After successfully progressing from the group stage GAS were drawn to face familiar foes Siam Celtic in the Cup QF on a sweltering Sunday afternoon at Patana School.
Preparations weren’t ideal as GAS just about managed to put a squad together but were carrying a few injured players as a result. The game couldn’t have started better however as without a Celtic player even touching the ball GAS went 1-0 up after some neat play at the back and through midfield led to Carlos having the ball on the right wing and slipping it through to John in the box who had time to turn and ‘place’ a left footed shot which the Celtic keeper couldn’t keep out and the ball rolled into the right hand side of the net, the perfect start.
GAS continued to dominate the opening exchanges with a number of chances going begging from set pieces as Celtic eventually began to grow into the game. The oppositions tactics were clear from the off and the challenges flew in and an already injury hit GAS squad were being physically tested to their limits.
Despite getting on the ball more towards the end of the half Celtic failed to really create any chances of note and the half finished 1-0 GAS.
The half time message from Gerd was clear, the boys needed to match the physicality of Celtic and keep up the energy levels of the first 40 minutes with a semi final spot in sight.
The second 40 minutes continued in much the same fashion as the first as the game became very stop-start with a number of heavy challenges and soft decisions going the way of both teams. GAS were dealt a blow however as midfield maestro Tommy was forced off injured following a couple of heavy challenges on the touch line and RB Carlos also limped off shortly after with a recurrence of the ankle injury picked up in the previous game against Tenderloins.
Now down to a bare 11 with no subs GAS were coming under heavy pressure from the opposition although chances were still few and far between as the backline marshalled the Celtic forwards expertly with stand in full-backs Robbie & Matteo and familiar CB’s Carl and Dao doing an admirable job back there.
With Tommy going off earlier, Norwegian Airlines most reliable pilot was deployed in the centre forward role with John shifting to the left and Josep moving into the no. 10 role and it was the big Norwegian with a bit of magic that Captain Sully would’ve been proud of that finished their determined opponents off. GAS broke quickly from a corner as the ball was with Thomas out on the right who took on a couple of players before laying the ball back to Gaute on the edge of the box who threaded a lovely ball through to John on the corner of the six yard box who lifted the ball first time over the Celtic keeper into the top right hand corner! Excellent team move!
Despite the healthy lead GAS did however finish the game with 10 men after man of the moment Gaute completed his eventful afternoon by picking up a red card after kicking out at everyones favourite Celtic full-back. We can only hope he doesn’t react the same way to a spot of turbulence on the Bangkok-London route.
Given the circumstances it was a fantastic team effort by all involved and progress to the SF was sealed with a 2-0 win to set up a date with last years finalists FC Planet in May.
MOM – John Fleming #9