Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flames Plow Over Opponents Like the Maginot Line

On the same weekend that saw Inter Milan win the Italian title and Argentinos Jrs. secure the Argentine Primera Division championship, the Grandview Flames rolled through two opponents like a Panzer division to finish the season unbeaten and win the best record in the Ohio Champions League U11 boys.

The Flames scored 17 goals in 100 minutes of soccer at Anderson Field, giving up just 2 goals and putting on a clinical exhibition of crisp, stylish soccer the likes of which is not seen often among 10-year-old boys in the United States.

The Blitzkrieg started Saturday at 3 p.m. with the Little Red Men taking on the larger but slower U11 Classics FC Lightning of Lewis Center. It was a beautiful day for soccer, 76 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze out of the north coming across the sidelines.
The Flames lined up in their attack-oriented 1-1-3 with Jake in Goal, Manny starting at back, Ben D at center midfield, Ben K. at left wing, Sam at right and Wes forward at striker. Three quick goals came in succession: Ben K, Wes, Ben K to make it 3-0 after 7 minutes. Indigo got a little too fancy trying to dribble the ball out instead of clearing, which gave the Classics their only goal of the game at minute 9.

But then the Flames turned up the gas and burned down the house.

Dylan scored  in minute 12. Ben K. made it a hat trick with another goal in minute 13. Derek scored in minute 15. Ben D. scored right after that. Manny scored in minute 18 from the top of the key. Dylan scored again in minute 19. It was 9-1 at the half.

Wes started at goal in the second half, but he didn't see much action. Ben D. scored 7 minutes into the half. Ben K. was subbed in at goal in minute 13. Sam had a beautiful goal on a half volley that came in over his head, and Derek powered one in with about 5 minutes remaining.

Final score: Flames 12-1 Classics.

Sunday's match versus Bexley Premier proved  more interesting, at least in the first half. Cooler and windier for the 5 p.m. kick-off at Anderson Field, it was about 70 degrees and mostly cloudy with east winds at 5-8 mph.

Jake started in goal with Manny at back, Ben D at center mid, Derek on left wing, Dylan at right and Indigo up top.

Bexley threatened early with pair of very fast and skilled little players and a disciplined approach on the ball. A through ball slotted left to number 3 got behind the Flames' line, and he drilled it in to make it 1-0 Bexley at  minute 6.

But two minutes later, the two Bens combined on a beautiful double give and go that developed down the left side and ended with Ben D. scoring his 6th of the season and the Flames' first of the day to tie it at minute 8.

In Minute 12, Manny drilled a nice shot from distance that caught the Bexley keeper off guard and gave the Flames the 2-1 lead, which they never relinquished.

Jake made two key saves to preserve the lead going into the half. With the game still appearing tight and the unbeaten season on the line, Jake was kept in goal for the second half.

Bexley moved into a tighter defensive formation for the second half where they looked to rely on the skill and speed of their No. 22 as a lone striker up high and shore up against the Flames' relentless attack. The plan probably looked good on paper, and nearly worked in the early minutes of the second half, as Jake had to make a key save on the breakaway from the fleet-footed No. 22.

But then Wes scored on a beautiful chip over the Bexley keeper, and the 3-1 lead for the Flames appeared to  take all the spirit out of Bexley.

No. 22 got frustrated and made a few jersey tugs and aggressive challenges. He got a couple more decent shots off that Jake saved without too much difficulty, and then he and the rest of the Bexley squad appeared to fall into silent resignation to the inevitable. Like a French infantry unit, Bexley appeared to surrender.

The Flames spent the next few minutes in a shock and awe campaign that brought goals from Wes and finally Derek who barreled into the box like a running back and stuck it into the back of the net in the final minute to make the final score 5-1.

Now attention turns to the OCL tournament, which begins next Saturday. For all their success, the Flames have yet to win a cup.

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." George S. Patton

1 comment:

  1. Wow this is just little kid's soccer, maginot line and panzer attacks? I doubt it... Congrats on your kids' successes. I like their cheer... keep us away from ourselves!