For the second time this season the opponent was IPlay and Vikings needed all three points to close the gap on the league leaders. Prior to the game the coaches had trouble confirming the starting line up since goal keeper Michael didn’t receive his wake up call. Luckily Martin was able to fill in until Michael arrived. Good news was that Martin decided to play even though his foot was still causing him pain – a real Viking!
The lineup was 4-5-1 in order to strengthen the defense.
Martin; Travis, Graeme, Richard, Stein; Mofok, Chris, Jannik, Breitner, Micke; Udom.
Subs: Ruj, Michael, Nick, Pong.
Both teams had a cautious approach during the first ten minutes but IPlay had most of the possession. Vikings did well to keep the organization and IPlay didn’t create anything too dangerous. As always the corner kicks and long throw-ins proved to be a dangerous weapon but Vikings couldn’t convert the opportunities into goals.
It was IPlay that managed to break the deadlock as they played a long ball up the right side. The defense couldn’t clear and suddenly their striker was on his way towards goal. He chose to pass the ball in front of goal where another completely unmarked player could score. It did look a bit like offside but the referee allowed the goal. 0-1
A bit unlucky since the Vikings had played good football so far. Only option was to work a bit harder and get back in it – and that’s exactly what happened. Graeme played a long ball forward to Ruj from well inside the Vikings half. Ruj got to the ball just before the IPlay keeper and headed it past him. 1-1.
Udom managed to put in a good cross and Mofok nearly put Vikings in the lead but his shot just missed at the far post. The hard working Vikings still kept IPlay from any big chances and at halftime the score was 1-1. Two IPlay players had gotten themselves injured and in order to put out a full team they asked permission to field more than the agreed five Thai players. This was of course allowed so the game could move on.
In second half Vikings looked to be the better team. Martin was back in midfield after leaving the keeper position to Michael and it was one of his long throw-ins that set up the next goal. Martin got the ball well inside the penalty area and as bodies was falling left and right Graeme ended up as last man standing and could head home. 2-1.
IPlay had some attempts but most of them went wide. Michael helped them to their best chance as he threw the ball right at their striker. To everyone’s relief he pulled of a great save to deny the equalizer.
Udom took a corner but the ball was cleared and came back to him. With a nice cross he found Chris in front of goal whose header went in at the right post. 3-1.
This seemed to be the decider but with a lucky goal IPlay managed to get right back in it. A long ball was played into the Vikings area and as Richard mistimed his header an IPlay striker showed up behind him and flicked the ball into the net. Vikings managed to hold on for the last couple of minutes and was awarded with an important win.
It was a well deserved win and Vikings played their most disciplined game so far this season. All players did well but especially Graeme, Chris and Ruj stood out with great performances. The winning streak is now extended to four games and Vikings are a serious contender for the division title.
Match report by: Jannik