Your Tennis Borussianer take the field this Friday at 7pm in the historic Mommsenstadion.
The opponents from the Mecklenburg Lake District are currently in place 12 but should not be underestimated. They'll be looking to steal a win from Berlin on a Friday night.
After the loss in Staaken last week, Brauer's Boys need to show that they can compete hard every minute of the game, regardless of the opponent, and fight for the win. It only takes a moment of laziness to allow the opponent to score a goal. Looking forward to see how they work together as a team to control the play and build offense.
Let's hope this is a rebound game for the Violets. Autumn weather, football in Mommsen, what more could you want?
Let's get a win!
Choice is yours, don't be late,
Come as you are,
Come on TeBe!
1 September 2023
On the train to the stadium, the Mommsen faithful were already visible. A random man said "Scheiß Fußball" under his breath. One might agree sometimes generally, except that this club gives you a reprieve from many of the horrible aspects of sport - this is Fußball as it is meant to be, a game played on grass in community, Fußball Pur. I smiled and chatted with a father and son in TB gear.
The walk to the stadium was great as ever: friends meeting up, the walk through the pines, chatting with strangers who wanted to catch a game while visiting Berlin, and the roller hockey court in full use.
The game itself was much more civil than the last home game against Mahlsdorf (maybe in part because the opposing head coach was once with TB).
Tactically, the strategies were apparent early and stayed the same throughout the game. Tennis was trying to build up plays with passing and runs along the wing. TSG on the other hand was relying on playing well placed long balls to their strikers.
While TB was able to get towards creating chances, they all seemed to fall short at the end. Attempts at headers were pointless - this seemed to be the specialty of the opposing defense. Most crosses in the air were to a lone Violet surrounded by red jerseys who were all tall and skilled at heading the ball out. The offense would need a differeny tactic if they wanted to score.
The long-balls from the Lakelanders however kept getting more and more dangerous. It was as if they were simply calibrating their aim. While the Prussian defense held, they were being tested. The TB goalie in particular had his work cut out for him between awkward passes to him from scrambling defenders and Neustrelitz passes aimed just before the box so he couldn't use his hands. The riskiest, however, was the general strategy of passing the ball back to the keeper under pressure for him to make a pass. Already in the first half an opposing striker nearly stole the ball off a clearing attempt.
Despite the skilled attacks from Neustrelitz, TB was making more chances, still struggling to finish. A player would dribble well in the middle but fail to make a good pass, another would make a good run but not get the cross through.
The highlight came, though, thanks to the two speedy, skilled wingers: Ramadan and Karabiyik. Ramadan had a good run up the right wing and got a great cross in, the defense got a knee on it, but not enough to deflect it out - instead it went straight over to a waiting Karabiyik who was in perfect position on the left and shot a laser far side to the right corner. Textbook. 1:0 for TB!
Ramadan kept playing well, making plays out of nothing with skilled, gritty moves around the defenders. He almost scored off a long ball, but was taken out by the opposing goalie.
The score held until halftime, with the Neustrelitz attacks getting more and more dangerous and the Violets playing well but showing a bit of a lack of confidence and unable to notch another goal.
The second half started with a dangerous cross in from Neustrelitz - more of the same. It was clear it would be possible, even likely that the opponents would eventually score. The Violet defense was playing well, but the best defense would be a good offense and another goal or two to protect the lead. TB had more chances but needed to get the ball in the net.
It looked optimistic to start, with the Violets playing excellent defense in the midfield and making good attacks.
Number 24 of the opponents was their best attacker, making strong runs with pace (and built like a bull-dozer). The Tennis defender couldn't stop him and pulled on his jersey (once, the ref let it go or didn't see) this didn't stop him, pulled some more (this time, obvious - was he hoping for a foul to stop the play?) ref blows the whistle, then 24 knocks down the Tennis defender. A scrum ensues with lots of complaining from TB. Defender gets a yellow, Mecklenburg gets a red.
Ok, you think, we're up 1:0, they're down a man, this will be easy, we've won the game.
But the game was not over yet.
Right away, TSG is putting on the pressure. The TB keeper is getting hemmed in, two attackers, he needs to pass - a mistake, Neustrelitz gets it, pass, shot, it's in. 1:1, the equalizer down a man. "Ball doesn't lie."
Ok, pull together, we can still win. But the Violets seemed to have the wind knocked out of their sails. They were playing like in the first half, building offense - but they were not attacking any more aggressively, not making more passes, it didn't feel like they were up a man or tied instead of in the lead. Too often they would make an attack, then it fell apart, and they turned to complaining to the ref or putting their heads down instead of getting up and trying again. That kind of play doesn't win down here, just playing harder. You can't look to refs to win you the game, you have to win it yourself as a team.
At one point Oschmann yelled to his teammates, "We're up a man!" trying to will them up a gear. If they wanted to win, they'd have to try harder.
Slowly, they started kicking it up notch-by-notch. A good run up the side. (Finally!) a shot towards the goal (not enough, but you have to try - " You miss 100% of the shots you don't take").
The attacks kept coming: an attempted header (no chance against this defense with just one attacker), a corner (kicked out), a good cross (but all the attackers were on the far side of the defense - they needed to be more aggressive), a free kick to a pass to a cross (headed into goalie's hands), a run up the middle (shot too central, goalie stopped it), a clever set of passes (shot over the net).
The urgency and confidence were lacking early, but the team had started trying harder. Now all they needed was to actually score. At the end of the day, it's a game on grass, kick the ball into the net. Fußball Pur.
It felt like a bad omen that the Funkturm was lit up red, the color of the Neustrelitz kits. Despite that, a couple of kids were running back and forth with violet-white flags. Optimism and joy persevere.
Brauer's Boys were trying at least, but they couldn't force the goal they needed. In the last second, TSG made a run, a dangerous cross, they almost scored, our goalie kept it out. He saved the game from being a loss. That would have been bitter.
Three whistles, the game was a tie, 1:1.
Kudos to the father on the train, he bet that it would be a tie. Kudos, but I wish he were wrong. It was a tie that could have been a win.
This team is good enough to win: they have the speed, toughness, and talent. They need the will and confidence to fight to win these games. They started showing that as they didn't give up and kept on pressing.
Now they just need to score more goals. Easier said than done of course, but, that's the game. Fußball Pur.
Let's hope that they can build on this experience and come back hungry next game for more goals and a win.
Come on TeBe!
Hey, thanks for the support (and for keeping Wedding Rot!)