On Saturday, Scandinavian Vikings took on Bangkok FC in a highly anticipated game at the reopened Pattana pitch. Vikings fought like true, umm… Vikings, but unfortunately it looked like some of them had been out pillaging the night before and weren’t completely awake when the referee blew his whistle for kick-off. After an unfortunate start, Vikings had a mountain to climb – but they sure did try to climb it.
The game was barely under way when the Vikings keeper Juuso Heikurainen had to get the ball out of the net for the first time this afternoon. Bangkok FC were awarded a free kick to the right, fifteen meters outside the penalty box. While the Vikings players were still discussing who would mark which opponent, BFC took the free kick quickly. The cross found an unmarked BFC striker who made no mistake with his header, and Vikings were down 0-1. One would think this would have been a wake-up call for Scans. That wasn’t the case though, as Vikings kept looking somewhat confused and indecisive. BFC are one of the best teams in the league and they certainly know how to take advantage of indecisiveness like this. It was just another few minutes before BFC could extend their lead. Once again it was a cross from the right and once again it was poor marking from Vikings’ defence. BFC’s other striker found himself free in the penalty box, five meters away from goal and blasted it right under the bar.
The second goal, however, was the wake-up call the first goal should have been. All of a sudden the defence, led by Gaute Gautestad and Taka, decided they had had enough and didn’t give the BFC a millimeter of space. On the midfield, tireless Peter Sveistrup showed the rest of his teammates the way with some tough tackles and an impressive fighting spirit. It came as no surprise that it was Peter who scored Scans’ first goal. Having lost and retrieved the ball on the midfield, Peter pushed forward, dribbled past two defenders before he tried a shot from a few meters outside the box. The BFC keeper got his fingers on the ball, but the shot was too hard for him to stop. 1-2, and Vikings were back in the game. The goal gave Scans even more energy, which made them play like a top team for the rest of the first half. With lots of possession, some great passing combinations and players who ran and fought for each other all over the pitch (even Coach Mofok won a tackle), Vikings were looking to score an equalizer. Most Vikings supporters probably put their hope in the strikers Anders Kargo and Sivapol, but it was a debuting player who would give Scans the equalizer with one of his very first touches for the club. Following a corner kick from the left, a messy situation occurred in BFC’s penalty box. The ball eventually ended up at Rasmus Sönderskov’s feet, whose first attempt was denied by the keeper. However, the keeper couldn’t hold it, Rasmus got a second chance and he headed/chested the ball into the back of the net. The 2-2 goal was well-deserved and Vikings had the upper hand when the referee blew the half-time whistle a few minutes later.
Scandinavian Vikings started off the second half in the same manner they ended the first. The second half had just started when Anders Kargo stole the ball from a BFC player, broke through the defence and all of a sudden he was alone with the goalkeeper. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish like he usually does in these situations as he struck it just outside the post. However, worse was yet to come for old “AK-47”, much worse…
Ten minutes into the second half, BFC were starting to work their way back into the game. They didn’t create any clear chances, but they got more and more possession, and the battle of the midfield got more and more intense. Vikings still played well, though, but a few chances for BFC were inevitable. During one of these chances, which actually didn’t look dangerous at first, a brilliant, surprising shot caught both the defence and the keeper off guard. One could always argue that it wasn’t exactly well-deserved, but there was nothing to do about the goal itself and BFC were once again in the lead, 2-3. But Vikings would soon get an excellent opportunity to equalize, and boy, did they let it slip…
Micke S set out an offensive run from his left back position, got the ball and was fouled right after he got into the penalty box. The referee had no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Anders Kargo took care of the penalty and now had an excellent opportunity to redeem himself. He aimed for the goalkeeper’s lower right corner, but the keeper went the same way and made a magnificent save. However, the keeper couldn’t hold the ball and it went straight back to Anders Kargo. Alone from 3 meters, keeper already down, he somehow managed to shoot outside the post. It was the kind of miss that people write songs about…
After the penalty, Vikings tried to push forward to get an equalizer anyway. The further the half went, though, the less energy Vikings had in their attempts. Towards the end, Vikings tried some desperate long balls into the box without creating any really clear chances. BFC managed to defend their goal until the end and won with 3-2. A bitter defeat for Vikings, who played really well at times, fought hard and therefore deserved at least one point. Let’s not forget that BFC are a really good team. If Vikings can keep playing like this, and Coach Mofok is confident that his strikers will start scoring soon, they have no reason to worry.
Match report: Richard