Week 2 Recap: Hosting the Champs

This week marked our home opener, and we had a doozy of a match-up for our supporters.  Defending champions Celtic SFO were coming to town, a well-balanced squad boasting the best ratings in the league according to our analytics staff, probably because they also have 10 or so highest payrolls in all of Div IV at an eye-watering $400K (we, of course, have gone cheap at a mere $169K, well under the division average).  To make matters worse, they were coming in angry and desperate, having taken a largely undeserved loss in week 1.

In the past, a match like this would have seen us taking the largest bus we could find and parking it in front of the net.  But, manager Panero decided to take this opportunity to launch the era of “bossa nova football,” so we took a different approach, playing two up top in a possession-oriented 3-5-2 and spending as much time as possible playing keep-away from our visibly surprised opponents.

The new approach paid dividends in certain respects: we were able to dance around their tackles enough to dominate possession, and even created 10 chances to their one.  Unfortunately, we squandered nine of those chances, as forward Emilusz Niemiec apparently was laboring under the impression that the objective was to hit the ball off the crossbar rather than into the net.  Worse, Celtic scored on their only chance of the match, as their Simon Singh managed to beat Misariscabame (who otherwise had a solid game subbing for Chopper in central defense) off the dribble and snuck a finesse shot past a despairing Masters.

Still, a 1-1 draw under the circumstances is a fine result, putting us in sole possession of second place.  Next week, league leaders Amish Wife Collectors come to town- they’re a strong attacking outfit with a wage bill even higher than Celtic’s after having spent $18mm on players since the season began.  Still, if Panero can somehow scheme his way to a win next week, that would be enormous for us- we’d be in first place and would have to be considered legitimate contenders after having taken on last year’s top three in consecutive weeks.

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