, determined not to make the game easy for City. Still, they had to contend with an attack of DAD, Cartee, Reymond, O’Gorman and Ebrima all in good form, not to mention City’s defenders, all capable of using the ball well. Not surprisingly, Rogue were tired.



At half-time, two of the best performers of the first half, brothers Ebrima and Yunusa Njie, made way for Michael Christie and Alex Daly respectively. Alex Daly surprised a number of people with his skill and dribbling close to the Rogue box. Christie did not make an impact until a Rogue defender crashed into him! Christie was winded and saw stars, but the Rogue man came off worse because his head smacked right in the middle of Christie’s sternum. Luckily, neither player was seriously hurt.

Calvert made it 4-0 to City with a turn and powerful low shot past the Rogue keeper halfway through the second half. By this time, City were benefitting from their higher fitness levels. Apart from a few good moves involving Brian McGuinness, Gerry McNally, Russell Curtis and Carl Blundon, Rogue were spent as a cohesive force. City were simply enjoying being on top. The biggest scare City had at this time was a ball kicked with force into Mike OG’s private parts, inadvertently of course. The pain was obviously real, but O’Gorman ran it off to complete another excellent performance for Taipei City. Near the end of the game, Calvert took his hat-trick with an overhead flicked volley from a Reymond cross. This was the goal of the game. Possibly City could have scored more, but the new Rogue goalkeeper made some good saves and the Rogue defence played with passion.

In the end, City played a good game with discipline and control. Three points secured.

Taipei City 5, Rogue 0

Every (Under)Dog Has Its Day

Time: 3pm, December 5th, 2009
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Alice Davis

Was there the air of over-confidence amongst the Taipei City team on Saturday afternoon? Were the players expecting Rogue FC to succumb to their playful fancy tickles, roll over, and die? Only City’s players can answer that, but one thing was evident. Rogue ain’t no poodle. Baring row after row of jagged teeth, Rogue’s seemingly (and suprisingly?) well-rested players snarled and grimaced their way through all ninety minutes of a toughly-fought match. Their fearlessness seemed to take City by surprise, and almost every attempt at their usually stylish fashion of play was torn apart from the inside by the pitbull opposition who incessantly snapped at their heels.

It would not to be fair to say Rogue created many chances of their own, but they did, critically, prevent City from ever getting together any serious attack. With City posing little danger moving forwards, the minutes ticked by to reveal the side was lacking much of a striking threat at all. Rogue’s determination built, and some might say it was just a matter of time before their resilience was rewarded. At the half-hour mark, Andy Rodgers capitalized on a “moment of shortsightedness,” worming his way past the last standing defender to take on the goalkeeper from a pretty fair distance. Did even he think such an audacious shot would hit the back of the net? The point is, it did. 1-0 to the Underdogs.

The City response was negligible, if there was one at all. And, if Rogue were the Underdogs, City were the Sleeping Dogs and seemed happy to let themselves lie. The hardy opposition, buoyed by their goal, scored again. Paul Cartstairs added a second just minutes before the halftime whistle.  Another charming shot, one of the few aesthetic moments in what was generally an eyesore of a game. Were Rogue as stunned City were? Only the Rogue players can answer that, but the silence from Taipei’s dugout in the break was as deafening as the noise coming from the leading side.

The second half was barely under way before the wagging-tailed Rogues had a third goal to their name. A scruffy battle in the box compounded Taipei City’s problems, an own goal adding to City’s misery. Russell’s yells of, “It’s still nil-nil, lads. It’s still nil-nil,” may have confused some of the fans, but seemed to be working. At three-nil down, it probably sounded like sarcasm.

With twenty minutes left to play, only a superhero would have a chance to turn the game around. Tim Murphy’s presence as he moved up front was dominating, but it wasn’t his day to score. The defence and midfield play was certainly improving—or maybe Rogue had begun to stop heeding Russell’s determined shouts. With the delayed arrival of Dan Calvert, could he feel the burden on his shoulders? Had he painted a red-and-yellow ‘S’ on his chest? Could he score a hat-trick in less than twenty minutes?

As it turns out, the answer is, almost. Having bombed it over to Bai Lin Bridge in a Danmobile that was running on sheer willpower rather than fuel, the super sub made an immediate impact on the game. With their feathers finally ruffled, Rogue were forced to step up their game to contain a City side that finally appeared to have woken up. Dan scored moments later, a scrappy header from a corner. And before too long, another beautifully placed shot into the top right hand corner.

But time was running out, and any dying attempt to equalize was thwarted. As the final whistle blew, Rogue’s cheers echoed around northern Taipei. A dejected City team, saved from humiliation by Dan’s late goals, were left with the realization that, in football, nothing is for granted, even if you think you’re Top Dog.

Taipei City takes Rogue out to lunch

Weather: sunny and breezy with a little wind
Field: hard and dry

Taipei City came out strong against the boys over at Rogue FC, scoring a goal in the first 4 minutes of the game.  Steve crossed to Dan for the easy put away, 1-0.

Moments later another goal was in the back of the net, again from Steve crossing to Mr. Calvert again,  2-0.

Later in the half Matt Swift from Rogue scored an own goal, 3-0.

Then Paco scored a nice header that lofted in from the left side of the field, 4-0.

Then another goal from Dan before just halftime, 5-0.

Halftime water break.  Michael Christie replaced Spencer in goal…clean sheet for both keepers.

The 2nd half saw 3 more goals, 2 solid finishes by Gustavo and 1 more by Dan.

All in all, it wasn’t a very challenging game for Taipei City but still a pleasant way to spend Sunday morning.

Final score: Taipei City 8, Rogue FC 0.

The opposition but they’re also our mates (most of the time)


Shaking hands like gentleman do


Steve crosses one in on the Rogue defense


Alex Daly and Ibu in the mix


Dan runs towards the goal


Tim and Chris solid in the midfield

Taipei City vs. Rogue FC

First game of the year against BML newcomers, Rogue FC.

Taipei City won 5-1. Goal scorers were Dan Calvert with 3 and Dawda Fatty with 2.

Stretching before the match.

Nice sunny day

Spencer Pangborn running down the line

Tim Murphy sends a free kick up to the forwards.