Saigon Raiders Club

2 games in 2 days gave us the chance to see the whole squad in action and what we are capable of. After the bad result on Friday it was time to show the German team from Hong Kong how we play in Saigon. Let’s be honest – it was not much opposition they gave us, but on the other hand we got the chance to play the football we practice every Wednesday. Hong Kong Krauts were sent back to Hong Kong with 1-6 defeat.

Two games were on the sheet this Saturday. Saigon Raiders – Hong Kong Krauts and the bit more famous derby FC Barcelona – Real Madrid. I am sure that everyone would have preferred the Raiders game. Many goals, many chances, great atmosphere and overall a more well played game than the El Classico.

Kick-off was 2.30pm at Ky Hoa. Regardless the time the Krauts were pretty hung-over and didn’t look like a team who was ready to play a friendly match. 5 minutes before kick-off they asked if we could give them some players since they only had 1 sub. We were all dressed and ready to play so Colin would not force anyone to switch side. Miguel volunteered to switch side – what a class act from him.

Raiders started with the traditional formation 4-2-2. Bi in goal, fullbacks were Ohashi and Danny Vo, me and Collin were center backs. Craig and Mus at the wings. Luke and Aron in middle.  Ben and Pat in front.  Joe, Porr, Vincent, Rick were on the bench.

The start was very cautious. First highlight of the game was after 5 minutes play.  Someone (No name) went out Friday and could clearly not handle the booze, weather and pitch.  The concerned person started to puke up and we needed to make the first sub. Vincent came in and replaced him in the CB position.

It was clear that the two teams had different expectations for the game and were used to play on two different levels. We were even asked by Krauts why we were playing so seriously. However, the Raiders dominated from first to last minute and it was just a shame that we didn’t win with more than 5 goals. We had enough chances…

First goal scorer was Ben who suddenly was free in front of goal and it was easy for him to shoot out of the goalkeeper’s range. Through first half we missed many chances that could have been a turkey nomination…

Craig was very active at the right wing and made several good crosses but we couldn’t take advantage of that. In the middle of first half we scored the second goal. Joe received the ball just outside the penalty box and surrounded by 3 opponents he managed with his LEFT foot to pass it to Mus who scored with his right foot.  Great goal. We also made it 3-0 before half time when Ben?? scored his 2 goal. The Raiders were in control and the lead could and should have been 5, 6 or even 7-0.

Another great highlight from first half was the great step-over from Aron. He fooled two krauts players with a pace that even Ronaldo would be impressed of. Great skills! 😉

In the break we agreed to continue playing the Raiders way with passes on the ground, runs for each other and play like a unit. During the first half Rick was subbed on to left wing for his debut. If his first half was good his second was outstanding. From the position as left wing he produced chance after chance. Great touch and a great speed made him a nightmare for the Krauts. After the game he was awarded the man of match and it was fully deserved!

Based on the first half Krauts knew they needed to do something extraordinary to change the game. Maybe that was the reason why they played with 12 players in the first 5 minutes of the second half.  However, Rick and Luke made it 4 and 5-0 in the first 15 minutes of second half after great crosses from the wings.

The krauts didn’t make it difficult for us to create chances. They handed away several chances. Especially their center back who tried to nutmeg our strikers several time.

 While the keeper in the video succeeded the German guy didn’t and it was just bad luck that we didn’t score more goals.

After 60 minutes of Raiders domination the Krauts finally got their first corner. The corner was not good but suddenly Miguel received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and with some great moves he was suddenly lying down because he was tackled in a way that made the ref blow his whistle and point at the penalty spot. Whether it was a penalty or not I will let other decide. However their keeper decided to take the chance and he scored with a clinical finish. A shame we didn’t keep the clean sheet since this was the only chance they had in the game.

Less than 30 seconds later we scored the last goal. Another great breakthrough from Rick who passed 2 or 3 players on his way and it was easy for him to pass it to Pat who scored easily.

Before I tell about the turkey moment I need to tell you about two other great nominations from Joe and Luke. After a great breakthrough in the right side Joe received the ball and all he should do was make a shot with his left foot that was so good earlier in this game, but he missed in a way that even Nicklas Bendtner would be impressed.  The turkey was his so far. As mentioned there was a big fight for the turkey and Luke would not give up without making an effort. Rick made another great cross from left and from 4 yards distance Luke missed in a way that left the spectators speechless.  Luke had taken the lead.  But now to the winner… Colin placed me as the striker for the last 10 minutes and I was maybe too eager to score a debut goal. Again, Rick made a wonderful cross across the penalty area and it should be piece of cake to score my first goal.  Somehow I managed to shoot the ball over the bar.  Craig said it was from 2 yards but I think it was more like 2,5… Sometimes the easiest things can be the most difficult. A comparable situation would be Kevin De Bruyne’s miss against Chelsea this weekend.  However, I won the turkey, which was my primary goal for my debut.

Overall it was a great day for Raiders. We played a great game in which we performed as a team. We created a lot of chances and we made some good runs. And with great help from the sideline (Luke’s father) we ALWAYS knew what to do 😉

Even though it was a big win I would still say thanks to the Krauts. They were a nice bunch of lads and it was a fair played game with a great atmosphere.

See ya at training this week so we can prepare for next weekend.


Become a Saigon Raider

Become a Saigon Raider