CUFL Men’s Premier Division North
DIT won away at DCU 3-1 on Tuesday to go top of the CUFL Men’s Premier Division North in a close game where both teams showed potential but weren’t impressive.
For the hosts the game started as they meant to go on. The DCU team kept possession and passed the ball clinically, capitalizing on DIT’s early lack of organisation in defence.
They looked like a winning side and they scored in under 15 minutes, a well worked team goal where DIT gave the home team room to pass the ball well. The momentum continued for DCU (wearing yellow jerseys) and DIT (in all-blue) had very little possession of the ball. Despite looking dangerous DCU could not get another goal in this period of possession domination over DIT in the game.
The momentum shifted about 20 minutes into the game, as DIT gained and kept possession for larger periods and they threatened the DCU goal. Here DCU ended their possession based style in favour of a counter-attacking style of play. The long-ball tactics were hit and miss for DCU, ineffective at times but creating great chances for the quick striker at other times.
However, defensively DCU did not contest the ball enough in midfield, the players were often slow to put any pressure on and DIT had plenty of time to work out a scoring chance.
DIT scored two goals before the end of the first half – the first a result of a cross which was deflected off a DCU defender, and the second was a through ball into the box that fell to an unmarked DIT man who had plenty of space to shoot as he put the visitors ahead. Just before the break DIT further agitated DCU by applying pressure on DCU passes, leading to bad passes and aimless long-balls just before it ended 2-1 at half time.
The second half was one of missed chances for both sides. DCU improved in the end of the first half, applying pressure and gaining momentum well. DIT also applied pressure and unsettled the DCU defence at times. Both teams had many crosses and chances in or around the box, but in each case the final touch was poor.
The passion built as the close chances flew by, and DIT predictably used time wasting tactics for the latter part of the half. As time went on DCU were slower to pass and move, but they still had many crosses and shots around DIT’s box near the end as the visitors’ defence were getting tired.
One common trend with DCU was the lack of quality in free kicks. They had numerous set piece opportunities in DIT’s half, but not one looked like it could get a goal. Close frees were hit straight into the wall and distant ones went wide of the box instead of trying to find a yellow jersey in the box.
Despite a constant string of close chances for DCU, it was DIT who struck the back of the net near the games end, scoring from a counter attack when a striker ran through the defence from the wing to produce a good finish into the bottom corner.
In conclusion DIT were happy to travel home with a deserved win, despite many heart stopping times where they almost conceded. For DCU the game showed the teams potential when they had energy and possession, but they need to address the problems of applying pressure and being able to get the final touch on scoring chances and set pieces.
Image Credit: Daria Jonkisz