Match report for Summer Palace vs Kozo Japan. IFFC Cup 2nd Round.
Played on Saturday 3rd September 2011, Side Gongyuan (Lido)
For our second game this season, we had a full squad of 18 players after new recruit Lee Russell passed a late fitness test. This was welcome as we were going to need a strong squad if we were going to beat Kozo Japan, something Summer Palace never managed to achieve in previous seasons.
As expected, Kozo was the most dangerous at the start of the game and they managed to open the scoring after about 20 minutes, when their fast forward went past our defense on the right and scored with a low shot at the far post. Fortunately, we did not lose our focus after this setback and not long before half-time Chris Lupton equalised from a header, at close range, from a Ben Roberts free-kick. The second half started as the first did, with Kozo dominating. Their domination culminating with them being awarded a penalty that Stefan brilliantly saved. This was the turning point of the game as soon after that another good corner-kick from Ben was met by Amir who volleyed the ball in the Kozo goal from close range. 2-1 for Palace with 10 minutes left on the clock. Kozo, who had only 2 subs, did not have enough energy left in them to return the situation and we managed to hold on without too much trouble.
Amir Saleh was voted Man-of-the-Match for his decisive goal as well as for doing a very good job at holding the ball up-front, and Donald Wildiers was voted Donkey for giving away the penalty that Stefan saved.
This is the best run in the cup achieved by Summer Palace in 5 seasons. Now Forbidden City awaits us for an interesting Cup ¼ final to be played later this season.