Top of the table Forbidden City dropped their first points of the season as they were humbled by a hungry Beijing Celtic outfit. Unsurprisingly it was a close and physical match but on this occasion Celtic deservedly took the spoils coming from behind and winning 3-1.
The Celtics decided to do what they do best and give their attackers the freedom to use their pace to attack and run directly at the Forbidden defence and things looked promising. Against the run of play City took the lead early on through a deflected shot from outside the area. In response Celtic increased the intensity and with the forbidden team unable to cope many late tackles started to be conceded. From one of the resulting fouls Alan Kelly stepped up and his free kick, after taking a “slight” deflection, glided into the net. 1-1 Half time.
The speed of the match went up a notch in the second half and the game became more open. A chance fell to Daryl Harkin from close range to make it 2-1 but he sent the ball high over the bar. However, after hearing Injured teammate Demus George’s polite and constructive encouragement from the sideline after his miss, Daryl bounced back and was in the right position to squeeze the ball over the line from a goal mouth scramble.
Superstar keeper Warren Eben kept the match at 2-1 with some fantastic saves and finally to put the match to bed Sinclair McMatch made it 3-1 with an absolute wonder strike from a 40-yard free kick. The New Zealander’s first goal for the club and one that will be quite tough to match.
A very comprehensive performance and victory although most would agree that these must needed 3 points were earned 3 days earlier at the Celtics Thursday evening training.
Many people laughed and ridiculed eccentric American soccer coach Jeff Young as he insisted that instead of playing football it would be more beneficial for the players to jump into each other and violently collide in the air to prepare mentally and physically for what would be a very tough football match.
Once again, the Jersey boy proved his critics wrong and there’s no doubt he’s probably reading this now in sunny Sanya wearing a questionable Hawaiian shirt with a smug smile, a beautiful lady, and an even more beautiful cobb salad.