Observing yesterday’s Chatham Cup Rd 2 match between Manukau United and Onerahi FC, I spontaneously decided to do this “one blog only” special.
Before we dive into this match I want to share with you an interesting article on the Champions League winners Liverpool:
Isn’t it interesting how data analysis plays a critical role in their recent successes? It seems that bona fide “footballnumbersblog KPIs” such as Pressure/ Presence scores – that I developed some years back on my own, while everyone else was still prattling on about largely meaningless “possession” stats – play a significant role over there as well.
It’s nice to see more confirmation that I may have been barking up the CORRECT tree for the last few years.
Anyhow – here is the actual blog:
Hidden heroes of the North
|Chatham Cup 2019
Rd 2 1/6/2019
|Manukau United|| 13:0
|88 = 92%||Presence||8 = 8%|
|36 = 41% of 88||Danger / Pressure
|1 = 13% of 8|
|44||Total Shot attempts||3|
|23 = 52% of 44||Total Shots on target||0 = 0% of 3|
This Chatham Cup round 2 match was ever only going to end one way. That much was clear after about 5 minutes.
The truncated KPI table (because there is really no need to go any further in the “analysis”) demonstrates that this was the most one sided competitive match of football that I have ever seen in my whole life.
Manukau’s advantage in regards to PRESSURE and SOT (Shots On Target) was mind boggling and is duly reflected in the final result.
The match resembled the recent battle against the Nightwalkers at Winterfell where the combined forces of Westeros, Dothraki and the Unsullied did not stand a chance and were in the process of being completely annihilated. Alas, for the defenders of the (Football) North – Onerahi – Arya Stark does not play football and so they had no deus ex machina to help them out of their predicament.
Where the parallels to HBO’s fictitious documentary hold true is the fact that even – or is that especially (?) – in defeat ,there can be acts of heroism.
This blog is a tribute to the Onerahi team who played and fought bravely and with great sportsmanship!
It would be so easy for a game like this to deteriorate because the losing team (HT score already 8-0) becomes frustrated and desperate or simply tired. They were on countless occasions literally run off their feet by the home team.
To their full credit, this did NOT happen, though! There was no frustration born malice creeping in and Onerahi played fairly and cleanly to the bitter end: no fouls and no diving and trying to manipulate the official into wrong decisions!
(if only this could equally be observed in the regular season)
Uninformed punters and bystanders might think that the Onerahi team embarrassed themselves in this huge loss. Nothing could be further from the truth!
There were numerous occasions where technically clean and well timed tackles were made that prevented even more Manukau shots or assists being taken – especially in the second half. There were several moments where Onerahi players strung together a fluid combination in midfield and made a run for it.
In other words – against an overwhelming opponent – Onerahi players demonstrated skills and heart regardless of the scoreboards grim message.
This deserves respect and I could not help myself applauding such scenes and I loved that several more Manukau supporters also understood what was happening and joined me in paying respect to the team from Whangarei.
This brings me to my final point about an absolute hero in my book: Onerahi’s Goal Keeper.
He faced up to no fewer than thirty bloody six danger moments in this match.
A high number in any match would be 12 or more!! He had to work his way through 300% of that high water mark.
He did so without noticeable drop in performance – and that is a lot more than you can say about most keepers operating on the highest level of the game. Usually performance levels start to drop noticeable if a keeper’s workload reaches 10 to 12 at the latest (that’s about the inevitable physical and mental fatigue that WILL set in eventually).
This hero held firm and that is even more remarkable as he copped a hit in the face after about 35 minutes in the first half when an overzealous player ( the score line was 7-0 already!) earned himself the single yellow card of the match.
With a heavily bandaged jaw – making him look like a mix of the classic “Invisible Man” and “Robotman from Doom Patrol” he carried on as if nothing had happened. That’s bravery and dogged resilience for you.
Manukau produced 23 (!!) Shots on target. If you read the final score again you will realise that this keeper – injured and all – made 10 (!) saves.
As you can see in this video, some of these saves were really good ones, too! This keeper produced 3 highest category (C1SOT) saves alone. Again this is more than many highly regarded custodians can claim about themselves.
That is a truly heroic performance that – in all likelihood – is sadly going to be buried under the final score line.
Not here! Not in this blog!
Ben Lee of Onerahi FC – stand up and take a bow!
I salute you as a Chatham Cup hero and I salute your team mates for playing with heart, skills and honour!
You were most worthy representatives of the North and I wish you all the best for your regular season!
And with that footballnumbersblog is once more suspended until further notice.