Saturni, Makara 7, 2077, m249
For most of the season, Europa United has been a one note samba. Albeit it can be quite catchy at times, their strong defensive note has for the most part lacked long term range producing more lows than highs.
Yet with their win over the formidable Al’amal SC, could this be the Rebirth of Cool for United as they discovered a new range of flexibility in their play which will help them soar to new levels?
“I don’t know if we are cool”, replied United Captain Lennard Fuchs. “However, to use your analogy, if this win helps us get in sync and play more harmoniously in future, I’m on board”.
United’s defensive strength continued to excel as defender Mlaska Lovric got the scoring started with a goal at the 2 minute mark.
Lovric picked up the ball in the midfield, and played through Al’amal’s Lana Gonzalez and then rounded Birwant Rhar with ease before boosting a shot to the top corner over a leaping Ahmed al-Pour.
While tight is the United defence, even they could not fully contain the high powered Al’amal offence – tied for the league lead in Goals scored with 3 of their players in the Top 5 for Individual Goals scored.
At the 58th minute, Hamad Fayad played a volley off his chest and bicycle kicked it over United Goalkeeper Kevin Sulzberger to tie up the game. For Fayad, it was his 5th goal of the season.
While both teams had scoring chances from Darkeem Dennis and Yvonne Barnato on the United side and from Baddour, Farra, and Fayad on the Al’amal side, the game remained tied at the end of regulation time.
Penalty Kicks is where United’s new additions made a lasting impact. United captured 3 penalty shot goals from Darkeem Dennis, Yvonne Barnato and Laura Pernet.
Sulzberger, who was heavily criticized after his debut match last week against the Comets, earned his redemption this week with a brilliant performance in overtime, shutting down Al’amal’s high powered trio of Baddour, Farra, and Fayad and allowing zero penalty shot goals overall.
PKOT United 3 - 0 Al'amal
For United, the victory provided a slight degree of respite from what has been a disappointing season to date. Club Manager Matthäus Reinmann was slightly more optimistic of the victory’s impact.
“Hopefully this is the start of a new direction for us with all our new pieces gelling at the right time to build momentum for the playoff run,” said Reinmann. “I’m positive, better days are ahead”.
Reinmann’s words will be put to the test as United hosts the Amrita Immortals next week.