Another weekend, another match for the troubled Scandinavian Vikings. After an emotional and hectic week due to the unexpected loss against FC Inter and the death of our third half role model Diego Maradona several internal evaluation sessions were conducted by the club’s technical staff.
The initial shock-effect was created by a drastic change of the Tuesday practice sessions already mentioned in previous match report: no more ‘just for fun’, internal games but actual running and passing exercises prepared and explained by coach Nate on the white board. The technical staff even seemed to have managed to put practice pitbull Lambo off alcohol to increase practice intensity. Seeing Lambo chasing behind every ball, yelling and screaming at his teammates like a horny soi dog was quite a worrying scene. Evil tongues even claim that Lambo is on the same carrot diet as coach Nate and has giving up alcohol for good… to be continued. Despite these desperate measures, unfortunately for coach Nate his drills weren’t quite understood by the Danish part of the team. None of them seemed to understand the passing exercise. Only after intervention from some of the continental Viking members and slowing down the pace significantly, the Danes were finally able to catch up and manage to pass the ball in the feet of a fellow Viking. If these internal frustrations during practice were not enough, later that week the news came out that coach Nate and captain Simon were suspended from the team for the upcoming match. It remains a secret whether it was because of internal politics or just the poor league results, but it seemed like the club owners were forced to set an example.
Despite all of these internal challenges, we would almost forget that there was still a match to play this weekend. This week’s opponent: Phoenix. Where this opponent in the past meant an almost certain 3 points, nowadays nothing is certain anymore when it comes to a strong Viking performance in the first two halves of the game. The game started quite equal with the main battle unfolding in the midfield. Very few chances were created due to good defensive work by both teams. Practically out of the blue it was Phoenix that opened the score after 15 minutes though with a close-range header at the second post. This was quite a setback for the Vikings as it was practically the first time that the opponent put the ball in front of the goal. Despite this setback, the Vikings tried to get back in the game. Unfortunately, either the final pass or control was missing, leaving the Phoenix goalie untested. It got even worse for the Vikings before the half-time whistle: a deflected corner ended it up right into the feet of a Phoenix player at the 6-yard box: 2-0. It must be said that you sometimes need a bit of luck and luck is clearly not on the side of the Vikings these days. During the half-time break, interim coach Eero tried to talk some confidence into the men. The little pep talk was not in vain as the Vikings were doing their best to get back in the game from the start. If it wasn’t for the Phoenix goalkeeper, they would have definitely scored a goal. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and even though a draw would have been a fair result, the game ended with a loss. Despite the 0 points, luckily there was again a more positive atmosphere after the match compared to some of the recent matches. Tuna of the Match Joao added another can to his collection, but he still has to work on his headers.
This positive spirit was taken into the third half which was strong as always. Before Phoenix or anyone else could shower, the Vikings took off at lightning speed. Several cans of beer were passed around with high accuracy, scattering the opponent’s defense. Phoenix got completely overwhelmed and outnumbered very early in this one-sided third half and in the end decided to leave the scene in tears. If this glorious victory was not enough, several Vikings were still seen scavenging the pitch after sunset, some of them even making it to city that night raiding our sponsor Sportsman and other, not to be disclosed venues well known for men with decreased levels of confidence. Time will tell if these late-night endeavors will lead to desired result on the pitch but without doubt they will help to keep the morale high. It is only a matter of time that things will turn around for best looking team in the league. Go Vikings!