Cool evenings at Phuoc Long seems to mean goals for Saigon Raiders, and by no means is that exclusively at one end. Pre match saw Angelo meticulously prepare our line up and tactics once more. Despite never really being in danger of losing this game it still took a late second half push to secure the win.
Raiders opened the scoring through ‘not fast’ (Angelo’s words) striker Miquel Angel Perez, who, with a Catalan grunt of effort, forced his respectable frame from the ground to connect with Sascha’s beautifully flighted cross. Miquel’s header was perfectly timed, and placed, to loop over the goalkeeper into the net. Minutes later and the game was level as Vu (do you think you are) made a rare mistake and palmed a speculative shot into his own net. His uncharacteristic silence at half time said it all really. In the 26th minute (estimate) Laurie delivered a cleverly angled ball into the box from a free kick which evaded all the defenders and indeed any Raiders boots attempting to make contact, the ball continuing on it’s goal bound path into, well…., the goal. 2-1. Before the half was up there was time for the opposition to grab another equaliser, somehow their tricky number 14 finding the time and space to get a shot away from outside the box and squeezing it under Vu (know it’s true, everything I do, I do it for you) ‘s body. 2-2 at the break.
At half time it was clear that we just needed to keep doing what we were doing, passing the ball well and pushing their midfield and defensive lines where possible, whilst improving on communication in the back. And it wasn’t long before Raiders were ahead again. An attacking move (memory is hazy) saw their goalkeeper become petrified by the ball (maybe some kind of hallucination) and throw it down to Perez’s feet, who elegantly turned and absolutely buried the ball home from 0.2 meters. Perez later spurned his hatrick change by touching the ball with his hand whilst sandwiched between defender, ball and goalpost. A well taken opposition free kick saw them draw level AGAIN. 3-3. However, a Raiders corner saw the ball delivered to the near post for Sascha to rise like a salmon (again) in a carbon copy of last week’s goal against Star. 4-3. 5 minutes later another corner lead to a scramble in the box and Sascha was again on hand to place the ball home for his second of the game.
That’s a wrap as they say, until next week and Olympic Saigon on Sunday.
Scorers: Miquel (2)
Yellow cards: Toby