Match report for Summer Palace vs Red Cards, Sat 29th October 2011, Chaoyang Stadium (old pitch)
It would seem fitting that on the 29th of October, palace found itself playing a night game on the dimly lit, some would say spooky, old field at the Chaoyang Sports Center. An eerie mist hung over the field during a vigorous warm-up that left some (Gio) short of breath. The late arrivals joined an ample crowd of around six in watching the opening minutes of the game. Although Palace enjoyed most of the possession at first, we only managed a few looks at goal and none were truly threatening. Making matters worse, the red cards were not ready to capitulate so early and showed real menace for about 15 seconds, which was all it took for a neat pass to find a streaking forward who belted a brilliant ball over Jason, who had to that point been merely a spectator. In response, palace turned up the pressure. After making some substitutions, Palace began a renewed attack that put the Japanese on their heels for the remainder of the half. So it was, Palace 1-0 down at the half-time whistle.
The second half began with more droves of attacking from Palace. Red Cards were doing all in their power to stave off the determined palace forwards, at points wasting time simulating injuries. The equalizer finally came when an on form Ben Roberts put a ball into the middle. Lee Russell came to meet the ball and volleyed it off the post. Fortunately the rebound fell to him and he stuck it in the back of the net, after which he promptly celebrated by sprinting back to his own side and then accepting high fives. It then seemed that Red Cards would be happy to end on a tie as they didn’t seem interested in a go ahead goal as much as wasting the rest of regulation. Giovanni changed the equation with 15 minutes to play when, following Kieran outflanking the Japanese defence from the right, he took possession of the ball in the penalty area and showed us a tricky finish which sliced under the keeper. Lee R celebrated the Italian’s beautiful goal by running off by himself and having a geriatric fit. Red Cards finally seemed to show some urgency, and managed some probing attacks, but left themselves open when good defence yielded a counter that started by Jim So. His lobbed pass send Amir to run free towards the goal, who, instead of “shooting like [he] should have” passed the ball to Lee Russell for a tap in goal. Final score: 3-1 for Palace.
After the game, a large gathering made their way to Luga’s where they voted while watching the English premiership (and memorable Arsenal vs Chelsea). It looked as though Giovanni would take both man and donkey honors, but Lee Russell eventually got Man with 5 votes (Gio with 4), and Giovanni walked away with the Donkey on 6 votes earned primarily for his manful attempts to fit his posterior under the fence at training on Wednesday.
Good Game, Good Goals, Good God get the man some cheesecake
(a report from Lee Russell)