The Reds suffered dearly for not taking the chances which they created in the first-half and the youngsters will rue their profligacy in front of goal. The game was played out at the Richland College campus, on a pitch that was hard and bumpy and had a strong wind blowing downfield.
The Japanese skipper won the toss and elected to play with the wind behind them. The opening minutes were played out with both teams getting a feel for the conditions and the pace of the game. Seven minutes in, some lovely passing interchanges by Reysol down United’s right saw a cross sent into the United six-yard box. Nobody picked up the Reysol right winger as he roared in to meet the ball at the far post, but at full stretch he could only poke the ball wide.
It took United until the 12th minute before they could register a shot on goal. Good work by Mats Daehli on the left saw him push a short ball inside to Ben Pearson but his first-time effort was well wide of the mark. The Japanese team took the eye with their neat inter-passing, and the way that they moved the ball the width of the pitch. Their movement was certainly causing United to work very hard defensively.
On 19 minutes, Daehli again was prominent down the left as he worked the ball in to Gyliano van Velzen who shot weakly and the goalkeeper made an easy save, Just a minute later, United should have taken the lead when again Daehli was able to lose his marker out on the left, and his inviting cross, which hung in the wind, was met full-on by James Wilson, who should have done much better than heading straight into the keeper’s hands. United were beginning to create more,