Saigon Raiders Club

Saturday the 12th of September was supposed to be a relaxed and calm day. We were gonna play some Masteri FC team, after watch the Raiders win their game and have some beers at hem chill. 

But because the opponent of the Raiders dropped out it was time for another in house Classico. 

So instead I had to deal with fricking Clem, MJ, Emma and company and on top yell at the ref for his inconsistent calls regarding “using your shoulder” which earned me one of the weaker turkeys that I have seen in my time with the Raiders. But more to that later. 

The day started with a game of our challenge team vs Masteri FC for which 80% of the guys showed up late, so Coach Jonas sat all their late asses on the bench and Foxy’s academy boys took over and got the job well done. In the end stood a 3:2 victory in favor of the challenge team with goals from Fritz (U16), Lucas (U16) and our very own Ben Sharvell. 

As kick off time approached for the Vikings – Raiders matchup the weather started to get worse and Coach Jonas moved the team talk under the roof so that we could all stay dry while he went through a well prepared 4 pages long speech in just 15 min. As he wrote down all the players names on his now famous white board he quickly realized the Vikings barely had enough players to put a team on the pitch. But no problem, he just quickly had to smoke a cigarette and the problem was solved. 

As the wind now carried the rain into our protected area,the team talk was now done and we just waited for the massive rain to stop. But Pep Guardiola would have been proud about how many arrows, X’s and O’s Jonas could fit on his white board that’s for sure. 

Meanwhile the Raiders Team talk lasted only about 2 min as we could all clearly hear Hoggy scream “just send Fola deep”, “just pass it to Clem”, “once Emma is on the pitch just pass it to him”, “Fola don’t forget to play defense” and last but not least “ Don’t let them shoot, remember we have Craig in Goal” ( turned out Craig would have one of his better goalkeeper days)😁

After around 20 minutes of “end of the world” style weather Tipdog (who decided for some reason he has to attend his own birthday party and couldn’t make the Vikings Raiders game) decided enough is enough and bought a round of beers. Just as Sebastian, Foxy, Magnus and myself were about to enjoy a cold Tiger, Hoggy came around the corner and told us the pitch looked alright and the match was happening. 

Foxy,very disappointed, gave back the beer and we all went to start our warm ups. 

And just like that it was game time. 

First half was fairly even, most possession for the Raiders as Sven,Foxy and Chris dominated the midfield and were always dangerous with passes through to Clem,Fola and Sipho. Vikings tried to keep their shape and were waiting for some counters and long balls to Hoggy. 

Raiders were awarded a dodgy penalty for a handball, which Danny Vo brilliantly saved and on the other side Vikings found the back of the net through Ben Sharvell only for it to be called back because of Offside. Those, besides some other chances on both sides, were the highlights of the first half. 

With 0:0 at halftime both teams got into their halftime talk and got ready for the second half. 

After around 15 min into the second half the Raiders finally found a way through and Clem finished it nicely dribbling around our Goalie Danny Vo and scoring the 1:0. 

After that, things happened very quickly and Clem completed a Hattrick putting the Raiders up 3:0. (Even though that 3rd goal happened with some highly dodgy “shoulder to shoulder” contact that sent our “Wall” flying into the flooded pitch). 

Shortly after the 3:0 I got called for a foul on MJ for that very same shoulder to shoulder movement and I just had to tell the Ref my opinion about his inconsistency regarding those calls. Ok there might have been a few “F” Bombs and some other fancy words but still a very weak Turkey 🦃 to receive on my part. 

The Vikings at this point looked tired which led to them losing their shape and we could not find any relief going forward. The Raiders took advantage with 2 more goals from Emma (one of them a fine solo goal) and another by Foxy (a beauty from about 20 m out) which saw the Match end at 6:0 in favor of the Raiders. 

Two more noteworthy (also more turkey worthy) moments that I have to express in this match report. Late in the game Vikings had a free kick in a very promising position but Hoggy and Glenn were unable  to come to a decision as to who would take the free kick, which then led to Glenn walking away like a 10 year old who just got told he couldn’t have more ice cream. Which then again that led to Daniele “Pirlo” Ghilardi taking the free kick and nearly hitting the right corner flag with it. 

And last but not least Aron the Wall at 0:6 down with 5 min left to play thought it was a good idea to scream out loud “ Come on guys, keep your heads up, stay positive, we are dominating this game” which put a big smile on our faces as we all knew we were obviously dominating this game but just somehow found ourselves 0:6 down 😁. 

All in all I think it was a good game, Raiders obviously deserved the win but the score line was a bit too high in my opinion. Vikings will learn from it and improve for when the game really matters in the SIFL League and Potential Cup matchups. Raiders will look to keep their attacking style and goal scoring form and bring that into the League and Cup games coming up. 

Until then we keep working hard and enjoy the after game beers at Hem Chill. Man of the match was Sven for his Toni Kroos like passing and just overall German efficiency. 

Until next time, but I hope not too soon.

Toby “Tobinho”

Become a Saigon Raider

Become a Saigon Raider