The Mighty Shane 6-2 Taipei Eagles: Shane dominate game to record biggest win of the season
The Mighty Shane took full advantage of an understrength Eagles side – who’d had a great season up to this point – to continue their fine form going into the season’s climax.
With a strong lineup, Shane started the game confidently and dominated the opening stages, afforded time and space to get on the ball and play their passing game. This bore fruit when a great move saw Shane take the lead.
Captain Jamie Smith – back in the side after suspension – played an accurate ball forward to Diego Ballesteros on the right wing, whose well timed ball across the box found Patrick Krogh. The young Dane made no mistake and scored for a second successive game, which was the first of what was to be an impressive hat-trick.
Despite their continued control of the game, Shane struggled to find a second as Zach Paruch had efforts excellently saved and cleared off the line, Sam Thompson struck the bar with a long-range effort, and Nils de Turckheim went close twice from corners.
Shane’s organization, however, meant they were rarely threatened. The back line of Brian McLaughlin, Jamie, Pete Williams, and Nils, as well as the ever-reliable Leo Naranjo in defensive midfield held strong and snuffed out several Eagles’ opportunities while playing the ball out well from the back.
The team's second did came just before halftime with Patrick Krogh scoring his second of the day. Shane had won a free kick, and when Zach’s ball in found the Danish forward, he twisted brilliantly to send a scissored volley towards the far corner. The keeper managed to claw the ball out, but not before it had crossed the line in the referee’s view, and the goal was rightly given. Angered by the referee’s decision, some of the Eagles players’ tempers boiled over and a few rough challenges started flying in. But with the halftime whistle blown came the chance for everyone to calm down.
At the start of the second half, the Eagles came out stronger and pulled a goal back from the spot after winning a penalty. It looked as if Shane may be left to rue their earlier missed chances, but the lads pulled their socks up and emphatically put the game to bed with some clinical finishing.
Firstly, Zach stepped forward to make it 3-1 with one of the goals of the season, and another to his collection in a fine season. After receiving the ball from Felipe Vasquez on the far side of the box, the midfielder took a touch before hitting an unstoppable shot into the top right corner and stunning everyone in attendance.
With the boys absolutely oozing confidence, they continued to attack and overrun the Eagles defence almost every time they got forward. Patrick Krogh got his hat-trick to round off an excellent performance by tapping in after Zach’s free kick was fumbled, before Zach turned provider once more – this time from a corner, as Nils thumped home a great diving header to score his first for the club and make it 5-1.
By that stage, the game was effectively over and Shane were very comfortable on the ball, but the Eagles showed they still had some life in them as they poured forward on a rare break and reduced the deficit to 5-2. The lads were keen to have the final say in the game however, and got it when Jayke Langley played a precise through-ball in to Zach, who struck the ball into the bottom corner and restored Shanes four-goal lead.
Overall, it was a great performance in which Shane kept their focus, and will be hugely pleased with their recent goal scoring form. The win means the lowest Shane can finish in the league is 8th, and in every way a huge improvement on last year’s campaign. The final match of the season will essentially be a 7th place playoff against JFC on Sunday 17th December at Fujen University. Shane will be looking to end the season on a high with three wins in a row.
Man of the Match:
Patrick Krogh scored an excellent hat trick to continue his fine current form. Skillful on the ball and always able to find space up front for goal-scoring opportunities, the youngster has made a big impact on the league in his debut season.
What more can we say about Zach Paruch? Another game in which he was directly involved with almost everything Shane did well going forward in grabbing himself another two goals and assists. It’s certainly been a standout season for the American.
Nils de Turckheim showed his versatility by performing very well at left back, having previously been played on the wing. Strong in the tackle, able to drive the team forward, and clearly with an eye for goal, the Frenchman looks a promising signing for Shane.
A welcome return for Jamie Smith as he marshaled the defense and continually found the space in which to push on into midfield to help control the tempo of Shane’s game.
Felipe Vasquez may have gone slightly under the radar, but has been consistently impressive on the left wing, and had another fine game in which he didn’t stop running, used the ball well and provided an assist.