If we had to use one word to describe our scrimmage vs AFRICA UNITED F. C, the word would definitely be ugly. Although we came away victorious with a 2-0 win, there were many things we need to improve on.
First off, players being on time is key. We were without our starting CB, LB, and CDM when the whistle blew to kickoff the game. Obviously this is not ideal and for the first 10 minutes or so we really struggled in the back as we had strikers playing defense. This led to a few quality chances for AUFC, including 2 breakaways, but they were unable to put anything past keeper Keaton Jennings as he was a rock in net for us all game.
After everyone finally arrived, the game started to come to us piece by piece. We controlled the majority of possession but could not find a finish for the life of us. Brandon Siringer, Ramsay Colston, and Jesse Scheirer all hit the post/crossbar and we also had a PK saved. We went into halftime all square at 0-0.
As the second half got underway, the game started to get physical with both teams receiving yellow cards and chirping at one another. As we continued to battle the deadlock was finally broken when Matt McDyer took a rip from about 20 yards out. The ball took a deflection and wrong-footed AUFC's keeper as it trickled into the back of the net giving us a 1-0 advantage.
With the heat bearing down on both teams, fatigue set in and with only 2 subs, our players became exhausted. A breakdown in the middle of the pitch sprung an AUFC counter-attack where just as it looked like they would tie the game at 1, Keaton Jennings again came to our rescue with a fingertip save.
Play continued on and with about 10 minutes to go, Ramsay Colston played Chris Lewandowski a ball over the top. Chris Lewandowski tracked it down and made a move inside the box where he was taken down and we were awarded a PK. This time Chris Lewandowski stepped up to take the spot kick and converted to the keepers right hand side, corner netting.
With a 2-0 lead, AUFC pushing guys forward trying to get back into the game, and fatigue really starting to set in on both teams, we had 3 other pristine chances to add to our lead. 3 breakaways were missed in the final 10 minutes which would've really put the game away for us.
Luckily, this did not come back to hurt us as the final whistle eventually blew and we came away win an ugly 2-0 win.
Final Score: Steel FC 2 - 0 Africa United FC.
Goal Scorers: Matt McDyer, Christian Lewandowski Assists: Ramsay Colston MOTM: Keaton Jennings, Keeper.
We are off next weekend but will be training individually throughout the week before the Steel FC Super Cup on 8/1-2 at No Offseason Sports in Russelton, PA.
Looking forward to seeing some support out there!