Another sunny Saturday morning in Vallecas saw FCB facing second place holders Banco de España, a great opportunity to get closer to the top and close a disappointing first round with a win.
It all started off on the wrong foot as Banco de España took the lead a few minutes into the game when a free-kick from the left of the attack was deflected by the wall and slowly but surely ended up on the back of Youseff’s net.
This early slap seemed to wake the boys up, as the rest of the first half was nothing but red. The back line formed by Ed, Rama, Ricky and Macca tweaked its marking and tracking, Ben and Sean started dropping a bit more from midfield to start and open up play to Mikey and Calum along the sidelines, supplying Joe and Luigi with balls up top to create danger.
The first red goal seemed taken from a football manual, as Ben received from Youseff by the 18-yard line and opened up the ball to the right where a lovely combination between Macca, Ricky and Mike ended up in a great run down the right by Luigi, who sprinted past 3 blue shirts and crossed into the box where Joe put it past the keeper to score the equaliser.
Shortly after a play from the left ended up with Ben receiving on the D and opening to the right just at the right time to pass the ball past the last defender, and that’s when Mikey appeared inside the box to control the ball and shoot beautifully across to score the second.
Before half time Mikey crossed a free kick from the right and Ben scored a header to bring ease to the Brits and take a two-goal-lead they aspired to at least maintain up until the final whistle.
But the second half was a whole different story, and a succession of mistakes on the back line rewarded a persistent away side with 3 goals which would shatter FCB’s hopes and seal a defeat that cut deep in Majid’s squad.
The home side committed numerous fouls which enabled a very skilled opposing player to cross uncountable balls into Youseff’s vicinity. Like bombs during an air raid, balls kept coming down and wreaking havoc on the red box. This is how the away team managed to tie the game.
With the game 3-3 a long ball found the quick opposition striker unmarked and running into the box, forcing Rama to commit a blatant penalty (second in the last two games) which meant the 4-3 and a blow the Brits would not recover from despite Marvin, Jose, Sam and Luis coming on to try to turn things around. Sean had what looked like a goal-bound header somehow saved by the opposition keeper and then Marvin had a goal disallowed for an unknown reason by the ref. At the death, Sam lashed a shot on goal but again the opposition goalkeeper was equal to it and FCB were foiled again.
There’s nothing left to do but keep working, as the second round is just around the corner with more games to try and bring some smiles back to the boys in red.
Man of the match: Ben Precious
Goal of the match: Joe Simmons
Miss of the match no longer in association with Chris Parker: Calum McKenzie