I’ve decided to update my weekly soccer-watching reports on Mondays instead of Fridays so that the posts will be up more immediately after most games are played. I watched a lot this weekend (albeit some in highlight reels) so this is a pretty full post all the same.
Chivas USA 2:0 New England Revolution (10 Sep 2010) – The Revs took their playoff hopes to Los Angeles to face one of the worst teams in the leagues. And played flat out embarrassingly falling behind in the first 6 minutes and hardly possessing the ball in the first half. Hard to believe this is the same team that played so well against Seattle or for that matter even the team that suffered those disheartening losses against Chicago and Philadelphia. At least the team showed some life in those games. This side is all but mathematically eliminated. Match report.
AFC Ajax 2:0 Willem II (11 Sep 2010) – I missed the game but was able to watch a 9-minute highlight film on YouTube of my Amsterdam side’s home win. Their opponent Willem II are from the Dutch city of Tilburg and are charmingly named for a Dutch king who reigned from 1840-49. They just barely avoided relegation from the Eredivisie last season and were suitably outmatched by Ajax. All the scoring took place on penalty shots though as Willem II players blatantly tripped up Ajax attackers in the penalty area in a nearly identical manner. Uruguayan captain Luis Suarez handily fired both penaltieshttps://othemts.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5116&action=edit&message=10 into the net. I’m pleased with the results but I’m always a little disappointed in a game when there’s no scoring from the field. Match report.
FC Barcelona 0:2 Hércules CF (11 Sep 2010) – I also watched the highlight reel for this one. Barça hosted at Camp Nou the Hércules club from Alicante who were just promoted from the Segunda Division. In shades of the Kaiserlautern-Bayern match, Hércules totally outplayed their higher-ranked hosts with two exciting goals and some great defending and goal-keeping all while wearing bumble bee outfits. Barcelona will just have to shake off this shocking loss as they head into their Champions League match opener versus Panathinaikos. Match report.
Everton FC 3:3 Manchester United (11 Sep 2010) – The most exciting game of the day was in Liverpool. Everton took an early lead on a Steven Pienaar goal and along with some fine stops by goalkeeper Tim Howard things were looking good. But then Man Utd scored 3 unanswered goals and it looked like a romp. The dramatic conclusion came in stoppage time at the end of the game where Everton scored not one but two goals by Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta to steal a point away from the match. Everton even had yet another chance as the final whistle blew. Wow! Very reminiscent of Man Utd’s draw with Fulham. Match report.
Fulham FC 2:1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (11 Sep 2010) – Speaking of Fulham, here’s another good game with an exciting finish. Fulham went down a goal in the first half and then lost forward Bobby Zamora to a broken leg. Mousa Dembele turned things around with an equalized near the start of the second half and the winner in stoppage time for Fulham’s first win of the season to go with three draws. Match report.
Mainz 05 2:1 1. FC Kaiserlautern (12 Sep 2010) – 1FCK won me over with their scrappy upset of Bayern. In this game they attempted to continue their success on the road in a regional derby (although a fairly recent one) with Mainz 05. The Mainz spectators creeped me out with their pregame tableau of a skull-covered ziggurat and a priest ripping out the heart of 1FCK. The Red Devils tried to rip out the heart of Mainz with the first goal of the match at 21 minutes which they held for some time despite being outplayed (and being “bad boys” – as the commentator noted – accruing numerous yellow cards). Sadly, the home side equalized at 71 minutes and went ahead 3 minutes later, and that was that. Match report.