I’m finding it hard to keep up with our schedule and post very often, the days are full of futebol and other fun.
We have played two out of our three tournament games, with the last one coming in a couple of hours. The best team of the four is Monte Siao and they beat us 5-0 Monday. It was 3-0 at half and we shut them down for 25m in the second half but let in two cheaply at the end, a product of fatigue mainly.
Each morning we train with Prof. Emilio Miranda. Monday’s session wexplained the Brazilian scheme of 4-4-2 with all midfielders in a central box which allows the outside defenders a channel to run up the
sideline. He gave us ideas on how to disrupt the tactic of passing the ball around the back that Santos used so effectively against us. The good news is, we used it well against Monte Siao. The bad news is that it requires a ton of running. One of the key things I wanted to boys to see and learn is that Brazilian players are not good because they have great technique on the ball (although they do), they are great because they outwork their opponents. These players are in constant movement up and down the pitch and that causes us much more problems than their superior ball control does.
Yesterday we played Socorro in their stadium and our morning practices again helped us immensely. At about 10m into the game, Eric stuffed a defender who was trying to clear the ball upfield, then took the rebound and dished to Byron who slotted it into the net. 1-0 Vikings! Byron returned the favor when he got his head on a Brandon corner kick and knocked it down to Eric who scored our second.
If we were more versed in playing with the lead we could have run the
game out, like Corinthians did against Fluminense, but we allowed them back in the game and were 2-2 at half. A soft foul gave them a free kick in the second half and they took the lead with a header and we came off 3-2, but wiser and more confident.
Last night we played futsal in Aguas de Lindoia and Prof. Emilio and Toby set up a four team tournament with local boys mixed in with ours, 4 Hammer players and one or two locals to each team. It was an amazing exercise in universal communication and a display of skill from the Aguas de Lindoia players.
A parent game ensued after that with Kieran and my team crushing Toby and his side 3-2. Amory scored for Toby’s team to open the register but Kieran equalized shortly after, and our Brazilian assistant Patricia Rodriguez added two more to put the game away, with Toby’s team adding a late tally on a well-placed low shot I could only get a finger on.