Tag Archives: mitsukoshi

Cushty against Mitsukoshi

Time: 7pm, March 24th, 2012

Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Michael Christie

In unseasonably cold weather, Taipei City took on Mitsukoshi in the first game of the weekend double-header. Rightly concentrating on the here and now, Dan Calvert asked his squad before kick-off to forget about Fritz the next day and just do their best to beat Mitsukoshi, a team capable of surprises. Dan named a 4-4-2 formation of Dale Neal in goal; Ricardo Abrego, Brian McGuinness, Tom Clarke and ‘Dapper’ Danny Wilkinson at the back; Danny Weir, Ebu Njie, debutant Michael Crossley and Omar Malcolm in midfield; and, Brian Fitzpatrick and Dan Calvert up front. On the bench were Luis Mayorga, Oumar Senoussi, Karim Chan and Michael Christie.

The first twenty minutes belonged to City, with two quick goals. The first goal came courtesy of Danny Weir intercepting a wayward Mitsukoshi pass in midfield, and carrying and passing the ball at pace to Dan Calvert, who finished coolly running at high speed. The second goal came from Omar Malcolm after sustained pressure. Again Danny Weir caused problems for Mitsukoshi with incisive dribbling down the right flank. He crossed the ball inside to Dan Calvert, who shaped to turn and shoot but slipped. However, with his back to goal Dan Calvert spotted a through channel for Omar Malcolm and back-heeled smartly into the space, about seven yards from the bye-line and eight yards from the goal. Malcolm elected to drill the ball into the opposite corner.

The early 2-0 score-line was the result of an energetic and intelligent all-round display by the City team. In a free role behind perennial lynchpin Dan Calvert, Brian Fitzpatrick found space and orchestrated several attacks. Making his debut, Michael Crossley was composed and crisp, working well with Ebu, who showed with his zest in attack why Taipei City is always better when he’s around. On the flanks, Danny Weir and Omar Malcolm were both in great form. Needless to say, all the defenders joined in the flowing passing, when they weren’t walking around with the Mitsukoshi forwards in their pockets. (Actually, Mitsukoshi’s Johnson is always a threat, but with Taipei City having so much possession there wasn’t much he could do.)

In truth, City stepped off the accelerator in the last twenty-five minutes of the first half. This meant that Mitsukoshi were able to come forward and sometimes embarrass City a little, but even then City had the lion’s share of possession and Dale was never troubled. Just before half-time Dan Calvert found himself free in the penalty area on the left. In a position where a ball across the face of the goal would have been a better option had there been a City player in position, Dan shot and the ball wriggle between the keeper and the near post. 3-0 at half-time!

At half-time Dan made three straight changes. Off came Danny Weir, Brian Fitzpatrick and Ebu; and on came Luis Mayorga, Omar Senoussi and Karim Chan.

City started the second half with urgency and pressed forward on Mitsukoshi again. Mitsukoshi did not enjoy being pushed back, but without real breakaway chances they had to lump it. As in the first half they occasionally worked some good moves in midfield and created half-chances, but that was all. With about fifteen minutes gone, Brian McGuinness came off for Christie. Karim dropped back into central defence with Tom, so Christie could partner Michael Crossley in central midfield.

The last half-hour of the game was played at a fair if not breakneck pace. City kept control of the game for most of the time. A further goal came from Omar Senoussi, put through by Malcolm (is this right?). And, in the last ten minutes Dan Calvert shot powerfully from outside the box to claim his hat-trick. His shot had enough power to go through the keeper!

Except for an injury worry to Brian McGuinness, this has to go down as a good day for City. 5-0 against a decent Mitsukoshi team, and without any obvious overexertion ahead of the Fritz game the next day, City cannot complain.


Murphy Brace, City Bend But Don’t Break

Time: 3pm, January 31st, 2010
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Ed Cartee

The win streak is still intact as Taipei City make a run for the BML title, despite City not being their usual selves on this day.  The weather was decently hot, especially in contrast to the cooler temperatures in recent weeks, and many of City’s players weren’t totally fresh since they had already played a full game earlier in the day for their CPL teams.  Furthermore, one of those CPL games was significantly delayed due to a severe injury to our own Alex Daly (whom we wish the best for a speedy recovery), so a few City players wouldn’t be able to arrive until the game was already underway.  With injuries and absences already having depleted City’s gameday roster, this meant that City would begin the game with only 10 men, including Ross who suited up despite being injured just to provide another warm body on the pitch for City at the start.  With Dale Neal in goal, at first the lineup was 4-4-1:  John Phillips and Matt Wharton in the center of the defense, Alex Ramirez at left back, Spencer Pangborn at right back, Ed Cartee at holding mid, Ebrima Njie in the center, Steve Reymond at left mid, Niklas Denser at right mid, and Ross Conlon up top.  After a while Tim Murphy and Mamadi Colley arrived, and City reshuffled the lineup to have Murphy sweeping, Phillips in front of him, Colley at left back, Wharton at right back,  at holding mid, Ebrima still in the center, Cartee at right mid, Reymond at left mid, and Denser and Ramirez as forwards.

The first half was mostly played in City’s own half of the field.  The Shin Kong boys applied a lot of pressure high up the field, and City struggled to find an outlet pass and advance the ball with possession.  Later in the half, City did manage a couple dangerous sequences:  one time Ramirez put Denser through down the right flank leading to a cross; and another time Cartee ran at the Shin Kong back line and pushed the ball past his defender just before being tackled, and the referee gave advantage as Denser ran onto the ball and slotted it near post, but then the linesman judged him offside so the goal was called back.  However, these chances were against the run of play.  Shin Kong dominated the first half, City were defending the majority of the time, and only some Shin Kong miscues and great City stops especially by the keeper Neal, kept the score 0-0 at the half.

At half-time Conlon exhorted the team to put the first 45 minutes behind us and concentrate on winning the second 45 and salvaging a result out of the game despite the poor performance thus far.  City managed to do just that, aided greatly by the arrival of Dawda fatty who made a big difference being a target and holding the ball up for City.  Although Shin Kong certainly kept City honest, the second half was much more even, with City generating more chances than before.  City went 1-0 up when Steve served a beautiful corner kick and Tim Murphy powered home a header.  It was Murphy again who made the score 2-0 by converting a penalty after a Shin Kong defender pulled a hard-working Denser down in the box.  There was action at both ends as City still had plenty of defending to do, but towards the end of the match City finally had a few moments where they managed to tease Shin Kong with a little bit of possession, although City still weren’t controlling the tempo of the game as firmly as they usually do.  In the waning moments Cartee and Dawda nearly combined for a third goal off a break, but the Shin Kong goalkeeper came out well to deny the chance, and the final whistle the score remained 2-0.

Overall, City will be glad to get 3 points out of the encounter despite not being on top of their game.  There is something to be said for the toughness and character proven by overcoming adversity and gutting out an “ugly win” in a hard game.  Nevertheless, this contest didn’t have to be as difficult for City as it turned out to be, and City will be eager to get back to classier footballing ways in their next outing.  Shin Kong deserves some credit for posing a stiff challenge; they pressured City aggressively on defense, and their forwards made a lot of slashing diagonal runs which were dangerous as the City defense sometimes was a step slow to track.  Having said that, the City defense is to be commended for their dogged attitude:  on a day when they had a lot to do, they held.  Neal also had a superb game in goal, coming up big on several occasions and keeping the clean sheet with determination.  Finally, although recovery runs and defensive hustle don’t make highlight reels, every player on the City roster dug deep and made those unsung plays that enabled the team to survive a tough game.  Winning is the bottom line, but City will want to get back in the rhythm of playing well the next time they take the pitch.

Taipei City 2, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi 0

Unprecedented Penalty Saves City’s Skin

Time: 7.30pm, November 11, 2009
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

A cagey affair saw City edge out a resilient Shin Kong Mitsukoshi side 2-1 last Wednesday evening. In an unprecedented turn of events, the City boys had the referee to thank when they were awarded a very dubious penalty midway through the second half, at a time when neither team had yet managed to score. Mitsukoshi’s central defender was adjudged to have tugged at Dan Calvert’s jersey as he tried to get on the end of a cross from the right wing. Whether the incident happened in the box–or even happened at all–is debatable, but nonetheless proved critical to the outcome of the match. They say these things even out over the course of a season–let’s see how that theory pans out.

Tim Murphy had to wait an awfully long time before the Mitsukoshi players’ and management team’s heated protestations at the decision finally petered out and the game could proceed. Despite the uncertain nature of the penalty award, however, some were left wondering how a five-minute, on-pitch tirade at the officials by the Shin Kong delegation was allowed to go unpunished. Thankfully, the final whistle was not quite blown as the opposition’s “extra” men eventually trundled off the pitch, albeit reluctantly (and noisily), leaving Murphy free to take the spotkick. Surprisingly, he was still able to remember what he was doing there after the long hiatus, and held his nerve to slot the ball low and hard to the keeper’s right, putting his team in front.

Not long after, Calvert added a second when a high chipped shot was batted into the net by their keeper’s flailing arm. Not the prettiest goal ever, but it gave City a two-goal cushion that was crucial to them holding on to the three points at the 90-minute mark. City struggled to break down the Mitsukoshi defence all night and looked bereft of ideas going forward. They lacked penetration throughout the game and were lucky not to be caught on the counterattack on a number of occasions after successive attacks broke down.

Mitsukoshi’s international striker Johnson looked particularly impressive and was very unlucky not to score a couple: the post once saving City and stand-in keeper Matt Wharton pulling off an impressive save in the second half.  By the time Mitsukoshi scored, it was too late to mount a real comeback against a patched up City side that, by then, had lost its keeper and centre backs to injury.

The game was a cheap lesson to the City boys as their title challenge gets fully under way. Mitsukoshi have certainly improved this season and will prove a stern test to every team they play.

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.


Steve Reymond advances the ball down the field.

Alex scores a goal.

Spencer Pangborn battles in the midfield.

Tim Murphy crosses one in.

Taipei City sticks it to Mitsukoshi

Clear day, warm, little to no wind.

Alex R. scored in the first 5 minutes.  Then Dawda scored 10 min later.  And then again 10 minutes later.  3-0 halftime.

A few changes at the half with the guys coming over from the TPL to help out. Dawda put another one in the back of the net for a hard fought hat trick on the day.  Shawn also scored 2 goals with one coming from a nice run through the defense inside the 6-yard box.

Final score 6-1 for the blue team.