Thursday, 29 July 2010

City triumph on pens to win ISC

  • City finally proved we have the winning mentality required to end the 34 year wait by taking the prestigious International Soccer Challenge on penalties. After drawing 1-1 with Club América we won the shoot-out 4-1, thanks to two Shay Given saves. It was generally a decent performance: excellent possession in the first half, although the final ball was lacking. The second half was ropier generally but we did create a few chances of our own. And then Given recreated his Aalborg heroics to win us the historic trophy.
  • The first half was probably our best performance yet, and consistent with steady improvement on the tour. This was largely thanks to the appearance of Yaya Touré and Gareth Barry, playing at the heart of a 4-1-4-1 which allowed us to dominate possession. Both were impressive, muscling opponents off the ball and moving it forward and wide quickly and intelligently. As it happened, whenever the ball went to Shaun Wright-Phillips, Wayne Bridge or Adam Johnson in wide areas they put in a bad cross, and chances were limited. But as a team performance it was impressively coherent.
  • Fortunately there are things Adam Johnson does well beyond simply crossing. Buying penalties is one of them. Think Bolton Wanderers or Aston Villa at home last year, or the attempt at the Boleyn Ground. Ten minutes before half time he collapsed under some fairly routine contact, the penalty was awarded and Emmanuel Adebayor - who was commendably diligent running the left channel throughout - sent the 'keeper the wrong way.
  • Half time changes disrupted our rhythm, though. Joleon Lescott ought to have conceded a penalty one minute into the second half for hauling down City legend Vicente Matías Vuoso. Justice was done in the very next minute, as Enrique Esqueda wriggled past the hapless Lescott and slotted the ball under Shay Given to equalise. With the side re-adjusting to a lopsided 4-4-1-1 system (Vladi Weiss wide right, Stephen Ireland tucked in from the left, Jô off Adebayor) we struggled to regain the tempo of the first half. When we did get it out to Weiss he invariably tried a stepover and was pushed straight off the ball.
  • As the game went on it started to open up. Club América's counter-attacks became increasingly threatening, and it took a few key interventions from Pablo Zabaleta - our stand-out second half performer from holding midfielder - to keep us in the game. But the best late chances were ours: with ten minutes left Guillermo Ochoa spilt Weiss' shot into the path of Jô, whose attempt was well saved by the turf-bound keeper. Two minutes from time Ochoa tipped Adebayor's shot onto the bar. And then Jô failed to make contact with an easy chance from Greg Cunningham's cut-back.
  • And so the shoot-out. First Emmanuel Adebayor repeated his earlier success from the spot, clipping it into the bottom corner. Pavel Pardo equalised. Then Jô scored his, and Aquivaldo Mosquera hit his straight at Shay Given. Vladimir Weiss confounded my expectations to score, and Given saved again from Daniel Montenegro. Aalborg all over again. Who better to take the deciding penalty than Patrick Vieira - and he finished well, leading to wild scenes of jubilation on the pitch and in the stands. International Soccer Challenge today, the Premier League next.

7 comments:

Monkey Face said...

OH MY GOD UZ SO FIK IF U FINK DAT CITEH WILL WIN DE LEGE COZ YOU WUN DIS? WOT IS DAT? ITS NOT TEH LEAGUE!!!! UR STOOPID IF YOU DONT. WE ALL NO MILLWALL R A GRATE CLUB AND HAVE BEETEN THE LIKES OF SCUNTHORPE AND LEEDS LATELY.

trinder said...

MUNKEY BRIAN TO GO WIV UR MUNKEY BOAT U COCKNEE CANT DIS IS AMAZIN ACHEEVMINT FOR CITY WE IS ON THE ASSENT 1000 PERCENT SUK IT UP HERE COMES BOBY AND DA BLUEZ

David@shepton said...

Mokey Face

YOUS ONLEE SPEEK LYKE THAT TO HIDE THE FACT THAT U R SO FICK THAT U CANOT SPEL PROPER. INNIT

Jesus, what a tosser.

The Kippax Street Kid said...

Interesting, informative and in-depth match analysis from our London correspondent Monkey Face there. AH FINK DAT IZ WOT I MENT 2 SAY INNIT.

thunderand1bolt said...

Nice reporting Jack,
We kept good possession partic. in first half but we werent much of an attacking threat. I know we had Tevez, Silva and Balotelli out but we still need more strength in attack. IMHO we should break the bank for Ozil and Dzeko.
Also defense looked a little vulnerable at times a Luiz or Maicon would be great!

1.618034 said...

If you click on Monkey Face's link you'll see he's an Aussie Blue... No, I don't get it either.

I think we need a little less paranoia about everyone else being obsessed (negatively) about us...

Anyway, thanks for the report Jack. Just back from hols so missed it (and forget to record it). Sounds like Yaya has hit the ground running, which is fantastic... but actually was probably to be expected. I think he's going to be a great player for us and will give us the necessary drive through the middle. Not the DM role for him at City!

Roll on Tevez, Silva (and Ballotelli?) joining the group..

And roll on August 14th!

Monkey Face said...

Hmm - alcohol induced posting from me, much? I think I was essentially trolling, and seeing the irony in Jack's post about us having our winning mentality. I'm also unsure as to whether Trinder got it either :)

Yes - today, the international soccer challenge (soccer?), tomorrow, the world! (etc.) I can't believe we're that short sighted to forget that we beat Barca last year!

Also a reference to one of my favourite wind ups of the year there - if you didn't hear it, the Millwall fan who was told he wasn't allowed to go to South Africa. If you've not seen it, I'm sure it's on a popular video sharing site near you.