Zum Reserve's Inspirational PK Win over Celtic

By Ralph Chery

By Ralph Chery

March 14, 2017

 

One of the most uplifting win we’ll see in the CSL in seasons to come. A 5’7” keeper racked two saves in a penalty shootout, a center back tied the game with a free-kick from about 25 yards—his first CSL goal—and another defender scored the winning penalty kick in his debut game for the club.

 

Zum Schneider FC 03 Reserve defeated Manhattan Celtic Reserve 2-1 in their last game of the Fall season. Their next game was against Manhattan Celtic’s first team in the first round of the John Kilby Cup.

Zum Reserve wanted to prove to themselves that they could not only defeat a club’s reserve team but also their first team.

Their captain Andres Abramovits wasn’t available for the game. Although under the leadership of their second captain, Jack Brunwin, the team was “fairly confident” going into the match.

After the last motivational and tactical words as the whole team huddled on the pitch, the players were ready to work their socks off for their club under the 23 °F weather.

However the back four fell asleep in the eighth minute, allowing an opposing defender, James Reilly, to run from his position and bang a header in the net in open play.

Most soccer fans would’ve bet that the first team were on their way to a victory against the reserve side after this early goal.

Zum Reserve were rewarded a free-kick from about 25 yards late in the first half. When the team’s free-kick taker, Mathi, lined up on the ball to hit the set piece, there was another player standing next to him, hungry to take the free-kick—a center back.

Ricardo Sutherland said he scores “once every five, 10 years,” however Mathi allowed him to take the free-kick when they were down a goal in a cup game.

“When I told him [Mathi] I was going to take it, I was pretty surprised that he gave me the green light,” Sutherland said. “But his confidence in me gave me the confidence to put the ball in the back of the net.”

The 28-year-old skillfully raised the ball over the wall and in the net.

Zum Reserve kept Celtic scoreless in the second half but wasn’t able to take the lead. Subsequently the game went to the nervy penalty shootout.

The reserve side’s keeper, David Criollo, is the third shortest player on the team, standing at five feet and seven inches. Criollo didn’t let his height stand in his way in helping his side win the game.

“My team deserved the win, it was up to me to give it to them,” the keeper said.

When the opposing kickers were walking in front of a freezing and tensed up Criollo, he thought of his loved partner to warm himself up and ease up the pressure.

“Besides wanting to be home and warm I thought of my significant other," the 24-year-old said. "Thinking of her always brings me ‘luck’. But once the kicker stood on the spot it's all about reading their stance and trying to intimidate them.”

Criollo’s strategy was successful, he dove the right way on each kick and was able to get one save. Manhattan’s keeper also racked a save. Hence the game was still tied after the first five penalties. On to the nervier sudden death it was.

Criollo thought of his loved one once more when the sixth Celtic kicker was walking to the spot. It was successful again; the keeper stretched all of his five feet and seven inches stature to stop the ball from entering the net.

Zum Schneider Reserve had a glorious chance to advance to the next round. It was all in the hand of Edouard Caumon. A defender who subbed in the second half and was playing his first game for the club.

“It would be a ‘bad start’ if I miss the victory penalty in my first game for the club,” Caumon thought as he strode the long walk to the penalty spot.

Caumon might’ve not been thinking of his girlfriend or wife before kicking the penalty but whatever he was thinking about worked. The 32-year-old hit the spot kick beyond the opposing keeper and into the net.

And in the most enthralling affairs from Sutherland, Caumon and Criollo, Zum Schneider Reserve defeated a team from the top flight to advance to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

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