by Michael Christie
Venue: Ming Chuan University Campus, Tao Yuan
Time: Sat Sept 5th, 4.30pm
Conditions: Dry and hot
Here was a game with lots of chances at both ends and generally good performances from both teams. On a dry, uneven pitch, Ming Chuan University arguably started better with their triangular passing causing problems down both flanks early on. It was from this kind of attack that they opened the scoring. Not letting it get to them, Taipei City pressed forward and forced a corner. When the ball emerged from the penalty area Spencer Pangborn was in the right place. A low, hard, straight shot drilled into the corner and it was 1-1. Midway through the first half, Taipei City enjoyed a good spell of passing football. However, mistakes crept in near the end and Ming Chuan finished the half much stronger. They also managed to get another goal, so it was 2-1 to them at half-time.
The half-time team talk from Dan summed it up. He asked us to relax more in possession and play the way we’re facing. Then, if we could cut out the silly mistakes we’d play good football.
Ming Chuan put us under pressure for sustained periods in the second half, but were restricted to corners most of the time. Taipei City also turned on the style, though out and played some excellent passing football. Both City’s second and third goals, finished by Dan Calvert, came after flowing moves. Now playing more freely, City again pushed ahead. Ebrima Njie got the fourth goal when, at the end of another passing move by City, he chipped a looping shot over the Ming Chuan keeper’s head.
At 4-2, there was possibly a little too much comfort and joy because Ming Chuan came back and made it 4-3 – not at all comfortable. However Alex Ramirez had the last word when he managed to anticipate the bounce of a high ball in front of goal better than his marker and slotted home when free. Final score 5-3 to City.
General conclusion? Ming Chuan won’t have liked losing that game. They will probably try much harder to win the rematch against these two high;y rated and closely matched sides. Ming Chuan forced some great saves from Moga especially in the second half when they found themselves losing. City were stretched sometimes in defence but always looked strong.
The midfield came together at times in the game and were effective when they did. Up front City experimented with several pairs and all acquitted themselves well.
This was a good day for City, with positives far outnumbering the negatives. City worked hard and played some good football. There’s room for improvement and the season is shaping up to be a good one.