Lately, all our matches have been memorable, and thankfully not because we were losing by 10-15 goals like in the past. This time, we lost again, and it was against Sika, who were at the bottom of the table before the match, while we were fighting for the podium, so a good result would have been crucial, especially at the end of the autumn season.
The match started with a focus on defense, and we were pinned down in front of our goal. The opponent didn’t have many significant opportunities, but they had possession most of the time and constantly posed a threat, although not with clear-cut chances. Then, around the middle of the first half, we suddenly made it to their half, won the ball near the opponent’s box, Erdjan broke through and gave us the lead. It was surprising because we hadn’t attacked at all until that point, and our first attempt was successful, leaving the Sika players visibly disappointed. They equalized shortly after, but then we regained the lead through Hakim. We were awarded a penalty, which unfortunately we couldn’t convert into a goal, but we still went into halftime with the lead.
The break clearly benefited Sika. After the turnaround, they created chances one after another, and unfortunately, they also scored goals. First, they equalized, and then quickly added two more goals, turning a deficit into a two-goal lead in just over 5 minutes. A quarter of an hour before the end of the match, they scored again, making it 2-5, and it was clear that we would leave without any points. Thanks to Labi, we managed to score our third goal and tried to put significant pressure on the opponent’s goal, but it was too late, and we lost 3-5.
What was the issue? Several key players were unavailable, and some played for the first time after a long absence or injury. The lineup was also quite different from anything we’ve used before, and some players found themselves in unfamiliar positions. Our midfield defense was inconsistent, especially in the early stages of the second half, as they run through our defense like a hot knife through butter. Nevertheless, there is reason for optimism, as several players performed surprisingly well, especially in attack. We scored three goals and tried to function as a team throughout.
Now, there’s a longer break ahead, with our next match coming in early April after a 5-month (!) hiatus.