British Football Club were represented in two different parts of Moscow on Saturday 4th November, as teams took part in both friendly matches and in Russian youth league matches.
In the Russian youth league matches, BFC Union found themselves 3-0 down early on. The players seemed to be very disoriented and overwhelmed by the game settings (with matches being played at a new location). However, at half time, Coach Mike spoke to the team and individuals about tactics, expectations and player roles. Union started the second half on the front foot – Grachev coming out of goal and linking up well with Dlamini to score to make it 3-1. Even with Union’s best efforts and domination throughout the second half, Yunitra showed a professional performance, keeping Union at arm’s length and seeing out the game. Final score 3-1.
After a brief warm up and discussions on the previous match, tactics and player roles, Union were ready for the next game. A very positive start showed Union lead through a long range deflected free kick from Metelskiy which found the back of the net. Despite Union’s best efforts and dominant pressure, they couldn’t find a second goal, hitting the post and overplaying possession at times. On the other hand, a patient defensive display had proven of importance to Olymp, catching Union from a 3v1 situation to make it 1-1. After the Olymp equalizer, Union never really got going again and Olymp capitalized on this, as Union found themselves 3-1 down. An underserved loss when considering the first half performance and chances which had gone astray.
Into the third match, and Coach Mike had a final discussion with Union, expressing that the team should go out, express their feelings through enjoying their last match. Following this Dlamini found himself taking all set pieces from all manner of positions across the pitch. After much high pressure, Union found themselves 2-0 in front after two perfect deliveries from Dlamini landed perfectly on Grachev’s head as he finished both goals with sheer composure. Dlamini found himself taking another dangerous set piece, which had seemed to catch the keeper off guard as it hit the near post and found the back of the net. 3-0. Shortly after, Dlamini with another assist for Grachev as he played another long freekick over the defence as Grachev poked home for his hatrick. Armada were seen to have fully conceded to the game, as Union capitalised on mistakes making the final score 6-0. A very positive attitude from all to finish the day!
Over at Krylatskaya, and several more BFC teams were in action in friendly matches against old foes DUSOF!
Up first were BFC County, who welcomed debutants Guzun and Ellen into the team. BFC played an exciting match, with plenty of action at both ends. Guzun was on fire, scoring three goals as BFC raced into an early lead. Zaitsev performed solidly in the BFC goal, which allowed the team to push forward. Martin, Malyshev and M.van der Meulen contributed with goals of their own, whilst solid defensive performances from Ghidirim and Damian Osutin helpled BFC County to run out as 8-5 winners.
Next up, BFC Rangers, fresh from their tournament win the previous weekend, took on a tough and resolute DUSOF side. The game was close throughout, with both teams taking the lead and enjoying spells in control of the game. Fernandes and Navarette put in superb performances for Rangers, with clinical finishing in front of goal that propelled Rangers into the lead towards the end of the game. van der Meulen contributed with a goal of his own, whilst Polyakov and Paveltic battled hard in the BFC midfield. With Dusof mounting a late comeback as the game came to a close, the final score was 10-9 to BFC Rangers, and a very satisfying result and performance!
BFC Rovers were the third team to take to the stage, against a guest opponent from outside of Moscow, FC Stupino. Stupino came ready to play, and Rovers were slow out of the blocks. The intensity of their opponents caught them by surprise, as they quickly found themselves behind. Stupino continued to pile on the pressure, and despite the heroic efforts of Moskaluk and Petrov in the Rovers defence, Rovers found themselves several goals down at half time. The team regrouped, discussed their shortcomings, and came out for the second half much more prepared for battle. A much improved second half display saw plenty of end to end action with both team creating a lot of chances, and BFC Rovers found a Stupino goalkeeper in superb form. Salaun played an inspired role with his movement and aggression in the Rovers attack, and Rovers took a foothold in the game and began converting some of their chances, including an unstoppable free kick from Moskaluk. Despite losing the game, Rovers can be proud of how they adjusted their performance in the second half to compete with a very accomplished and well drilled team.
After a detailed tactical discussion prior kick off, BFC City were the final team to be under way. City were looking very comfortable on the ball and on the pitch as they were leading 3-1, creating many chances as Stepan Konovalov should have capitalised further upon wasted chances. This however gave Dusof a way back into the game, as the game was quickly tied up 5-5. City were still the more comfortable and confident on the ball as they took another 2-goal lead, as Konovalov Noann Salaun linked up very well! Sloppy defensive errors saw City concede a further 2 goals, making the last 6 minutes very cagey. However, City held their own, were calm and composed as 2 very well worked team goals saw City to a fine, well deserved victory 9-7!!
A productive day of football with plenty of goals and team wins! Back to the training pitch to plan for the next matches!