Monday, May 3, 2010

Trip to Westerville Yields 4-1 Result for Flames Vs. WASA Eagles White

Mapquest and Google Maps called it 20 miles and change. If you went I-71 North to Polaris, it took nearly 45 minutes in the congested traffic of North Columbus Suburbia. It was well worth the journey.

The Grandview Flames' extended 5-game road show hit game four on Monday with a visit to the Northside Fellowship Church of Westerville and a 6 p.m. showdown with the WASA Eagles White on the pristine grounds of the WASA Eagles Football Club of Westerville.

It was 77 degrees at kickoff with a slight breeze out of the southwest.

Two well-coached teams with English managers faced off with two very different styles of soccer. The Flames displayed the attacking, pass-oriented Latin style that has served them so well and strikes fear in the heart of opponents across the Ohio Champions League. The Eagles played a defensive, physical English game that is honorable and can be effective but is not especially easy on the eyes.

Jake started in goal with the others in the signature 1-1-2-1 formation: Wes at back, Ben D in the hole, Indigo (left) and Derek (right) on the wings and current Golden Boot holder Ben K at the tip of the spear.

In the early going it looked as though the contest might be tight to the wire. There were early chances on both sides before the Flames struck first. A late-arriving Manny was subbed in with impeccable timing just before a free kick in minute 8 after Sam was fouled outside the corner of the box. Manny drilled the kick high and in for the 1-0 lead.

The Eagles struck back with two quick shots on goal, the first of which was saved by Jake the Ace and the second of which went off the crossbar. The next few minutes were a defensive clinic by the Flames as they bent but did not break. Jake made several key saves including a decisive and unusual slide tackle outside the box in minute 14.

The Eagles started checking hard, and elbows weren't always kept down, but there was nothing malicious and the ref did a decent job considering he had no linesmen.

Things started to turn the Flames' way as they had several good chances, some stopped by very close offsides calls. The Eagles played a disciplined, high back line that succeeded several times in trapping Flames offsides.

Finally, the incessant Flames attack got through with Sam scoring on a scrappy dribble in deep at about minute 19. (2-0)

In minute 25 the Eagles sneaked by on a through ball and scored their first and only goal of the match. But the Flames struck right back. A determined Ben D. carried it into the box, shot it into the keeper, gathered the rebound and left-footed it in to make it 3-1 at the half.

Wes started the second half in goal and kept a clean sheet, making several good saves. Ben K. made it comfortable for the Flames with a goal in the 4th minute of the second half to make it 4-1.  From there the Flames did not look back, conceding a few opportunities for the Eagles that fizzled at times because of solid goal keeping and at times for lack of luck.

Indigio was subbed in at keeper for the Flames with about 10 minutes remaining, and he too pitched the shutout.

All told it was solid outing for the Grandview Reds, on a beautiful evening, on a flawless ground, against a worthy squad.

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