Date: May 22, 2016
Opponent: Metro City Fury Athletic
Venue: Randall's Island
Beyond F.C. Metro capped off their debut season with a 5-1 victory over Metro City Furry Athletic. Four different goal scorers got their names on the score sheet in a very one-sided encounter, with Larry Debuno helping himself to a brace.
Beyond F.C. played the game at a high tempo for the best part of the first half. It appeared that the team had addressed the slow starts they had had in the early parts of the season and it was paying rich dividends. In the first 45 minutes a plethora of chances fell to Ishann Pujari. The best of which was blazed high over the cross bar from 10 yards out, when Rudis Martinez played an intelligent cut back to Pujari from near the left corner flag. Rudis Martinez went on to have his best half of the season by being a constant menace down the left wing. He overlapped time and again and provided an additional outlet for Nikhil Ledlie, who got a rare start upfront rather than his conventional #10 position behind the striker. For all the attacking threat that Beyond offered, they didn't have anything to show for.
That changed when Glen Mitas marched out of defense with authority. He appeared to have chosen the wrong option by passing to Oz on the right wing rather than have a go at goal himself. Oz shifted the ball with one touch and with his second, unleashed a shot that ended in the top corner to give Beyond F.C. a much awaited and well deserved lead. Shortly after, the opponents drew a smart save from Beyond F.C.'s custodian Jonathan Graneros. When called upon, he parried the only shot on target for a corner.
Beyond F.C. started the second half on the front foot, much the way they finished the first. Samuel Gozlan who started the second half in the place of Oz, provided two delightful crosses for Navrun Jacbon to add to his tally of goals. The two identical opportunities at the far posted ended with a tame header straight at the keeper and a fluffed show respectively. Injury to an opponent brought the game to a stand still for up to 10 minutes, This arrested the momentum. But with the opposition playing with a man down, it was only a matter of time before Beyond F.C. shifted through their gears. Aaron Gomes putting in a shift in the holding midfield role that we are now accustomed to and come to expect of him. Playing along side Mike Lowell and Rahul Bhagavan, the midfield was impregnable. And it's no coincidence that the team's resurgence has come about at a time when the midfield has dominated the games that epitomizes the way Beyond F.C. have played these past 5 games. After a goal mouth scramble resulted in the ball rolling across kindly, Nikhil Ledlie doubled the lead by applying the finishing touch from underneath the goal post. The pick of the goals however came from Samuel Gozlan; a slick move that started with the goal scorer winning the ball on the left of midfield before receiving it back from Aaron Gomes who had played a give and go with Nikhil Ledlie. A move that must surely have pleased the coach, Frank Hauser, who was on hand to oversee the proceedings. A flurry of goals ensued. Both goals had more than a slice of fortuitous deflections en route to Larry Debuno. Although, he hasn't been amongst the goals recently, he finished them both with composure. For the second of his goals and fifth of the evening, he guided the ball using its pace into the side netting, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to his ground. With his confidence high and the crowd egging him on to complete his hat-trick, he tried an audacious over head kick. It was one for the cameras. There was just enough time for the opponents to score a consolation goal. And it was Beyond F.C.'s tormentor-in-chief from the reverse fixture who scored for them.
Whether Beyond F.C. can kick on come the next season, remains to be seen. But especially for a team that's still in its infancy, Beyond F.C. more than held their own during the course of the season finishing a very respectable fourth.
The match report was written by Varun Rangaraj. Varun is a Manchester United enthusiast, an active member of Beyond F.C. and a burgeoning Football critic, who's passion for the sport is unparalleled.