DreamTeam FCA players are used to meeting challenges, but it would have been hard to prepare for the make-up match with second place Explosion FC held on Friday night.
Near freezing temperatures, a hidden field, a hard playing surface and portable lighting equipment created a difficult setting for the Under 12 boys. But they have shown their resiliency all season long, and this night was no different.
Seeing themselves outplayed in the first half it was only the solid defending of the DreamTeam that kept the home team off the board. The Explosion resorted to sending several long balls through the center channel and deep into the DreamTeam end that center back Max Stuken-Pickering and keeper Vitor Barros turned away effectively. On the other end, it was the Explosion defenders that frustrated DreamTeam’s controlled passing game, being first to the ball throughout the half. The first half ended scoreless.
The second half saw the DreamTeam regroup and take charge. The insertion of Ian Louback up top while dropping striker Richard Nunes deeper into the midfield presented problems for the Explosion defenders and gave the DT 12s more control of the play. And it was Tristan Woods who finally broke the deadlock, taking a perfectly weighted ball from Nunes in stride and hitting a perfect strike into the back of the net from the top of the box. DreamTeam continued to press with a greater control throughout the midfield and won several corner and free kicks that fell dangerously in front of the Explosion goal. It was one of the Explosion clearances off a DT set piece that found an alert Max Stuken-Pickering. He collected the ball about 25 meters from goal, and rifled a shot that the Explosion keeper had no chance to save. 2-0 DreamTeam.
The Explosion showed why they are a formidable opponent as they pressed the play to get back into the game. A questionable call inside the box provided them a penalty kick that they promptly converted making for a heated few minutes before the referee blew the final whistle.
The 2-1 win preserved top of the table positioning for the DreamTeam 12s and sets up their final match of the season on Sunday with the Under 12 Blue Division title well within their sight.