Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Kaya-Nomads 1-1 draw: The one-point heartbreaker

The one-point heartbreaker
by rick olivares pic by mark dimalanta

May 2, 2013
Emperador Stadium

The heartbreakers have struck again.

Nomads snapped their losing five match losing streak to force a 1-1 draw with Kaya effectively ending the latter’s late season march to the UFL championship.

Last season, Nomads drew, 2-2, with Loyola with a stunning 90th minute goal by Steven Borrill that ended the Sparks’ claims on the league title.

After Kaya went ahead in only the eight minute after Nate Burkey headed in a cross from Logan McDaniel, it looked like they would run away with a blowout as they ruled the midfield even without the suspended OJ Porteria.

Sean Illif missed a sliding poke of the ball inside the box when Chris Greatwich sent the ball in. McDaniel later reprised his cross to Burkey who managed to get his head on the ball only to shoot wide. And Illif later headed the ball into the crossbar.

Nomads drew level in the 47th minute when Fidel Nnabuife with his poacher’s heart banged in the rebound of a Borrill shot (him again) that Kaya keeper Saba Garmaroudi blocked but couldn’t corral.

The equalizer was unnerving for Kaya as they looked shaky for a few minutes while Nomads found its attacking verve. Eventually, the David Perkovic-coached team got back its game and launched a late siege on Friso Klok.

In the early part of the match, Nomads allowed Kaya too much space to forage in the middle and final thirds. By match’s end, they were air tight.

It was another disappointing outing for Kaya as they slumped to their third successive draw – 3-3 against Green Archers United, 1-1 to Pachanga Diliman, and now, 1-1 against Nomads.

Even with six matches left to play, assuming they take home the maximum points allowed that is 18, they will end up with 36 points. Stallion, Global, and Loyola, all with 33, 31, and 29 points respectively, look to rack up a few more points that will put more distance between them and Kaya.

Since David Perkovic arrived to take over the slumping squad, Kaya has not lost. But now they know what Loyola went through late last season when a bunch of draws and loses dropped them all the way from first to third. The poor and slow start and now the three successive draws have not only hurt their campaign but it also meant not receiving an invitation to the 2013 Singapore Cup and a slot to the next AFC President’s Cup.

The talent is there for Kaya without a doubt. As much as there has been a Burkey renaissance late in the season what they need to do is to shop around for a mean goal scorer in the vein of a Rufo Sanchez or an Izzo El Habbib. One who eats goals and spits out central backs for breakfast and whose first touch is the bane of many a goal keeper.

But that also works the other way around for Nomads. They didn’t win the Division Two title three years ago for nothing. They’ve got talent and they’ve got the players. What they do not have is the time to regularly practice and keep in top shape because of work. When you talk about professional football they are business professionals who all happen to play football on the side and thus, we are not treated to what these lads can really do.

And that too is the heartbreaking rub.

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