FRIARS & ISLANDERS ROUGH OUT A TIE

FRIARS & ISLANDERS ROUGH OUT A TIE

📅20 November 2014
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By Jose Terlaje

You could tell from the amount of fouls called during the game that both teams really wanted to get the win in the matchup between the Father Duenas Friars (4-0-2) and the John F. Kennedy Islanders (4-1-1). The game held at JFK’s Ramsey Field ended up resulting in a 1-1 tie, keeping FD undefeated and giving JFK their first tie of the season.

With the tie, JFK remains third place in the league and will try to win the remaining games in the season in order to obtain a good playoff spot.

“We need to work on communication on the field, and we can’t allow the other teams to win the ball in the air all the time. We also need to control our midfield better. FD is a tough team and we spent the entire second half just trying to prevent them from scoring. We’re going to do our best to come together in the next four games so we can be ready for the playoffs”, said JFK Head Coach Eladio Manansala when asked about his team’s plans to improve after this game.

Manansala added that he hopes he can get everyone on the field involved in order to build on plays in their future games.

At the start of the match, the Friars kicked off the ball and began to feel out the JFK defense. The Friars had some early shots on goal from Jestin Escobar thanks to great passes coming from teammate Justin Johnson. The Islanders came to play though, responding to every Friar shot on goal with a run of their own, working the ball down the field with midfielders Philip Ogo and Sora Recella. The Islanders kept trying to find a scoring opportunity, continuously forcing passes to their striker, Agustin Choi, but FD’s defense was rock solid, denying all of the Islanders’ attempts to enter the box and get a shot off.

Jake Benito of the Friars powers down the field after stealing the ball.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Jake Benito of the Friars powers down the field after stealing the ball. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Friars tried to break through JFK’s high pressure defense by using long passes on the ground to bring the ball down the field but FD’s offense was just unable to get anything going. The Islanders kept trying to get something going off the long lob through ball but the Friars’ Keita Yoshida would deny them almost every ball in the air, putting a head to each lob pass and sending it back the other way.

The two teams continued to trade possessions throughout the half, having a hard time getting through each others’ defenses. With the game going on and no score on the board, both teams began playing a bit more physical. A number of fouls went unnoticed by the referees which caused tensions to run high on the field.  Both teams were struggling to find an opportunity to score but with time running down in the half, FD’s Escobar was able to find himself in a  one-on-one situation with JFK’s keeper, Wayne Jesus, but Jesus was able to beat Escobar to the ball, denying him his chance to put the Friars up.

Moments later in the 38th minute of the first half, the Islanders were awarded a corner kick. The Islanders were not able to make anything of the kick but were awarded a penalty kick after a handball call on the Friars’ defense. JFK’s Ogo took the penalty kick and was able to find the back of the net with a quick shot to the right side of the goal that had the Friars’ keeper, Cameron Miles, frozen in place. The goal put JFK up 1-0 and the Friars were unable to respond as the half came to an end.

In the second half, the Islanders seemed ready to seal the game off with more goals, rushing the Friar defense with a number of attacks through the air but FD’s defense remained solid and continued to win the balls in the air. The Friars used their dominance in the air to regain possession of the ball and make attempts at a comeback. The FD offense was completely different in the second half, stepping up their passing efficiency. They were also able to consistently bring the ball down the field with the help of wingers Jeffery Ho and Jake Benito.

Agustin Choi (27) and Kazuki Yoshida(8) collide in the air for the header.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Agustin Choi (27) and Kazuki Yoshida(8) collide in the air for the header. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

As JFK continued to use their run and gun strategy, the Friars kept coming back with a counterattack of their own. In the 56th minute, a lob pass from the Friars was deflected out of bounds by a JFK defender. FD’s Benito saw the scoring opportunity and took advantage of the good field position, quickly throwing in the ball past every JFK defender and connecting with Escobar who dribbled the ball into JFK’s goal box, finding himself one-on-one with the Islanders’ keeper. Escobar used a quick stutter step to freeze up JFK’s keeper and then sent a nice shot to the back of the net to knot up the game at 1-1.

With the game all tied up, both teams began to get desperate for goals, rushing on every possession to try and score. As the clock began to run down, the game turned into a grind house, with the referee awarding fouls left and right. Both teams lost many scoring opportunities due to fouls. With the game close to being over, JFK got a chance to hit a game winner off a free kick just five yards outside of the Friars’ goal box but the shot went straight over the goal. The Friars were able to maintain possession during the final minutes of the game but were unable to make anything of it, taking many inaccurate shots far from JFK’s goal. In the last seconds of the game, FD was awarded a corner kick but time ran out as the Friars were setting up to take the kick, ending the game with a tie 1-1.

The Friars’ defense held it down throughout the game, only allowing a goal off of a penalty kick and practically winning every single ball in the air. “We have a lot of good, naturally athletes. We’re also very composed in the back. We don’t work too much with them one-on-one at practice. It’s really just a team effort. They’ve played together for a couple of years now which is what makes them a good defensive group”, said Coach Keith Dickson when asked his team’s defensive prowess. Dickson went on to say that the Friars will continue to work on the errors they made during the game at practice but gives them a good overall rating for being able to compete against this really tough JFK team.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Friars get aerial in attempting to block a foul kick from Islander, Sora Recella.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Friars get aerial in attempting to block a foul kick from Islander, Sora Recella. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Jared Binoya of the Islanders swoops in to gain control of the ball.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Jared Binoya of the Islanders swoops in to gain control of the ball. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Agustin Choi of the Islanders collides with a Friar while moving down field.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Agustin Choi of the Islanders collides with a Friar while moving down field. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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