12 Feb

There’s a special kind of fire that only top shelf squads get to play with.

As undefeated FC Fabrose huddled before confronting a familiar FC Fusion squad nine points their lesser and with only two subs to spare, keeper Sebastien Gauthier had a sinking feeling a month’s worth of poor starts meant they were just asking to get burned.

So it would go. Despite whistling some early blistering shots by Benjamin Caron’s far post, it was Fusion who would draw first blood on Etienne Lefevre’s brilliant counterattack cross reception. Teammate François Bolduc, a well-reputed yellow card collector who was already one call away from potential ejection, decided to put his frustration to good use and converted a picture-perfect half volley off a corner kick to double his squad’s lead. (8394)

On the Fabrose bench, the terrible half was attributed to lax defensive coverage that provided opposing ball carriers with way too much space. Fusion, meanwhile, seemed too winded for words. Neither acknowledged the beautiful display of heads up soccer.

The second half unfolded with equal pace. Fabrose seemed to regain their footing after striker Dave Cloutier, dangerous by design, finally struck gold, negating the potentially insurmountable three-goal lead that had nearly materialize only seconds earlier. The 2-1 deficit was not to last. Midfielder François Bolduc once again took matters into his own hands and blew past a couple of defenders to make it 3-1. Under constant pressure, Fabrose defenders had come to rely too heavily on the long ball, reaching for strikers that were always a step behind, leaving Fusion to control all the spaces in between.

Amidst a flurry of dangerous feet and spectacular two-way runs, it was a strange set of touches and bounces that brought a late Fabrose goal. The pressure became palpable. François Bolduc failed to make good on a hasty free kick taken without a wall. In those frenetic dying minutes, Franckly Alcimerone literally had the tying Fabrose goal on his feet but the ball somehow soared over the crossbar instead. The game would end 3-2.

“This first loss is a wake-up call for us and proves that we need to be prepared, starting from the first whistle,” explained Sebastien Gauthier, making it a point to take nothing away from FC Fusion’s stellar performance. “We had it coming.”

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