The Taipei Red Lions shrugged off any ideas that perhaps they were suffering from a post-new year break hangover by making it 3 wins from 3 in a very one-sided match against San Chong. The high school team which has seen some serious improvements each year since they joined the BML were powerless to stop the Lions, threatening rarely, if indeed at all.
With your humble chronicler suspended, it was Jaime who was placed between the sticks, the replacement Lions keeper setting up his picnic basket with a thermos flask full of hot, steaming tea, whilst Jaime updated his Facebook, Twitter and Linked In accounts, showing how busy he was going to be during the first half.
Indeed, by the time he had had his first touch of the ball, the Lions were already 2-0 up, and it was only Kim “Not black enough” Sun Il’s sympathetic, yet totally unnecessary, back pass which prevented Jaime from going a full half hour without getting a whiff of the thing.
Starting in a 4-5-1 formation, replacement captain Rooney made a triumphant tactical return to leading the Lions, starting off with Charles and Kim “not black enough” Sun Il in the middle of defence, with Genghis “Edwin” Khan and Ant at full back.
In the midfield, Mirko was the holding midfielder, with Francois, Bryan, Mora and Alejandro in front of him. Up front was Thomas Costa Concordia, the man who goes down quicker than a Mediterranean cruise ship.
On the sidelines, Jose Roberto arrived late, Clovis arrived on time, his Bluetooth headset surrounding his broad smile, Gay Judas, Sergay and Fred, all waited patiently for their turn to get on to the field.
The Lions started out with some beautiful passing, all players getting plenty of the ball, the Lions looking for the ball as soon as they laid it off, the kind of football that Chancy “Oh Captain My Captain” Cooke likes to see them play. Within the first couple of minutes, one Lions chance was cleared off the line by the San Chong defence as Bryan bore down for the opener, and this was a sign of things to come.
The Lions made a few half chances in the opening encounters, but nothing clear cut until on 11 minutes, a corner was won on the far side, Alejandro floating in a pinpoint cross for Bryan to nod home, the San Chong keeper nowhere to be seen. 1-0 Lions.
And then the Lions started to fart arse about just a tad, those passes that had worked so well in the opening minutes no longer found their intended recipient, perhaps a little complacency working in to the Lions having taken such an early lead.
But San Chong did not take advantage of this slacking in the Lions game, and half way through the half, the Lions took control of the game once more. With Thomas Costa Concordia, the man who goes down quicker than a Mediterranean cruise ship, being hassled and surrounded by no less than three defenders, the cheeky Italian magician wiggled and weaved his way in to some space where he unleashed an unstoppable shot to make it 2-0 Lions, and any resistance the opponents had left disappeared.
Shortly before half time Francois made it 3 with a tonker of a shot with his left foot, the Lions firmly in control of the game.
As the second half began, Thomas Costa Concordia, the man who goes down quicker than a Mediterranean cruise ship, was brought off, Fred replacing him, Clovis on for Genghis “Edwin” Khan, Gay Judas on for Alejandro. Clovis was under strict instructions to stay in position. He said he understood. If he did, he just ignored the instructions, and was found several times in an attacking midfield position, or even central defence.
Now your humble narrator was at the 7-Eleven getting the team beers in when it happened, but I am reliably informed that Fred missed an absolute sitter in the opening seconds of the 2nd half. I have no doubt that this was intentional, so the man could measure up the weight of the ball to make sure his subsequent shots would be perfect. And indeed he went and poked in a magnificent hat-trick during the next 45 minutes, stroking the ball in to the net so smoothly, Sade could possibly have composed a song about how he operates.
On top of Fred’s treble, Bryan went on a mazy run before whacking in a cross that the defender could not get out of the way of, thus knocking the ball in for an own goal, and the spectators on the sidelines were also treated to Mora scoring a stunning goal from 15 yards out.
During this time – and there is no way I am going to get all this carp in chronological order – Sergay and Jose Roberto were brought on, replacing Mora and Charles respectively. Bryan also got taken out by the San Chong goalkeeper at 7-0, the referee showing a few signs of inconsistency with the decisions as no foul was given, no card was shown, despite the similarities of the red card received by your humble scribe in the last BML game.
Having been substituted, Alejandro perhaps not quietly enough questioned Mr Liu’s judgement after he gave a foul on a Red Lion as a foul against San Chong – not for the first time in the evening, it must be said – and thus received a yellow card.
Another interesting point from the game was in the final wave of attacks from the Red Lions, Gay Judas laid of a delightful ball to Fred, but instead of running on for a return pass and a possible opportunity to score, he just stopped and admired his – and it must be admitted, it was a very nice – pass, leaving the attack to fizzle out, Fred having no support.
And to cap things off, rubbing salt in to the wounds, a delightful ball was played in to Bryan, 10 minutes before the end, who shot in a trademark piledriver. Now I would like to tell you who delivered the pass, but it would piss him off so much if I didn’t, and the pleasure derived from such an omission far outweighs the pleasure I would get from informing you, my dear reader, so I’ll just leave it to your imagination.
So 9-0 the final score, and the Lions continue their 100% record in this season’s BML campaign. Fritz are up next this coming Sunday at 5PM, which promises to be an altogether different sort of match.