5 October 2019, District 9, Ho Chi Minh City
The first official match in the SIFL began for the Viking Raiders, part of the Saigon Raiders, on 5 October 2019 against the Fighting Cocks.
FC Fighting Cocks won the cup last season and therefore this was an interesting first match for the Viking Raiders, the match would reflect the competitiveness of the Viking Raiders in the SIFL 19’/20’.
The first 10 minutes the Viking Raiders went all out with every player making the extra meter in order to keep the pressure high up, this all was a result of a great pre-season where the players worked on their fitness to give the SIFL a new impulse of fresh legs.
FCFC was backing up from the high intensity the Viking Raiders started the match with, the Viking Raiders were in control of the match. What was expected happened, FCFC started their dirty play which resulted in a free kick somewhere around the middle line.
Myles a.k.a. president of the Nha Trang tour didn’t shit his pants from the dirty FCFC play and steered the ball straight into the 16 box where the Viking Raiders air force was waiting for the ball to end up at one of their players’ heads.
BAM, Jonas a.k.a. vice-president of the Nha Trang tour got the ball on his head which led to the first goal of the match, Viking Raiders – FCFC: 1-0. The game continued on the same pace where the Viking Raiders were taking the initiative.
After the first wave of high pressure and physical domination FCFC slowly started to get a bit of grip on the match. Their known cross passes and through balls were used as the main strategy for attack. Half way the first half a high through pass caused an error in the defense of the Viking Raiders. Toby and Arjen had difficulties communicating (might be a German – Dutch thing) which led to the equalizer. Instead of Arjen hitting the ball he might have hit his 16 meter line which he earlier missed, the ball continued in the direction of the goal and the FCFC striker didn’t hesitate. The match was completely open again.
Long balls were used from the Viking Raiders side as their main source of attack. It gave domination in a way that the FCFC defense didn’t know how to clear the balls, but the ball was also not kept in position for a long time by both teams. It started to become less unclear by the minute who was actually in control of the game. Before the first half had finished it seemed that FCFC would take advantage of the situation as they got through the Viking Raiders defense by another through pass. The ball was send from the right to the left side in front of the Viking Raiders goal, the left winger of FCFC saw his chances to bring his team in the lead and so he did. He took the cross pass on a volley and left Bart and Arjen staring at each other wondering if it could have been prevented. Not long after FCFC taking the lead the first half ended.
After some motivating words from the Viking Raiders coach Craig and some tactical words from his assistant Nick it was time for the Viking Raiders to get back grip on the match. Although the score wasn’t in their advantage they were not about to give up. With the same strength and motivation the Viking Raiders kicked off the 2nd half of the very even match. The match started to become more physical by the minute and more players started getting booked. After 20 minutes or so the match seemed doomed as the Viking Raiders goalie kicked the ball straight in the feet of one of the FCFC strikers. Off they went, 2 on 1 on the goalie, the ideal moment for Arjen to make up for his mistake in the first half, the FCFC striker tried to shoot the ball in the right bottom corner but quick as he can be the goalie of the Viking Raiders dropped to the ground to save the ball with his left hand. The Viking Raiders weren’t done yet, on the contrary, the Viking Raiders started pushing and looking for that deserved equalizer. Not much later man of the match Glenn did what he had to do, Bart crossed the ball into the 16 meter box from another free kick which Glenn cold blooded finished off by another header, Viking Raiders – FCFC: 2-2. With the end closing in both sides got chances to finish the game, but eventually no side did. Viking Raiders were the closest with a breakthrough on the right side of the pitch where again Glenn was the end station, with a cross shot Glenn passed the goalie of FCFC and it looked as if the Viking Raiders were going to bring 3 points home. While the Viking Raiders were already celebrating, the flag was lifted in the air and the goal was judged as off side.
Final results Viking Raiders – FCFC: 2-2. Not a bad start of the season I would say.
Man of the match: Glenn
Turkey of the match: Guess who…