Despite having more ball possession and one more men on the field, the Bohemians F.C. gave an irregular performance at home.
The weather was cold and harsh on March 17, St. Patrick`s Day, at Dalymount Park, before and after the match between the Bohemians F. C. and Galway United. But, despite the strong winds and the insufferable rain, more fans than I had expected arrived to support their clubs on Friday.
With the game being at the Bohemians F. C. home turf, most the colors displayed were black and red, which immediately made me remember of Flamengo, one of the biggest football teams in Brazil. Nonetheless, if the Bohemians colours took the field, it was the voice of a small group of very vocal Galway supporters that gathered most of the attention before the match began. If they were already drunk by that time I could only wonder how they would be after the game. Drinking to celebrate, or to conform with a defeat?
Many families were present. Adults trying to take care of 3 or 4 kids full of sugar and energy. Different from the adults, they didn`t seem bothered by rankings and statistics. Most of them didn`t even knew if the Bohemians or Galway were faring well in the Premier Division. Their joy was simply for being there. Impossible not to envy those kids.
Some children entered the field were the players from Bohemians F. C. we’re taking their last kicks during the pre-match moments. They talked with the players, like they were their big brothers. Their eyes filled with veneration for their idols.
That level of intimacy and camaraderie was a pleasant surprise for me. In Brazil, it is almost fiction to imagine a scene were players from the main division actually care to speak with their fans. Very few exceptions aside, getting in contact with players from our main clubs (Palmeiras, Vasco, Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Flamengo) is a task only suited to those with the right connections. They might talk to the son or daughter of the club’s owner, but to a regular child? Only in dreams.
And the arbitrage trio included a woman (assistant Michelle O`Neill) in a male football game. This was also a novelty for me. In Brazil, male football almost don`t include females on the arbitrage. I remembered of watching only one game of male football in my home country with a woman on the arbitrage. The match became famous for the amount people (including members of the press) that harassed her during and after the game. But no such thing happened on Dalymount Park.
The Bohemians F.C. and Galway numbers before the match
Neither club’s current situation in the Premier Division can be considered good at the moment. The Bohemians are number 7 on the table, while Galway is almost at the bottom at number 11. Neither team had many goals to their credit. In a total of x games the Bohemians scored 6 times, and Galway only twice.
The Gypsies campaign includes: 2 defeats, 1 tie and 2 victories. Galway had 3 defeats and 2 draws on their curriculum.
A promising start and a disappointing conclusion
The first 45 minutes of the match had some interest moments. Most of those moments were courtesy of the Bohemians. They fared better in the beginning, taking most of the ball possession and creating more chances.
On the other hand, Galway were defensive, and faced difficulties when trying to take the ball from midfield forward. The Bohemians pressure resulted in a corner. Lorcan Fitzgerald kicked and Corcoran scored a header for the Bohemians on min. 16. The team`s number 9 made his 5th goal in the Premier League, and is now by far the Gypsies main scorer.
Perhaps because of the confidence of getting ahead so early against a technically inferior adversary is to blame for what happened later. Mid through the first half, Galway started to counter attack and test the Bohemian`s defence. The crowd got up in mass to celebrate.
On min. 40 Murray converted a low shot cross. A beautiful goal and the third overall for Galway`s campaign in the Premier. This time almost no one in the crowd cheered.
One of the things I was quite content to observe was the lack of “drama” from the part of the players. They fell, but got up almost in the same instant. And if the shock was more serious, the athlete was quickly removed from the field.
By contrast, in Latin American Football, and also in some European countries like Italy and Spain, its common to see players crumbling and delaying the match because of a mere shock with another athlete. And the arbiters (usually) cooperate with such attitudes by stopping the match at any possible time.
Maybe this is different in Ireland as a result of the influence of rugby and Gaelic football, or simply the because we are dealing with less world-renowned teams. What mattered was that things were agile and fast paced in the first half.
The 15-minute break had another interesting scenario (at least for me). Children entered the field and played with the ball`s match. This never happened in Brazil`s top division games. Couldn`t stop admiring that respectful, friendly-like atmosphere, like everyone was part of the same family.
The second half was mostly tedious. The Bohemians continued to maintain ball possession, but weren`t able to create many goal opportunities. The goalkeepers were mostly just watching the game, their uniforms as clean as it was before the match began. Neither one had a memorable moment in the 90 minutes of play.
With 20 min. remaining, Galway`s Alex Byrne received his second yellow card (discipline is harsher here than in Latin America) of the day and had to leave the field. But the visitors held for the remaining time despite having only ten on the field. After the end of extra time, the Bohemians fans weren`t very pleased with the result. Galway`s fans were more content with their team`s performance.
Despite the draw, the Bohemians are now number 5 at the table, with a total of 7 points. Galway remains number 11, with a total of 2 points.
The events between the match surprised me more than the game itself.