Khmer Lyon vs Dreamhouse (U17’s 8-a-side tournament)
I was unable to attend the u-15s tournament at the local pitch so I thought I would write about another team F4K coaches that are currently in a tournament. Khmer Lyon is a new team with lots of players coming from all over the place to practice so they don’t quite know each other yet and thus don’t gel so well. This is slowly being overcome by regular practice sessions and more matches. F4K has been working with them for just under a month now. The improvement has been slow but it began to show in this match.
K.O was at 3pm, so the lads attempt to arrive at 2.30pm to warm up in and have a team talk. I arrived at the same time. My mini assistant manager who had shown interest in becoming a leader and having responsibilities asked me if he could set up the team. I gave him my two rules:
1. Those that came to practice must play first.
2. Play in a 3-3-1 formation and make sure they understand their roles properly.
That was it. I wanted to see what happened and how it’d go down to take the hands off the reigns after only 3 weeks after all we all want to see the players grow and improve in their lives, not just football.
My assistant manager who is also the GK said it was all sorted and they started the game. Within five minutes something was amiss. I looked at the team and the subs bench in the utmost confusion. We were playing a 4-1-1-1, which is an odd formation at the best of times. This would often switch to a 4-1-2. I wasn’t quite sure what had been said pre-match as I had taken my hands off the wheel to let them do it. But as you can imagine there was confusion all over, this lead to a very frustrating situation at the back where an opposition player broke through our back 4 and pressured one of the defenders who didn’t clearly communicate to the GK to come and take it thus a flurry of legs and kicks meant there was an own goal and we were one nil down. No worries. The guys will pick themselves up from this. After some loud ‘communication’ to our players and substitutions to get the right formation, we were beginning to play some proper football again. Keeping possession and recycling it. Apart from a couple of panicked kicks over the top, the boys were okay we would come back from this.
Then shock again. Our keeper was moaning about a finger injury. Don’t know if it was something more mental from the own goal but he comes out to collect in a position that wasn’t the best time to do it and a freak cross from that position hit our player in the shin and it bounced off and went straight in. 2-0 down. This was worrying. Our keeper insisted he be taken off and swapped for the ‘better’ keeper and he comes be an assistant manager again. The lads settled back down with help from the assistant manager helping out and relaxing the team. Then came half time.
I thought that I should step back in for this. I clarified roles, got them fired up in terms of where we can win and what we need to do better. The lads stepped back out onto the pitch ready and happier in terms of what they were doing, back to a flat 3-3-1. We immediately looked a lot better and ready for this. There were moments of beautiful football where we kept the ball for 3 – 5 minutes at a time and had them chasing shadows.
In parallel, the opposition coach was getting more and more miffed about the referee. I hadn’t seen any issues thus far and didn’t see the need for their coach to be getting on his back when they are 2 up. These issues continue to build.
However, after some nice football and a slightly lucky missed interception, our striker was through and it was 2-1. We can win this, you could taste it in the air of the oncoming storm. Once more, nice football meant their lads were getting tired and more frustrated with decisions that weren’t going their way. Then a new player whose debut it was happened to carve out a half chance and shot from distance and it went in 2-2! With another 15 minutes to go! We were on top and could win this.
Then the opposition went down the other end to where I was so I couldn’t see but suddenly there was a commotion and shouts of handball and penalty. This irked and worried me. However, the ref didn’t give it. This caused outrage among their players. Even the goalkeeper who was further away than me supposedly saw it and unfortunately, swore at the ref and thus got booked. During his booking, he took his gloves off and threw them on the ground at the ref’s feet. This was another perceived insult and so received a second yellow and was sent off. That was it. Their coach decided the team was going to play anymore and told them to come and take their boots off and leave the pitch.
They came and shook hands with us which was nice. Just a shame we couldn’t win fair and square. Due to this, we got an auto win of 5 goals. So the score goes down as 7-2. I think we would have had it in the end anyway. I shook hands with the ref, their coach and his team. The Khmer Lyon lads did the handshake automatically which is nice so they have respect in their locker already no need to teach them that!
All in all, it’s a shame the match finished early. But glad we got the win. On to the next one, enjoy the photos and the league table.
Khmer Lyon 7 – 2 Dreamhouse