After a long sweaty Summer hiatus, the IFFC finally returned much to the delight of the colourful Beijing expat community. The season opener did not disappoint with goals flying in from both sides in a seven goal thriller which Sexy F.C managed to edge with a 4-3 victory.
A sultry September afternoon set the scene as both teams, after a busy transfer window, were brimming with optimism for the upcoming season. Sexy started the stronger of the two teams, and after 15 minutes the deadlock was broken as their striker rolled the ball into the back of the net from inside the area. Shortly after it was 1-1; as Richie Lenehan beat the offside trap to latch on to a beautiful Nick Signoriello through ball and delicately lob the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later Sexy scored from a swift counter attack, but it was cancelled out soon after as Alan Kelly converted from close range from a dangerous free kick which dropped kindly into the Irishman’s path. Into the second half and the Celtics gained momentum and took the lead from a Ste Hurworth free kick. Well… actually, there was a ridiculous handball from the set piece, and Dom Lytwyn converted the resulting penalty. However, the Liverpudlian reckons it was going in any way so it might as well be his goal. “Demus who?” he quoted in his post-match interview
Sexy took advantage of a lack of focus from the Celtics in the final 20, and they scored twice in quick succession through a corner and a penalty. The Celtics threw everything at them in the last few, but it was to no avail.
In the end, Sexy did their founder Fred from “Right Said Fred” proud and were evidently too sexy for this match and deservedly took the spoils. A disappointing start for the Celtics, however, there were some good debut performances from Sinclair Mc Math and Flynn Stewart Franzen. Meanwhile U.S soccer coach/Cobb salad specialist is confident that the Celtics will build from this and come back stronger next week.