EMERALD CITY 2 – 4 HAABE LIONS
venue: Starfire Sports Complex
November 5, 2014
TUKWILA, WA – 4,519 Emerald City supporters were on hand to watch ECSC lose to Haabe Lions by a score of 2 goals to 4 in Starfire Sports Complex’s first regulation SBPL match.
The Lions were certainly the better squad on the day, but most of the match was fairly even. The second half, in fact, belonged to Emerald City. Unfortunately for the home crowd, it was one six-minute block of time at the end of the first half where Haabe Lions overwhelmed the Emerald City eleven, netting three goals in a flurry of action that stunned and silenced all on hand to witness the blast.
Samir Nasri put HL on top early (11′) with a goal on a corner kick that clanged off the crossbar and just crossed the line. An unlikely goal from defender Erik Pieters – assisted by a lovely ball from Glen Whelan – pulled Emerald City level just five minutes later.
As the game entered its 41st minute, the score was still even at 1 – 1. Samir Nasri’s second goal of the match came when ECSC keeper Simon Mignolet failed to stop an upper-90 far-post curler in what would have been a spectacular save. Emerald City lost the ball on the ensuing kickoff, and Victor Kolarov and Morgan Schneiderlin combined for a breakaway goal before the Emerald City back four was able to get back and cover.
Shocked and confused and suddenly losing 3 – 1, the ECSC formation went awry and Daniel Sturridge was caught three yards offside on a busted attack at the final moment before stoppage time. Haabe capitalized with efficiency when Schneiderlin assisted Adam Lallana’s point blank blast into the back of the net at the 45’+1 mark.
The score stood 4 – 1 in favor of the Lions as the clubs headed to their respective dressing rooms at the half.
ECSC’s rookie manager, American Paul Dylan, must have given a rousing speech at the half, because City looked like a different squad in the second half. In the 54′ minute, Eden Hazard pulled the home side within two as the fourth official missed a clear offside call and the Belgian midfielder found himself wide open with only the keeper to beat.
The rest of the match was fought bitterly by the two sides; it was battle after battle, foul after foul. In the end, though, the Emerald City supporters went home having conceded three points and maybe having found a new and worthy rival.
6′ – DeMichelis’ bad pass ruins a perfect run from Wayne Rooney that would have been a clear goal.
10′ – GOAL, Nasri (Rooney)
11′ – YELLOW CARD, Lallana
16′ – GOAL, Pieters (Whelan)
21′ – Header by Hazard from close range missed
32′ – Mignolet makes Spectacular Save on Nolan shot
34′ – Lallana fouls Sturridge hard, will it be a 2nd yellow? NO! (– card rating)
41′ – GOAL, Nasri (none)
43′ – GOAL, Schneiderlin (Kolarov)
45′ + 1 – GOAL, Lallana (Schneiderlin)
HALF TIME: Emerald City 2, Haabe Lions 4
47′ – YELLOW CARD, Vermaelen
54′ – GOAL, Hazard (Sturridge)
70′ – Lallana’s great individual effort goes for naught
73′ – SUB: Whelan (off), Van Persie (on); Kolarov (off), Shaw (on)
77′ – YELLOW CARD, Pieters
78′ – SUB: Hazard (off), Wilshire (on)
79′ – Lallana with another hard foul, the crowd feels it should be a second YC but the referee disagrees. (– card rating)
80′ – the referee is now Friendly to Haabe
82′ – the referee is now Hostile to Emerald City
84′ – Pieters with the hard foul this time (from Referree chart K), but no yellow card (– card rating)
85′ – SUB: Sung-Yeng (off), Pienaar (on); Schneiderlin (off), Santon (on)
90′ + 6′ – FINAL WHISTLE (Emerald City 2, Haabe Lions 4)
Time of Possession: Emerald City 31:09 (50.67%); Haabe Lions: 30:20 (49.33%)
Corner Kicks: EC (4); HL (5)
Offside: EC(3); HL(1)
SHOTS: Emerald City 10(5); Haabe Lions 13(9)