What if superman showed up to save you wearing a t shirt and jeans? You’d still appreciate it, of course, but the without the cape and lycra it just wouldn’t have the same wow factor. Seeing SFC Friedrichshain Internazionale play in standard green is much the same. I’m not of course suggesting that anyone in the team is faster than a speeding bullet, but SFCF’s sleek pink and black jersey is certainly striking enough to be donned by the man of steel himself, or at least one of the X-Men. In an era of overwhelming bland designs which are churned out to teams at every level of the game, it’s refreshing to see SFCF take the design in house at come up with something pretty special. A boldness in colours with which we were blessed with 90s strips, but with niveau. However, due to distribution issues, they are back to their standard green, for the time being at least.
My previous visit to the Kurt Ritter Sportplatz couldn’t have been a more different day than for today’s match. Where before the 10am kick off in 30 degree heat was testament to why football is not a summer sport, today’s kick off at the same hour was a fresh 0°c, prompting the players to dig out their impressive knitted goods from the bottom of their drawers. As gloves, hats, and leggings are a contentious issue in the modern game, it is important to state that Bloody Hell Magazine is pro winter wear on the football field. An award for the best knitwear of the winter months would be a far greater benefit to the game than the Ballon ‘dOr.
Since their moment of unadulterated joy in the penalty shootout which saw them promoted to the Landesliga FZ, SFC Friedrichshain Internazionale have been experiencing a season one has to come expect for a newly promoted team. Coach Andrew Weber is certainly realistic about the challenges his team face after the step up to the Verbandsliga Freizeit and the target this season reflects his awareness of the situation. Ask him what he hopes to achieve this season and ‘stay up’ will be immediate response. Ask again and he’ll likely share that actually to finish in the top half is the real target. I get the distinct impression that he’d settle for the former.
Despite the ambitions of Weber’s SFCF, today’s match was a bottom of the table encounter against Adlershofer BC, who have managed only one win in their five games this season. A potential battle not only for points, but for goals scored should it come down to the wire.
Both teams opened well, but it was Adlershofer BC who looked the more dangerous of the two teams, making some impressive breaks, none of which they managed to convert. They were punished for it too after SFCF went ahead through a beautiful lob. A truly aesthetically pleasing opener. Minutes later an almost equally superb effort by SFCF’s Andy Liu hit the wrong side of the crossbar in a moment which most certainly changed the course of the game.
Had SFCF gone 2-0 up the next twenty minutes may not have happened. Adlershofer BC may not have been woken up by the rattle of the crossbar and may not have managed to take a 3-1 lead. After taking advantage of an error at the back for their first, Adlershofer stormed forward relentlessly and caught the home team off guard. A 3:1 lead to the visitors at half time would have been an unfair reflection of the performance of the home side’s performance, and to this end, a minute after conceding the third, SFCF got themselves back in the game and brought it back to a reasonable one goal deficit.
Fewer second half goals would be balanced out by the addition of a bit of controversy as SFCF were denied a clear penalty with the score still at 2:3. Despite handling in the box, Adlershofer rode a bit of luck, and perhaps too a referee who didn’t have a particularly clear view of the incident, retaining their hold over the game. Both teams performed well during the second half, SFCF in particular drastically improving upon their first half’s defensive performance. It still wasn’t enough to prevent a fourth goal for Adlershofer BC, which rendered the SFCF’s third and final goal a mere consolation to their disappointing defeat.
Their win sees Adlershofer BC move out of the relegation zone, with SF Friedrichshain Internazionale still teetering on the brink of the danger area. Whilst certainly not the start they may have hoped for, Weber and his team can take some positives from the game. Despite the defensive errors on the first half, it was a solid performance and SFCF continue to show the strength of character that help take them to the Landesliga FZ. Should they continue on in the same way, they should have no real worries about relegation this season; whether they can achieve their second goal is another matter entirely. Perhaps the return of the pink and black will help boost their powers?