Italia82 is a very tricky team to play against. The last encounter was won in incredibly lucky fashion with a last minute strike and the game before that resulted in an embarrassing Viking bashing. In order to secure the three points Vikings Vets came to the game well prepared with a strong squad.
Rafa / Kalle / Just / Hax
Marck / Crouch / Mark vD / Vind
John / Stabel
Subs: Buck, Engaard, CJ, Frandsen, Tue
The first half started with the Vikings distributing the ball well, using the entire width of the pitch, but the ball rarely came into the Italia82 box. The first decent chance came via a cross from Vind, which Hax headed just wide off the post.
The Italia82 midfield was technically strong and managed to send some good passes down the flanks. One ball was ballooned into the box, the Viking defense did not clear properly. The ball fell down to an Italia82 player who made a weak shot on goal, which Rene was ready to save, but a deflection from a Viking heel made the ball change direction and slowly roll over the line. 1-0 to Italia82.
The Vikings started pushing forward and several chances were created. With high pressure John managed to steal the ball in the Italia82 half. He lost his marker and alone with the keeper made no mistake. John made it 1-1 with a hard finish.
During the next ten minutes more Viking chances were created. Stabel shot a powerful volley but just wide. Another chance came after Vind received the ball on the left side. Vind made a long cross towards the far post of the goal where Marck first timed a cross into the box. Stabel was unmarked and only had to tap it in but shot the ball wide.
The Vikings were in control of the game but instead Italia82 shocked the crowd by scoring a goal after a poor Viking back pass. The skinny right winger reached the ball just before Rene and lobbed the ball over Rene. It looked slightly random but the scoreline did not. 2-1 to Italia82.
Just before half time Italia82 had another huge chance, after yet another ball was not cleared in defense. Free shot on goal but Rene pulled out a great save.
Half time and another intense team talk. Exactly as in the game against 1TM the tactics were changed around to better counter Italia82's playing style.
Second half was dominated by the Vikings from the beginning. John beat the offside trap several times but the Italia82 keeper did extremely well to get off his line and clear the ball. John, however, managed to reach one ball and found himself alone with the keeper. This time the brilliant Italia82 keeper made a great save with the legs.
A few more chances followed. John was fouled by the keeper just outside the box, no card!, and Stabel forced the keeper to make a great save from the direct freekick. More chances followed both from corners and long throws, but still no goal. The clock was ticking.
Italia82 did well to defend and with the Vikings throwing more players forward they got more space on their counter attacks. They created a few half chances but nothing really to trouble Rene. One shot, however bounced strangely just before Rene was to catch it and it bounced off his chest and out into play. Rene made a heroic save to defend the goal but once again the ball bounced out to an Italia82 player, the skinny one, who once again slightly randomly lobbed the ball making it bounce slowly into goal. 3-1. Ten minutes to go. It was unreal.
Most amateur teams would probably have given up - but not the Vikings Vets. The 3-1 goal was followed by Viking roars. Roars that should have sounded at least half an hour earlier. Every single Viking fought like a wild animal. The backs came in full sprint overlaps creating space in the middle. The midfield went into every tackle like it was their last in their career. The attack was just luring and waiting for the chance.
The extreme pressure on the Italia82 goal resulted in some chaos in their box. A loose ball was fired on goal, blocked by a defender, and the ball ended up with Morten Vind. In two attempts Vind managed to fire the ball past both defense and goal keeper. 3-2 and five minutes to go.
The attack continued. The Vikings played with only two in the back, Just and Mark vD. Full backs Rafa and Hax were both pushing forward to support the midfield, which only looked forward. More crosses, a dangerous Stabel freekick, and it ended up with a corner. The entire Viking air force was brought forward and in competition with two defenders, John jumped highest and with a very strong header leveled the game. 3-3!
The Vikings wanted more but unfortunately the time was running out. The animal Viking spirits arrived much too late and the game ended 3-3.
Thank you to Italia82 for an exiting game. A great bunch of guys with good fighting spirit. MOM undoubtedly goes to their keeper. We hope you also celebrate your skinny winger with some cold beers. Well done!
Updated 15:06 - 2 Sep 2018 by Martin Hax