Británicos (2) 3
Alianza Latina (3) 6
@CMF La Azucarera 23/01/22 17:05
"Some things happen by accident - embrace them."
- Mario Testino
An early kick off saw the Brits in the sunlight, with a limited bench and an opposition that looked organised, the exiles knew they were in for a challenging afternoon.
The early stages saw the exiles set the pace and test the Latin defence and when the tables were turned the Brits then showed a dangerous ability to break fast through Bates but the Alianza snatched the lead with a confident team built goal, passing out from the back with a delightful instinctive final back heel pass to open up the defence and give the winger a clear chance that he converted.
Alianza settled into an assured passing game which probed the Brit defence but the confident pairing of Ferns and Rooney continued to demonstrated outstanding skill and intuitive understanding.
The Brits pulled the game back to all square with a long pass from the goal kick. The ball actually bounced of the back of Bates and fell to him perfectly and he gratefully converted. The Brit defence continued to throw themselves on the line with Rooney once again earning the adjective "imperious" for his performance.
Alianza retook the lead through a free kick that was conceded in an uncharacteristic moment of uncertainty at the back. The freekick was fired home with power and precision. The Latin outfit sensed a chance to take the game by the scruff of the neck and applied the pressure. It seemed the only Brit outlet was route one from the keeper to the man mountain Bates but Alianza maintained their cool, passing exceptionally well and extended their lead until it was scratched off for offside. It was from the restart that Atrian fed through to Lepore who carried the ball forward and laid it off for Bates to rifle it home to once gain level the match.
Misfortune then befell the Exiles as a a passing move saw a low shot blocked by Atrian only to directly rebound into the path of Rooney who could only deflect it into the empty net. The Alianza team were energetic and well organised and ran the Brits ragged. The first half came to a conclusion with the Brits clinging on to the coat tails of the opposition and still in touching distance of taking something from the game.
The second half saw Alianza pour forward with waves of attacking flair with a determination to put the game to bed. Atrian was called upon on several occasions to keep the game in the balance. The Brits were simply unable to get out of their half. Lepore was desperately unlucky not to level the match after the keeper mishandled his long distance effort. The game then experienced a period of intense end to end efforts, with neither team able to deliver a killer blow.
Then the match seemed to arrive at a turning point. An Alianza attack managed to put the Brits in danger. A desperate series of goal mouth rescues then saw Bates handle on the line and a penalty was awarded. The resultant spot kick was sent high and wide and it felt that maybe, this was the chance for the Brits to grow and take back the game. That feeling did not last long as Alianza passed their way around the defence and rifled home at the near post. The response was impressive. Instead of crumbling the Brits responded with Bates scooping the ball into the net at the near post from a Lepore corner. This match was very much still alive.
Alianza found another gear and a clever pull back found Atrian exposed and the shot was threaded through the defenders to re establish a two goal lead. The Latin outfit were denied a further goal with a great leap from Atrian and Bates then blocked an attempted back heel. Lepore found a chance to run at the opposition and the resultant free kick was sent to Bates at the far post who was unlucky not to convert.
Sadly, as the game edged toward a conclusion Wells played a pass to Shaw that lacked pace and was intercepted. Alianza pounced on the chance to carve open the Brits to kill the game.
Alianza's position in the league was not a fair reflection of their talent, having replaced a team that withdrew from the competition. The Brits can be proud of how hard they pushed this efficient and talented team and can take hope despite the defeat.
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