By: Erin Lycan Our opening match was against the Krasnador Region team at 10 a.m.
From Fran’s Summary:
Region 1 took an early lead in the match in the 17th minute when a well-struck indirect kick struck by Tori Leigh was redirected into the goal by a Krasnodar defender. The match was a physical match, with Krasnodar imposing their presence on the game both on the ground and in the air. Region 1 took a 1-0 lead into the half and scored first in the 2nd half taking the lead 2-0 on a goal scored by midfielder Jenna Gibney who was making a streaking run into the box to finish a low driven ball by Tori Leigh. Following Region 1’s second goal, rain began and continued for much of the remainder of the 2nd half and the 2-0 lead didn’t last for long, as Krasnodar scored from long range in the 55th minute, less than 7 minutes after Region 1 went up 2-0. Just 4 minutes later, Krasnodar scored again and tied the game when a free player on the flank crossed a ball that was driven on a full volley on a great finish.
The remainder of the day for the team will consist of a team meeting and attending the Opening Ceremonies. Sunday will consist of a team meeting and video review session, along with an on field training session in preparation for our match on Monday against the Urals (Russia) Regional Team.
It turned out that we had an administrative meeting that lasted almost 3 hours that involved teams picking uniform colors and various introduction to support staff. There were also two guys in the giant animal costumes, one of whom was dressed as an elephant in a plaid jump suit and the other was a cow with giant lips. It was also at this time that they handed out a new schedule (in Russian) noting that our time against Uzbekistan had changed slightly. They neglected to mention that they swapped the much weaker Ural Region team with the U19 youth national team for Ukraine into our bracket. We found out about that the next day. At this point though, we just grin and take it in stride. It’s no surprise that everyone’s gunning for us.