An 18-man strong squad showed up for the third league game of the season against Siam Celtic. The squad included 50% Scandinavians if we count Finland, although we doubt even Wikipedia would allow such bold statement. Our latest Finnish recruit Abdi made his debut and Finland continues to show that they have a surprisingly strong track record of producing talented football players when they are taking their minds off the vodka bottle.
It was a pleasure to have Tim back in the squad as he held his traditional ‘speech’ before the game. This time he chose some Finnish words to energize the team, based on his pre-match vocabulary we can only assume the choice of words meant ‘good luck’ or similar…
The field at Playmaker was soaked with water this afternoon which made the Scans having big trouble in creating an efficient ball possession against a strong opponent. Early in the game, poster boy Viktor was able to take advantage of a poor ball control by the Siam Celtic-defense and had a one-on-one with the keeper. We could feel everyone in the Scans were already counting 1-0 but a few water puddles ruined Viktor’s plan of chipping the ball and the keeper could come out and save this time.
Siam Celtic were able to push back the Scans throughout the first half and had a few dangerous attacks. They were also the first team to put a score on the board after a good performance from their left side leaving Shimo no chance but to pick up the ball from the net, 1-0 to Siam Celtic. The goal seemed to be an energy booster for the Scans that picked up the game a notch and it didn’t take long time until Ice showed his magic skills that he learned from his Swedish gangster hoods. After receiving a cross ball, Ice took good care of the ball on the left side and we all expected him to deliver to one of the firing strikers Nate, Viktor or Scholle but his eyes were unexpectedly on Fabio coming in fresh from a sub a few minutes earlier. Fabio did a good run from the center midfield, received a wonderful pass from Ice and scored with a low shot in the keeper’s right corner for the equalizer, 1-1.
1-1 was also the score for the half-time break where the coaches had a big pool of good subs to choose from to try change the game picture. Out went Nate, Eero, Hjalte, Ice, Antti and Scholle; in came Taka, Min, Matteo, Andreas, Tim and Abdi. The coaches, that built a special bond in their comfortable king size bed in Pattaya last week, also tried a few tactical changes. More pressure on the opponent’s lower midfield, pairing Joao and Simon in the center back and try Andreas (who was complaining that he missed an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians because of the game) in the defensive midfield position.
The subs and tactical changes seemed to pay-off, it was clear in the beginning of second half that Scans were after three points. Korean star Min and Tim (Scans own Senior Beer & Tuna Manager) made their first appearances of the season and both (!) looked ripped. Early on, Min found good space for himself on the left side before advancing inside and pass deep to Viktor. The pass seemed a bit too far but from a very tight angle Viktor showed his amazing skills and finished with a missile and the keeper had no chance to take it, 2-1 to Scans. After the goal, the coaches decided to take Tim out; a few runs were enough to show the rest of the league about his capacity before he came back to the bench and took good care of the beers. The time on the field was impressive enough for Premier League scouts at Playmaker this afternoon and soon started to hand out offer letters but we have strong hopes Tim will continue his career with the Scans.
The Scans started to back down after they scored, and Siam Celtic came out powerful to chase a goal. Shimo were able make great saves that we are used to see, and the post also saved the Scans once. Unfortunately, the Scans had to surrender for another goal later on, a chaotic situation after a free kick eventually lead to a Siam Celtic player forcing in 2-2 and the game was again even on the scoreboard. Both teams were trying to look for the game-winner during the remaining time of the game but were unable to score. The game picture the last few minutes was much affected by the three (!) red cards from Siam Celtic, I have personally only experienced one team getting three players sent off when playing FIFA. The Scans tried their best to go for 3-2 and good opportunities from Viktor and 2xMin could have given three points but the keeper was able to do some great saves before the referee blew the final whistle for a final score of 2-2. Good game from both teams!
Man of the Match in Scans was for the first time a shared award between the center back pair Joao and captain Simon. Other players showing strong efforts were Fabio, Eero, Shimo, Viktor and Ice. It is sad to say that this was the last game for Fabio who is moving to Dubai soon. We all know his great passing and tackling skills in the midfield as well as third half performances, today he also showed the missing piece we have been waiting for: his goal scoring capabilities. Fabio is a true Viking that has far more third half appearances than actual matches with us, not sure if we should be impressed or book an appointment at the closest rehab center?
Big thanks to the Scans audience coming to cheer for us and to Sportsman for hosting our third half in a traditional manner. Newly appointed Event Manager Thomas planned a third half that was supposed to be calm with darts, pool and Coke Zero but left many Scans players out in the Bangkok streets all night.
Remarkably we are still unbeaten with the new kit, is the winning formula to have a Danish/red-inspired kit instead of the previous seasons’ Swedish-Finnish/blue-inspired one? It is also worth mentioning that we were missing several good players that couldn’t make the game this week which shows the high potential the squad has. The coaches feel the results can improve even more if everyone stays fit, eat healthy salads and keep their hands away from alcohol but those promises are hard to commit to if we know our players well. Either way, the coaches are proud of the performance on and off the field by the team and looking forward to the rest of the season!