After a couple of weeks without any action the Vikings were finally back at Pattana to face Chinese Peking. Adding to the motivation was the newly arrived Kappa shirts!
The lineup was: Michael; Breitner, Richard, Graeme, Hallas; Jannik, Martin, Chris, Lars; Tim, Udom.
Subs: Travis, Mattias, Mofok, Stein.
A strong lineup and perhaps an even stronger bench. Michael had come out of retirement (maybe to finally try on a new keeper shirt), and Graeme made his season debut after various injuries had kept him out so far.
The Vikings started out well enough and most of the play was on the Chinese half of the pitch. Jannik’s shot almost found the top left corner and Tim hit the crossbar after connecting with a cross from Jannik. Also the Vikings looked dangerous on corner kicks and the long throw–ins from Martin but still the ball wouldn’t cross the line.That was until Graeme headed home a corner kick from Udom. A powerful header that the Chinese keeper couldn’t do much about. 1-0.
After the goal Vikings seemed to be slowing down and let the Chinese have more possession. Still there were chances and Chris almost made it 2-0 but his header went over the goal. A Chinese player tried his luck with a shot from well outside the box and to everyone’s surprise it somehow slipped under Michael and into the net. 1-1 and not according to the run of play at all.
This led to some frustration amongst the Vikings players and Chris was presented a yellow card for kicking the ball away. In favor of the Vikings it should be mentioned that the referee certainly didn’t put in a top performance.
At the end of first half the score was 1-1.
Vikings came out to second half with the intension to pressure the Chinese and get a couple of goals. It worked well enough until Graeme couldn’t clear a long through ball and a Chinese player could make it 1-2 one on one with Michael. After this goal the Chinese was only trying to delaying the game as the Vikings pressed hard to find a way back into it. Again there were many good chances as Mofok’s header was saved on the goal line and Graeme nearly scored on a couple of headers.The equalizer finally came as Martin hit home a second ball inside the box. A great shot placed at the bottom left corner. 2-2 and now the Vikings finally seemed to have broken the Chinese.
Lars made it 3-2 after a brilliant header that came of a corner kick. That seemed to be it since the Chinese were posing no treat to the solid Vikings defense where Richard, Breitner, Graeme, Stein and Hallas did good to clear any danger.Udom could have made it 4-2 but his header at the far post went just wide.
As the experts like to say anything can happen in football and with one minute left Hallas and Michael misunderstood each other as Hallas chased down a long ball and Michael came out of his goal. The Chinese striker took advantage and could easily put the ball into the empty goal. 3-3 and the referee blew the final whistle.
It was a disappointing draw since the Vikings had this game under control but gave away some easy goals and also didn’t manage to convert on the many good opportunities. Perhaps a case of underestimating the opponent since the Chinese was bottom of the league. Now there will be a two weeks break from the Casual League but the Phuket tournament coming up next week should present a chance for redemption and perhaps even some silverware.
Match report by: Jannik