Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A tale of two Taylors

Friday's friendly against Olympiakos in Portugal brought a first: a penalty shoot-out in which neither side triumphed. Saylor had given us the lead with a deflected shot in the first half, only for Kostas Mitroglu to equalise ten minutes from the end of normal time. The only other points of note were an injury for Dan Gosling, a pair of yellow cards for the Greek side's Francois Modesto and Papiss Cisse hitting the post.

Our Senegalese marksman then ballooned the first spot-kick over the bar, but thankfully Haris Vuckic, Romain Amalfitano and Perchinho all held their nerve, and when Tim Krul saved Olympiakos' fifth effort, Mehdi Abeid squared it up at 4-4 and the referee - bizarrely - called a halt to proceedings.

A day later against Sporting Braga and it was Raylor who got on the scoresheet with a fine free-kick which whipped inside Beto's post and which proved to be the winner. Demba Ba scored first, following up a saved penalty after a pacy, tricky run from Sylvain Marveaux had been illegally curtailed in the box. A flowing move ended with Ruben Amorim drawing the Portuguese side level via a deflection off Sideshow Bob. Braga ended the game with ten men, while the match was also notable for a first pre-season appearance for Dreamboat, who came close to scoring when his volley into the ground was turned over the bar by Beto.

That result meant we triumphed in the three-team tournament and will bring home some silverware. The Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Guadiana may not have been at the top of our wishlist, but everyone's got to start somewhere.




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