On Sunday, the UTM tri-campus men’s soccer and the St. George Red soccer teams braved the cold to face off in a fierce battle of skill and athleticism. In a game that would be important to UTM in the future, they came out of the gate looking a little sluggish and uncommunicative.
The Reds were able to capitalize within the first minute, with a goal from striker Uadim Linor. UTM wasn’t able to learn from their mistakes, but continued push forward from their defence, leaving the goalie to stand alone without support. Linor, apparently inspired by his initiail success, sent a long ball into the UTM end that slipped by without a blink from the baffled goaltender.
There seemed to be some miscommunication among the UTM players, and the coaches weren’t able to get their team in order either. Throughout the game, UTM’s head coach Omar Jbaihi tried to fire up the team with a stream of expletives and “C’mon!”, but for all his energy, the Reds continued to take advantage of UTM’s weak defence. Reds midfielder Kenneth Teichawen pushed his team even farther ahead with a third goal before the half was up.
At the beginning of the second half, UTM let Linor send a bullet past their goaltender to complete his hat trick.
This 4–0 imbalance must have desperate to the UTM players. They rushed to the other end and sent ball after ball into the penalty box, taking advantage of any opportunity they could get.
UTM striker Bryan Bourguignon blazed down the field and scored twice in a span of five minutes, bringing the difference down to only two goals. This surge seemed to send UTM into comeback mode.
UTM midfielder Antony Said fought in the opposition’s penalty box, getting in the middle in a mess of players, but he was able to tap the ball with his heel and into the Reds’ net, bringing UTM to within one goal of the Reds. In the last few minutes of the half, UTM had possession of the ball for more time than the visiting Reds.
As far as I could tell, the UTM coaches weren’t on top of their game at all. They continued to shout expletives at their own players in an attempt to encourage them, but it didn’t seem to increase their confidence in any way.
An important moment in the game came when UTM had one of their best chances to capitalize and bring the score to a tie; their midfielder had a clear path to the net. But he accidentally sent the ball wide. A second later one of the UTM coaches fell on his backside after a frustrated kick in the air, a move that in my opinion symbolized the UTM coaches’ inability to bring their team’s efforts to fruition throughout the game. UTM lost by one goal to the Reds.
After the game, the head coach stormed off the field, but Bourguignon stayed around to comment on his team’s effort. “We had a bad first half. We were not playing well—we were not focussed,” he said. “On the second half we woke up a little, but our effort was not good enough.”