First game between team Rest of the World against a Venezuelan selection coached by Frenchman Gregori Letort.
Several players of the Venezuelan team have already played at the 11 a side games for the Latin team, such as midfielder Emil, striker Ferro and defender Oscar. Gregori himself has participated in several games as well. For many of the Venezuelan players it was the first time in a long time playing a 11 a side game. Together they have not played 11 a side before. Team Rest of the World was more experienced but had several important players missing for the game. The newcomer Jan from Germany and Daniel from Argentina however fitted into the team without problems.
Subs: Liendo, Gregory
Sam – Oscar – Daniel – Aristides
Raymond – Rafael – Carlos Jorge – Emil
Ferro (c) – Alain
Josh (ENG) – Daniel (ARG)
Ryan (US) – Pablo (FR) – Edgar (US) – Bob (MX)
Jan (GER) – Héctor (SV) – Wen (c) (MX) – Angel (MX)
IronMike (GK) (US)
Subs: Diego (MX), Max (FR)
Team Rest of the World
First half: Venezuela with slight advantage
Both teams played in a traditional 4-4-2 formation. ROW captain Wen played with El Salvadorian defender Héctor since a long time finally again together in the central defense. Also midfielder Edgar played in the central midfield after a couple months of abstinence. His strategic play helped ROW against the strong midfield of the Venezuelans. Emil and Raymond on the wings were constant threats. While Mexican Angel and German Jan did a good job in defending against the skillful players, the Venezuelans did make their way into the box a couple times.
In the first minutes Jan, who just arrived to Mexico City a month ago, underestimated a long ball. Raymond quickly took advantage of it and ran with the ball towards the goal from the right side. His shot however landed slightly above the goal bar.
Emil on the left side did it a bit better 20 minutes into the game. He got the ball before the box, danced around ROW defender Wen and Angel and went for the shot. His strong shot landed into the net, making goalkeeper IronMike look unlucky.
Second half: Lots of action in the midfield
In the second half the game mainly took place in the midfield. The Venezuelans passed the ball around quite well but ROW managed to stay strong in the midfield. Pablo and Edgar tried to make space whenever possible, shifting the game to the sides. Some presence in the offensive part of ROW was missing. The international team had problems landing counter attacks because the offensive positions were often not taken.
Mexican Roberto took a heart 10 minutes into the second half when he went for a strong tackle against Venezuelan defender Aristides. After he won the duell he quickly passed the ball to striker Josh. The Englishman stopped the ball and shot the ball precisely in the lower left corner of the goal. Venezuelan goalkeeper Ali was without a chance to save it.
After that Venezuela took over the game, being more decisive in their offensive play. They managed to create several goal scoring opportunities. One of them was finished by captain Ferro, who finished a great pass from Greg into the net.
The scoresheet did not change anymore. Venezuela is the deserved winner at their first 11 a side game against team Rest of the World consisting of players from the US, England, Mexico, El Salvador, France, Argentina and Germany. The return game will take place in 2-3 weeks!
Ryan noticed during half time that his backpack with all his valuables got stolen. Most likely it got stolen by the team that played before us since we entered the pitch before they left the bench. On another occasion, Mathieu’s valuables got stolen while we were playing. Everyone has to take extreme caution for his belongings at the games.