Mighty Shane Triumph Over Eagles in Early Season Thriller
On the back of an embarrassing defeat to Daan, the boys in yellow came out with a point to prove against an in-form Eagles side. This point was made with aplomb as Shane ran out 2-1 winners in a hotly contested affair under the sweltering Taiwanese sun.
The 1:00 start saw the boys peeling off clothing even prior to kickoff, as temperatures pushed into the 30s. Despite the heat, the match started with high intensity, with both sides surging forward to test the opposition and gain an early foothold in the game.
With such a high intensity and both teams on edge, it was only a matter of time before the nerves became too much and someone made a mistake. Fortunately for the Mighty Shane, this mistake was made by the Eagles keeper as Diego Ballesteros' incisive pass found Small Brian McLaughlin, who drilled a dangerous cross into the area. The pace and spin of the cross took the keeper by surprise, causing him to bungle the save and watch helplessly as the ball tumbled into his net.
Shane 1:0 Eagles
The goal gave the Shane boys a boost of confidence, which saw them continue to probe the opposition's defense and test the keeper. It was not a walk in the park, however, as the Eagles played with moves and aggression that at times caused real problems for the Shane back line. One such move resulted in an Eagles attacker with the ball at his feet near the 6 yard box, only to fire within the reach of goalkeeper Toby Shaw, who was more than a match for the shot.
As the half ticked down, the Mighty Shane pushed forward for that coveted two-goal cushion. The gaffer Sam Thompson found himself in some space on the left wing and played a neat pass into the path of Zach Paruch, who slotted across to Shane's Dane Patrick Krogh. Whilst the Scandinavian's subsequent shot was superb, the Eagles keeper was well up to the task and palmed the ball out for a corner. In an odd decision, the official blew for halftime before the corner could be taken.
After a rousing speech by the gaffer, the boys in yellow came out for the second half ready and motivated to see the game out. Although the intensity remained high, the Shane back line held resolute, with Mamadi Colley and Jack Snart putting in particularly impressive shifts in the heart of the defense.
Midway through the second half, some neat interplay saw Zach Paruch play a clever ball over the top of the defense and into the path of Patrick Swandell, who struck a goal-of-the-season contender into the top-left corner of the net with his first touch, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Shane 2:0 Eagles
Finding themselves two goals behind and staring the prospect of a shock defeat square in the face, the Eagles poured players forward in search of a comeback. In response, Shane dropped men back to tighten up the defense and maintain the precious – but well-deserved – lead. The boys held firm as wave after wave of attacks came forward, but a comedy of errors coupled with some fortunate bounces saw the Eagles' star attacker bring a goal back and guarantee a tense finish.
Shane 2:1 Eagles
Despite conceding, Shane grabbed ahold of the game again and pushed forward, maintaining possession and getting attackers in dangerous areas. Patty Swandell, new player Craig, and Zach Paruch all had great efforts that went close in the closing moments, but that elusive third goal was not in the cards on the day.
A few tense moments aside, the game would finish with a whimper as both teams tired under the blazing sun, and the Mighty Shane would take the spoils in a shock result.
Having won two of their first three games, Shane is in a great run of form and has their eyes on a top half finish when the league splits into two divisions this summer. The Mighty Shane are off this Sunday, March 18, but will be looking for a win when they are back in action on March 25 against Triangle FC.