Category Archives: vs. San Chong H.S.

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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San Chong Raise Their Level But City Overcomes

Time: 1pm, March 14th, 2010
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Ed Cartee

With 3 games left in the season, City knew that 2 wins would clinch the BML title; but the way to that goal lay first through the San Chong boys, one of the more impressive possession-oriented sides in the rest of the league, so City had to be fully focused and honed in on the 90 minutes before them.  Game-time conditions were very hot, and the Bai Ling fields are starting to show the accumulated wear-and-tear of the season, so both teams wondered if the passing game would be affected by the bobbly ground.  City lined up with Dale Neal in goal, Tim Murphy sweeping and Hans Rempel patrolling in front of him, Mamadi Colley at left back, Matt Wharton at right back, Mike O’Gorman and Ebou Njie in the center of midfield, Ross Conlon at left mid, Ed Cartee at right mid, and Badou Njie and Dan Calvert up top.  The strategy on offense was to increase the speed of play from the standard in the past couple matches, and the strategy on defense was to apply aggressive pressure on San Chong in their own half.  In the first 15 minutes City was executing the game plan pretty well, but to San Chong’s credit, rather than folding under the higher pressure, they responded and matched the intensity and tempo which City were setting.  Nevertheless, San Chong’s only chances of the half were two shots from distance which were both safely wide.  Dawda Fatty came on for Conlon at left mid partway into the half.  When they could, the San Chong defenders were holding a high line, but City almost made them pay for this on a few occasions, as Calvert got behind them several times off of early balls from the flanks which bent behind San Chong’s backs.  When City established a rhythm of possession, San Chong compacted the center of the field and made it difficult for City to combine in small spaces and break through to shoot. O’Gorman once found Cartee open at the top of the box, but Cartee passed it off instead of testing the San Chong keeper from second distance.  The game had evolved into a midfield duel, a hard-fought battle “between the boxes”, and going into half-time with the score locked at 0-0, it looked like the 2nd half would be a war of attrition pitting City’s resources against San Chong’s youth and fitness.

At half-time the management team of Conlon and Calvert  switched City’s outside midfielders, moving Cartee to the left and Dawda to the right, and everyone did their best to hydrate so as to avoid cramping as the game wore on.

The 2nd half picked up where the 1st half left off in terms of intensity, but the game began to be more spread out; when San Chong had the ball they stretched the field with an expansive attacking shape, and City began using the counterattack more effectively to quickly pass San Chong’s midfielders out of the play and force their back line to deal with players running at them.  As both teams tired, neither team was able to pressure the ball as effectively and disrupt the other team’s rhythm of possession, and more chances were created at both ends.  Both teams’ instincts were heightened to sense the opportunities and dangers resulting from every slight momentum shift in the contest.  But it was City who broke through, recognizing when the game tilted their way after a few dangerous attacking sequences in succession, and capitalizing on the narrow window of opportunity before it was lost.  The City attackers created some confusion in the box for the San Chong defenders, and Dawda swept the ball across and Calvert finished – yet another clutch goal from him.  1-0 City.

San Chong came back at City relentlessly.  The combination of their pace and the heat was pushing City’s defenders to the limit, but City’s back line showed their mental toughness, with determination being the key factor as they stayed sharp to intercept passes, use their physicality to body the San Chong kids off the ball, and come up with a few clutch tackles.  San Chong had their best chance of the game when a midfielder struck a great shot from outside the box, low and hard and destined to tuck inside the far post, but Neal made a tremendous diving play to push the ball wide, saving a certain goal which would have radically changed the game.

Calvert came off and Dawda went up top when Michael Christie came on at right mid, though he and Cartee switched sides a couple times.  Though he roved a bit, Christie’s hustle gave City a lift, and soon after his entry, he was a difference-maker.  Getting on the end of a long ball, he initiated a neat wall-pass which played him into space for an unopposed service into the box.  City had talked before the game about high crosses to capitalize on their height advantage over San Chong, and though Christie’s cross floated a bit beyond the far post, Dawda accelerated and got on the end of it; Dawda headed the ball back across the face of goal, past a helpless keeper to a waiting Badou, who tapped in to give City the 2-0 advantage.

Though San Chong kept their composure and maintained their offensive pressure, City knew what they were playing for, and they weren’t about to let the San Chong kids steal the game back.  The final score was 2-0, making City’s record 14-1-1 and bringing them within one victory of a league championship.  Though so close to the objective, City will have to remember that it’s still up to them to take care of business, with 2 more opponents eagerly awaiting their last chance to spoil City’s season.

Amateur Soccer Leagues set for Thrilling Finales

By John Phillips
Taipei Times
Saturday, Mar 13, 2010

At least one of Taipei’s amateur soccer leagues will be decided tomorrow as Da-an face the Red Lions needing to win by at least three clear goals to snatch the Carnegies Premier League (CPL) title at 1pm at Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park.

Across the city at Shilin’s Bai­ling Bridge at 4pm, expat team Taipei City can take a huge step toward clinching their second Businessman’s League (BML) trophy when they take on Sanchung High School.

In a bittersweet twist that is sure to leave many players questioning their loyalties, however, it turns out that the Taipei City squad is composed almost entirely of players who also play for Da-an and the Animals — the very team that Da-an will need to finish above if they’re to steal the CPL crown.

Da-an captain Alex Ramirez — who is also a City player — says the competition has always been good-natured and that “the rivalry is completely forgotten about once we don the Taipei City kit.”

The rivalry does have its downside though. Both leagues play on Sundays, which means players sometimes have to play two full games in a single day.

Ross Conlon, who manages Taipei City and plays for the Animals, says having the players competing against each other in the CPL has made it harder for City to be competitive.

“Toward the end of the season, both sets of players have been going all-out to win the CPL, so by the time they turn up to play for City they are already tired,” he said.
If Da-an do snatch the title, it will be an outcome few would have predicted. They have yet to occupy pole position. The current leaders, the Animals, have been on top since last summer, but the loss of some key players and a dip in form have left the door ajar for Da-an to win by the slightest of margins.

With the Animals having already completed all their games for the season, Da-an go into tomorrow’s game knowing that a victory by three goals would put them level on points and goal difference, but would see them crowned champions for their superior tally of goals scored.

In the BML, Taipei City face Sanchung High School knowing that three points would leave second-placed Fritz needing snookers to retain their title. City returned to action after the Chinese New Year break with 11-3 and 2-0 wins against the bottom two clubs Southeasterly and Dentway respectively.  Now with three games to go, City are nine points ahead of Fritz, who have a game in hand, and City’s goal difference is eight better, so a victory would mean they just need to avoid defeat in one of their last two games. Defeat could mean a big finish, with City and Fritz meeting on the final day.

San Chong Salvage Point

Time: 1pm, December 13th, 2009
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Michael Christie

On an extremely hot day, with the sun beating down from a high place, Taipei City kicked off against San Chong. Ross had warned everybody before the game that San Chong had recently strung together some good results against the better sides in the league, so they would not be the pushovers remembered from previous seasons. He was right. The starting line-up was Dale Neal in goal; Alex Daly, Tim Murphy and Matt Wharton at the back; Spencer Pangborn and Ed Cartee in the wide positions; Mike O’Gorman, Michael Christie and Alex Ramirez in midfield; and, Stevey Reymond and Niklas Denser up front.

Right from the whistle, San Chong were determined to put pressure on the ball at all times. The ball went from San Chong to Taipei City and back again quite often in the first five minutes and, a little worryingly, Taipei City seemed reluctant to exert themselves fully in that time. There was hesitation in the challenge and indecision in possession from everybody but Mike OG. Possibly encouraged by City’s anaemic start, San Chong pushed forward energetically. Their speed and sharpness was such that City had no choice but to respond.

From the ten minute mark, the City players began to warm up properly and put in some hard work. (Those great days when you discovered you were nimbler and quicker than the older and bigger boys playing for the opposition were dimly recalled. Now the City players were one and all older and bigger than the whippets of San Chong.) For the next ten to fifteen minutes the two sides more or less shared the spoils of a keenly contested game. There was some good possession football from both sides and while the game wasn’t an “end to end” classic, both teams had pressure and chances in front of goal. Notably, Dale made a wonderful save at the feet of a San Chong forward when he was clean through on goal, the one time in the game the City defence was properly breached.

The deadlock was broken around the twenty minute mark by an own goal resulting from a low near post cross from Ramirez. Oddly enough, Tim and Steve took turns to jump over the ball before the unlucky San Chong defender stroked it home from three yards. City were determined not to rest on their lead, but now San Chong had their tails up so they played with real discipline and force.

San Chong ran City ragged for about fifteen minutes of the first half. Their teamwork, discipline and fitness shone through as they passed the ball through and around a hard-working but tired City. The pace of the game was getting too much for City at this stage, which with mistakes in technique and decision-making, foreshadowed a potential defeat. (The San Chong boys train up to four hours a day. Let’s be honest, they only lack the height and weight to be clear favorites to win the BML now.) To City’s credit, San Chong weren’t allowed an opening. Eventually, however, justice was done. San Chong were a little lucky but got the goal their dominance deserved.
Obviously disappointed, City had about ten minutes left in the first half to do something. With San Chong still pressing, a great breakaway move ended with Stevey Reymond’s precise curler into the top corner of the net. Somehow, Taipei City had finished the first half ahead 2-1!

Taipei City put Conlon on in place of Daly during the interval, so Matt shifted to the right side of defence.  The second half was to be more comfortable for City, partly because San Chong couldn’t sustain the movement they’d shown in the first half. Still, quite early on Dale had to react very quickly to tip a deflected shot over the bar. Dale was busy at other times, coming off his line or making more routine saves, too. And, City were still regularly conceding corners. Nevertheless, City were able to fashion more attacks and looked the stronger team in the second half. Ross and Ed combined well down the left, both contributing plenty of good crosses. San Chong defended deeper so there was less pressure on the midfield, meaning the other midfielders didn’t look so poor in comparison to Mike OG. Mike O’Gorman confirmed to everybody on Sunday that he is surely the best foreign player in Taiwan at the moment.

With better decision-making and more luck in the final third, City would have scored two or three goals against a tiring San Chong defence. As it was, the City cogs aren’t quite yet in alignment. Still, City forced the San Chong keeper to make some good saves and otherwise put the ball in some tricky places for San Chong, so could have…. Could have, but didn’t!

Taipei City showed impressive endurance and work-rate for eighty minutes of a hard game, but didn’t know when to ease back and that was the killer. Playing on very tired legs for the last ten minutes, some City players, notably Christie, persisted in pushing forward when the only sensible choice was to play deep and grind out the result. San Chong ably exploited the gaps in midfield and again justice was done when a speculative shot from an unmarked San Chong midfielder hit the back of the net! The game ended 2-2 and that was that!

No tie for San Chong this time

Earlier this season the San Chong High School team put up a good challenge to Taipei City, forcing a 1-1 tie.

City came out stronger this time, showing the quality of football that the fan(s) have come to expect from the BML champions.

Starting off with only 10 men on the field, City went down and scored even though the numbers were against them.  Dan Calvert put away a nice goal early on, 1-0.

The young lads managed to sneak one past Taipei City moments later, putting the score even at 1-1.  But then Dawda Fatty and Danny Weir each marked a goal, putting the score at 3-1 going into the half.

In the 2nd half, Calvert and Weir both scored again and Alex Ramirez put a well-placed ball past the San Chong keeper, final score 6-1 for Taipei City.

Dan lays the game plan during the lineup


Steve Reymond takes on a San Chong defender

Oliver Schwuchow anticipates another winning header

Match against San Chong ends in a draw

The first game of 2009 started rough with only 10 men on the pitch, but 3 minutes into the game Taipei City had a full squad.

The young San Chong team came out fast and scored 20 minutes into the game. Later in the first half Steve equalized with a clean put-away in the bottom corner, tying the game at 1-1.

City started the 2nd half strong with good defense from Chris and solid offensive advances from Alex R. It appeared the tide had turned for Taipei City with several close chances at goal in the last 15 minutes, but the matched expired in a draw.

Shaking hands with the boys

Chris chases down a loose ball

Scuffle and position

Call the team doctor

Taipei City Continues 8-Game Winning Streak

After a slow start to the season, at one point resting 6th out of 8 teams, Taipei City FC has clawed its way back to the top of the BML standings.

This past weekend Taipei City posted wins over Jako FC and SanChong High School. These 2 victories helped extend City’s current winning streak to 8 games.

Here is the match report by team captain Dan Calvert.

Here are a few pics from Saturday’s match.

Tim and Alex getting ready to pressure the opposing forwards

Team talk before the game

Team shot