First game of the season was against Gaelic Lions. Several regulars had already left town for Christmas but luckily we had new Vets talent joining the ranks. With the kit only arriving minutes before kickoff we had to make some last minute changes to the lineup:
Starting Eleven (4-4-2):
Sleimann / Elbo / Schoenne / Buck
Rafa / Crouch / CJ / Crone
Tim / John
Bench: Kaasing / Jeppe / Franner / Raven / Dragsbaek
Live Commentator: Stabell
The Bendemeer pitch is very short so it was difficult to get a proper passing game going. Still, the Vikings proved capable of finding each other with short passes and Gaelic were pushed down into defensive mode early on. While the Vikings were better on the ground the Gaelic team had a clear advantage in the aerial space, winning most headers on the midfield.
The first Viking chance came after a right side cross from Crouch. John attacked the ball and first timed it towards the roof of the net but the keeper pulled out a great one handed reflex save. The second chance came soon after when Tim picked up a loose ball in the box and after some sexy dribbles he found room to dispatch a shot – making it 1-0 for the Vikings.
Gaelic had a few decent chances and Rene in goal had to show some skills to protect the lead. Especially their small fast wingers created a bit of trouble for the Vikings, not to mention the tall midfield winning everything in the air.
Shortly after the first water break the Vikings increased the lead after a quality attack. Tim had found his way into the box and connected to a strong cross from Rafa. The ball went in by the bottom far post. Instead of celebrating Tim just stood there, open mouth and in complete disbelief, like when your wife shows you the first positive pregnancy test, as he had just scored a very nice goal with the head.
Early on in the second half some good passing game from the Vikings allowed John to get alone with the keeper. Of course, John buried the ball in the back of the net. 3-0 for the Vikings. Now, the game should have been put in Viking cruise control but Gaelic kept fighting and pulled one back with a great team goal. A perfect cross from the left side was headed in behind Rene.
From then on it was an even game, however still with most dangerous chances for the Vikings. CJ and John had a double chance, both shooting directly on the keeper. Dragsbaek almost shattered the post with a powerful shot. Finally, Jeppe had found his way up into attack from his right back position and the Gaelic defense split like the Red Sea in front of Moses. From 20 meters Jeppe fired a shot towards the top corner but the ball hit the cross bar and went over.
Shortly after the final whistle sounded. Final score 3-1 for the Vikings.
3 votes: Crouch / Schoenne
2 votes: Tim
1 vote: Buck / John / Rene / Rafa / Raven / Kaasing / Dragsbaek
Thanks to Gaelic for a competitive game. We look forward to the next encounter!