Monday, November 28, 2011

While I was Away...

While I was away on my recent trip to South Korea, a great deal has happened with our supreme Jedi Soccer icons, FC Barcelona.  On Sunday November 20, Barca took on Zaragoza at camp Nou and crushed their opponents, 4 - 0, with goals by Pique, Messi, Puyol and Villa.

Then, on Wednesday November 23, FC Barcelona played AC Milan on the road in Champions League play, winning a thrilling 3-2 decision over their italian rivals.  Milan's Mark Van Bommel played in an own-goal to give Barca the lead, but former Barca star Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized later on against his former club.  Then, Messi Wan Kenobi put Barca ahead, before Kevin Prince-Boatang drew Milan level once again.  A final goal by Xavi but Barca up for good, giving the Catalan's the clear advantage in their Champions League group. 

Riding their winning streak of 27 games in a row, FC Barcelona was perahps overconfiodent coming into their match against Getafe last week.  To everyone's great surprise, Getafe upset Barca 1 - 0 on the strength of Juan Valera's 67th mionute goal.  this shocking outcome ended Barcelona's historic 27 game winning streak, and has allowe arch rivals Real madrid to open a six point lead in La Liga competition.

That brings us up to date with Barca.  Let's hope they can now re-focus after the Getafe disaster, and gain some ground on Real.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Barca Over L'Hospitelet 0 - 1


Andres Iniesta struck just before half-time to give Barcelona a narrow victory over local rivals Hospitalet in the teams' first-leg Copa del Rey clash on Wednesday night.

Pep Guardiola's side made the short trip to Hospitalet, just outside the Catalan capital, in a game rescheduled due to the European champions' participation in the Club World Cup in December.

With a return at Camp Nou coming just three days after the final in Japan, uardiola stressed the importance of taking an advantage into that match against the Segunda Division B side.

His cause was not helped by the loss of several of his stars due to this week's international matches, with Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Dani Alves and Adriano all away with their South American national sides.

However, Barca's Spain's stars were given special dispensation to start in this match ahead of the friendly against England at Wembley on Saturday.

Carles Puyol, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa and Iniesta all started, and it was the latter who gave Barca the breakthrough as he blasted home a lovely effort from outside the box two minutes before the half-time interval.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Barca Ties Bilbao 2 - 2

From the Hindustan Times:

Lionel Messi saved Barcelona’s blushes with an injury-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw away at Athletic Bilbao as Real Madrid stretched their lead at the top of the Spanish league with a 7-1 drubbing of Osasuna.

In the rain-hit Basque country Ander Herrera opened the scoring for Athletic only for Cesc Fabregas to pull Barca level on 24 minutes.

When Barca defender Gerard Pique put the ball into his own net with 10 minutes remaining, Athletic looked all set to hand the European champions their first league defeat of the season.

In a frantic finish to the match, however, Messi made the most of a defensive mistake to pounce on a loose ball and score his 14th in the league and first away from the Nou Camp this season.

It means Real, on 28, lead Barcelona (25) by three points with Valencia (24) in third a point further adrift.
The rain had fallen all day in Bilbao but the conditions did not affect the quality of football as both sides looked for the win from start to finish.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Strikers Lose Inaugural NASL Soccer Bowl to Minnesota


"The NSC Minnesota Stars won the first North American Soccer League title against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on a 3-1 aggregate following a 0-0 draw Saturday, October 29th, on a wet Lockhart Stadium.

Being the lowest ranked seed in these playoffs, the NSC Minnesota Stars went through a tough gauntlet of teams to get to this point. They had to go through the third-seeded FC Tampa Bay, the regular season champion Carolina RailHawks, and finally, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

The match tonight was tough for both teams. A rainstorm prior to the match caused the field to be very wet, making the ball tough to play with a simple touch or pass."

Despite this loss, the re-born Fort Lauderdale Strikers have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the new North American Soccer Leauge.  Coach Daryl Shore's side has demonstrated tremendous poise in the playoffs.  As an official 'Striker-Liker' and a member of Flight 19, this writer is well pleased with the performance of the team this year, and here at Jedi Soccer we look forward to next season and, hopefully, another run at the NASL Soccer Bowl.

Well Done, Red and Yellow!