On a day that truly marked the coming of winter, Fortuna and the Barbars played out a gritty game. Both teams had enough chances to win it, but the clinicality of Shun upfront for Fortuna proved the difference.
The Barbars had taken a lot from last week's game against Sexy, and this showed early on as they came out playing with confidence, keeping possession well, and looking to create, while still maintaining last week's firmness at the back.
When in possession the Barbars looked to play to Alex or Mo behind the Fortuna defense but were often flagged (dubiously, as we saw it) for offside. The one time the Barbars did manage to beat the trap and play in an attacking player, it resulted in John chasing a ball into the box only for a mammoth of a defender to blatantly shoulder charge him off the ball. This foul action resulted in...well, nothing, due to the ref being as equally incompetent as his companions running the line.
The first half flowed from end to end with little created as far as clean chances. The Barbars contined to try to play the strikers in, and Fortuna looked to get the ball to their pink-headband-wearing star player, Shun. This resulted in little joy for much of the first half due to Dary's clinging defense.
This changed in an instant though when the call, "Keeper!" quickly morphed into, "OH SH*T!" once it became apparent that he had no chance of actually getting to the ball. The Barbars' goalie was left red-faced as Shun nicked in to flick the ball into the open net. 1-0 to Fortuna, and that was the score at halftime.
The second half was dominated by the Barbars for long periods, as they pressed the Fortuna defense and had many looks but just could not break through. Mo almost scored one for the Barbars when he attempted to lob it over the keeper's head. But the keeper somehow managed to get back and make a stunning save for the cameras, tipping the ball just over the bar.
Despite their improved attack, the Barbars' defense still had to be wary of at the back though as Fortuna still posed a strong threat, as shown when their silky South American danced his way past 3 or 4 defenders and into the box, only to be quickly shut down by the Barbars' keeper, who made a solid save to get some form of redemption from his first half miscue. A second goal for Fortuna did come when Shun won the ball near the byline in the box and avoided several challenges, a despairing dive from the keeper, and a defender on the goal line to slot the ball into the corner. 2-0 Fortuna.
Barbars were down, but by no means out. led on by Captain and soon-to-be Man Of the Match Mo, they kept fighting and carving out chances, the best of which, fell to Andre on the far post. Mo had pulled the ball back across the face of goal and with Andre unmarked inside the 6 yard box; a goal looked certain, but somehow it didn't go in. Moments later Isaac, who had come on to make a big impact in the second half neatly tucked one away after another goal mouth scramble was. 2-1 Fortuna.
2 Red Cards and Nearly a Funeral....
The Barbars were relentless now, agressively attacking the Fortuna back line, and then came the talking point of the game. After Dary came free down the left wing, the same juggernaut of a defender who had done his wrecking ball act on John in the first half repeated the trick on Dary, making zero attempt to play the ball and only aiming to take down the man. Dary then leapt to his feet and attempted to play a quick free kick. One small problem: The Fortuna defender was sitting on the ball and bore the brunt of Dary's powerful kick. An honest mistake, and entirely fair to the Barbars after the foul Dary had just endured, but one that Fortuna did not take well. Just about their entire squad charged at Dary and fists began to fly. The Barbar bench and team quickly got involved to break up the mêlée. Two red cards followed, one for each team, but it wouldn't be surprising to see some action taken at a later date, as several of the Fortuna squad clearly overreacted and quite probably need to get laid to release some of their built-up tension.
After it had all calmed down, the game restarted. For the most part the Barbars kept pushing, save for Fortuna counterattack thwarted by the keeper, and in the end it finished 2-1 to the opponent.
The Barbars can take a lot out of this game, Had the Barbars made a couple fewer boneheaded mistakes and perhaps buried one more good opportunity, they easily could have tied or even won it. Man of the Match went to the indefatigable Mo, who motivated the team, created chances all day, and led by example.
--Match report by Swanny Motson