On Saturday October 8th there were three BFC teams in action and Magic Castle FC, which Richard co- coached.
The haze of the Moscow Autumn blew away as Magic Castle FC collected at the CSKA sports stadium. With all the players happy to see Richard return to help the team after some time away from Russia, efforts focused on the game. The regulars of Bonneville, Viviani, Sobel and Suzuki worked hard as a unit but failed to create the chances to test the opposition net. Suntay in goals produced many fine saves to keep Magic in the match against a strong US Dental team. After some advice by his coach, Kashirin made a number of better decisions and with several fine crossfield passes set up Suzhuki to score Magic’s only goal. The game was tight throughout and finished with a 1-1 draw to keep Magic in first place in Division 5 with two matches remaining. We all have to thank Francois Bonneville for running the team while Richard was away!
Next up were consistently performing British Football School FC. Determined to retain their first place standing in the MYS League, the players were highly motivated from the kick-off to earn another three points – however with only four starting players the challenge was set! Shinohara and Kolodziejska ran onto the pitch as the game kicked off so the team started with little preparation. Tyagi has been in fine scoring form and after ten minutes bagged his brace. The partnership of Kashirin and Kolodziejska in defence was again solid but a positional error meant the opponents got back into the match with a lightning counterattack. At half-time the players were encouraged to communicate more effectively and take better decisions on the ball. Determined to play better football, BFS FC stormed to a 5-1 victory with further goals coming from Tyagi (4) and Shinohara (1). The team have set themselves up well ahead of the finals – very well done!
In a different part of Moscow BFC City played ФК Новая Лига. The two teams were evenly matched, although City were missing several key players through injury and illness and were grateful for the help of Popov and Smyslov (two of our BFC Rovers regulars) in order to field a team. City also gave a welcome debut to Smyslova, who joined the squad as a last minute replacement for one of City’s absent players. City passed the ball well, with each player getting plenty of valuable match practice. Akhatov was City’s stand-out performer in the first half, with his composure on the ball and his intelligent reading of the game. As the game progressed, City created chance after chance, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Moskalyuk came close, as did Grigoryev. ‘New League’ were having no such problems, and it was indeed the clinical nature of their finishing that proved to be the difference on the day. City lost the match 4-0, but the scoreline did not reflect the pattern of the game, and it was an enjoyable and rewarding match against an opponent that BFC City will look forward to doing battle against again in the future.
In the Russian Youth League, BFC Rovers faced two new opponents in ФК Крылатское and ДФК Фартуна Вешняки. Rovers were not on their A-game in the first match, against a strong opponent that capitalized on every miscontrol and misplaced pass. They could not find their rhythm and, despite their best efforts, went down 6-0. In the second match, they were determined to pick themselves up and finish the day on a winning note. They worked hard in their warm-up on passing and receiving under pressure, and it paid dividends as they came out of the blocks quickly in game 2 and took the lead thanks to the tenacity of Ilya Saraev. Debutant George Sutton overcame his initial nervousness to make a huge impact on the game. First, a cool finish into the bottom corner to give Rovers a 2-0 lead, and then an excellent 1-2 combination to set David Smyslov up for Rovers’ third. Rovers retained control of the game, despite giving up a consolation goal to their opponents, and ran out with a comfortable 4-1 victory.