Queenston FC 2, Boomslang FC 1

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Queenston FC 2, Boomslang FC 1

Post  Raider9726 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:32 am

Queenston has earned the right to participate in its 2nd consecutive Tehel Cup final, and chance at back to back Cup glory after a large exhale of a win yesterday at the "Boneyard", winners 2-1 over Boomslang FC.  Boomslang fought hard all the way until the final whistle, despite the fact that I thought we had mentally broken them through about 60-65 minutes of play.  But let me start from the top:

The game got underway and the Crooked Crowns (wearing neon) quite frankly should have scored 1 minute into the game on a 1v1 with the keeper, but Dumond tried to keep the ball low and Bratos made a leg/hand save if that makes sense.  The teams would trade possession for a bit over the next 15 minutes with a lot of ground passing, but then it suddenly changed to aerial attacks from both sides and that's when I think we started to get the better chances around the net.  Bratos was busy yesterday; a lot of his clearances were sent out of bounds due to our pressure, but aside from that semi-harsh critique of his game yesterday, he really played well protecting his net.  He had a near half dozen reaction saves that were on target and likely goals if he didn't stick out his legs or a paw to make the play.  I think Joe Lombardo had the best chance for Boomslang (wearing black) in the first half due to his pace on the ball, but he failed to get the ball off his feet quick enough once entering the box.

Our first goal came maybe a half hour into play and it began from a bland, nice over the top ball from Eric Barnes, who picked Miguel Rodrigues out from distance.  Rodrigues corralled the ball in, took a shot on target that was saved yet again by Bratos, but Miguel the Magician got the rebound and placed the ball top right corner for the 1-0 lead.  We'd double that lead maybe 10 minutes later off of a corner kick that found Ross Suitor's head, and the power and placement of the header seemed perfect if not for that stupid far post, which helped keep the ball out of the frame.  Fortunately though, Nick Dumond was there to put in like a backwards rebound.  You can say we were lucky with that 2nd goal, but in my mind, we were unlucky we hadn't already had 2 on the board at this point.  2-0 Parliament and that's how it'd remain at the break.

In the second half, both teams went back to trading off moments of possession.  While Boomslang's passing was a delight to watch, our similar passing gave off more of a bland feel.  Boomslang would keep the ball on the ground, work it up to their midfield and ultimately make the wrong decision heading into the final third OR our defense interrupted their play.  We would then clear the ball defensively through the air and at times got some really dangerous counters going on the wings from our bland outside middies and forwards.  Those counters led to some quality looks inside the box, but we didn't convert on anything either as a result of solid defense work (#17 had a good game for them at right back), a poor shot on net, or once again, Alex Effing Bratos.  As I mentioned earlier, you could almost see the frustration on Boomslang's faces, as the ideas were running dry and it looked like they wouldn't break through our defense.  But Slang's best player last night (a close second goes to Kyle Kleckner for what he brings to the table), Zack Thomas, was determined to see this one out.  Somewhere around the 65' mark, I think, Thomas got the ball around the top left corner of the 18, and perfectly placed a ball to the far post side netting, high enough to get past Netter's arms, so therefore it had to be 35 feet in the air if I'm doing my math right.  The score was now 2-1, and a roar of jubilation came from the home team's bench, as it also did from most of the fans in attendance.

Before that goal struck, we figured we should be up maybe 3-0 or 4-0, and now we're in a 2-1 dog fight.  We certainly should have had a penalty kick awarded to us at this point; a clear as day handball in the box from #33 went uncalled despite the head AR being no further than 10 yards from the play.  The head ref had a rough 2nd half.  In the first half, he let both teams play physically; hardly anything was called in either direction, so at least it was consistent.  In the 2nd half, he was missing many routine calls.  We picked up a yellow card for toe poking a ball away from the spot of a foul called against us, and he said "that'll cost you guys a full minute (of stoppage)"  Those kind of power trip moments are what we're trying to avoid here in this league.  Yellow card deserved?  Probably.  Note to our player and bench that a 5-10 second ball retrieval will now result in a full minute of added play? Not necessary.

I got side tracked.  Where I was supposed to go with the last paragraph is, the last 25 minutes were entirely different than the first 65.  Of course we started to play more defensively and were now strictly countering, so that has something to do with Boomslang's possession advantage that they owned in the final 25, but aside from that, they were playing hard and life was back in their faces.  A couple of dangerous free kicks were about as close as they got to an equalizer (while we continued to get good looks for a 3rd goal that just apparently wasn't going to happen on this day), but our bland backline saw the game out and we survived 2-1.  Dylan Duncan was our man of the match in my opinion...either he or Ross Suitor.

We'll be facing the undeniably skillful and athletic FC Yemen next Thursday in the Tehel Cup Final, as we attempt to repeat.  Now winners of our last 11 elimination games, we look for one more in 2015.  Eager to be a part of the atmosphere and the whole event at D'Youville.  I hope our league continues to move in this kind of direction by making these Finals feel important, even if to some it's just a Sunday soccer league.
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