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Cutting edge contemporary tactics made the difference for the Vets

By Martin Hax

Match reporter: Hax

Last time the Vikings Vets played at Dulwich the sky was open and torrential rain was pouring down. This time it was no different and the game was delayed by almost an hour due to the heave rain and very nearby lightning strikes. With both Vets teams anxious to get started the Ref allowed the game to proceed.

Lineup (3-5-2):
Eu Jin
Mark Vd / Lasse / Hax
Frandsen
Rafa / Crouch / Raven / Morten V
Marck / Giraf

Subs: Buck, Crone, Dragsbaek

The game with Real Ale pushing very high on the pitch with an almost four man attack. Within the first few minutes Real Ale managed to get a few shots on the Viking goal but Eu Jin did well to protect the goal. The Vikings pushed back and tried playing the ball down the wings but neither Rafa nor Morten V got much out of their efforts. The high pressure meant that our wings had to come back to help the three man defense and this did no good for our offensive game.

Real Ale won the ball on the midfield and shifted it to the left side where a one-two combination allowed their winger to get free to make a great pass into the Viking box. The ball flew all the way to the back post where it was tapped in. Very good team goal from Real Ale to take the 1-0 lead.

Real Ale was still playing the better football but when the Vikings won a corner kick the entire Viking Air Force was brought forward. Lasse, Mark vD, Hax... and Marck. Crouch drove a hard corner into the box and with Hax having sent his marker in direction of the near post, out for a hotdog and a beer, he then ran to the far post and headed in the equalizer.

Real Ale continued their offensive game and displayed a very good passing game. Only good defensive efforts from the Vikings, especially Mark vD and Frandsen, kept the Vikings in the game. The high pressure inevitably would cost Real Ale in the back and with Raven getting a little too much space he managed, with a man on his back, to pass the ball to Marck who took one dribble and then hammered in the ball via the crossbar. 1-2 for the Vikings.

Vikings then subbed in the entire bench in Buck, Crone, and Dragsbaek. All players got straight into the action by facing Real Ale players aggressively pushing for an equaliser. Crone, for example, did nothing but running back and forth on the wing so to help support in the back but shortly after being needed in the front. Real Ale was definitely still in the game and it was pure Viking luck that they did not score on one of their chances. With a completely free shot on goal the distinctly Spanish looking Real Ale player fired the ball onto Mark vD covering just the right post. The Vikings were not unhappy to be ahead at the half time whistle.

After a tactical discussion it was decided to change the lineup to better counter Real Ale; 4-5-1 and zonal marking, the line up that won Mourinho two consecutive PL titles. It was time to brutalise the Real Ale tactics.

Second half was only a few minutes old when Dragsbaek received a Giraf pass in the box and with a calm Jon Dahl inside increased the lead to 1-3. Perhaps a slight mistake by the Real Ale defense allowed the goal and the frustration was building with the very diligent attacking players who against the tight defense rarely had the ball.

Next chance came from a Dragsbaek freekick from far away, which expertly found Giraf in the box, who just needed to stretch his neck a few centimeters more but unfortunately the ball went just outside the post. Dragsbaek, having puked twice just before the game, was getting warm and made a sweet run past two players, first with a nutmeg and then by passing the ball on one side and running on the other, only to kick the ball over goal.

The Vikings defense was tighter than a nuns crutch and Real Ale never managed to get close to goal after the tactical change. All attacks were defended well and the ball passed up the wings. Especially Giraf was sent running a number of times but unfortunately not every cross reached the box. One of the crosses from the right side was sliced so intensely that the ball left the field and went into orbit. Next morning, during the CL final with Real Madrid vs Liverpool, the ball was spotted passing by Boat Quay, still in orbit.

Dragsbaek was fouled a good 20 meters from goal and decided to shoot himself. The wall looked slightly out of place as Dragsbaek shot with the outside of the right foot and curled it around the wall to first hit the left post, then the right post, to see the ball then hit the net. Fantastic technique, fantastic goal. 1-4 for the Vikings.

With the comfortable lead, and not much time left, Rafa put himself further ahead and from a Giraf pass, after a bit of pinball action with a Real Ale defender, Rafa was suddenly alone with the keeper and could score the 1-5 goal. Shortly after the full time whistle sounded.

Real Ale played a very strong game and the final result does not quite represent the action on the pitch. Real Ale has lots of great ball players and surely will be up there competing for the trophy this year. Basically the game changed character after the application of cutting edge contemporary tactics that pacified the Real Ale attack and allowed for much more Viking game down the flanks. It was a great game to play and also to watch, according to live Viking reporter Stabell.

Thanks also to the ref for a strong performance.

MOM:
11 votes: Mark vD
2 votes: Marck
1 vote: Lasse, Hax

Updated 02:19 - 30 May 2018 by Martin Hax

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Veteran Vikings 1TM FC Legends
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