26th of September 2022: Huge improvements shown from in this twenty-six goal thriller.
Callum Bowers and Brandon Tuku make their Aztecs debut away to Dynamo Tekkers.
Game two, and a trip up to Reading for the Aztecs.
With lots to makeup for from last week's loss to Athletic, the Aztecs were looking to bounce back with a performance, and we definitely got that.
There's a lot of goals on the way, so try to keep up. The home side drew first blood when Sean Dye was robbed of the ball. The Tekkers 10 carried the ball forward on the counter and fired the ball across goal to be slammed home at the far post. The Aztecs goal continued to be peppered with shots, as Ryan Brewster had his work cut out to keep the score at 1-0, making three consecutive saves from close range.
The first real chance for the Aztecs came from a corner, but the rocket unleashed by Jonaitis was blocked on the line by the head of Dexter Santos, who fell straight to the ground as if knocked out by a heavyweight boxer. The game was paused for a concussion check, and upon the restart, Dynamo Tekkers continued their assault, hitting the post and forcing three more saves from Brewster.
Callum Bowers was thrown into the action, and immediately gave us a taste of what was to come, with two well struck shots at the Tekkers goal. Tekkers finally made it two, but not after another great save from Brewster, and a miss of an open goal. It's fair to say the goal had been coming for a while. The second goal caught the Aztecs defence napping, undone by a simple one-two at a kick-in.
With lots of space in the middle of the court, the Aztecs were allowed a lot of strikes from distance. Tekkers were finally made to pay when Alberto Mbuna intercepted a throw from the keeper, and Sam Ray pounced to make it 2-1. The two goal lead was soon restored when Tekkers broke from a corner, and the 14 fired a ball through the legs of Brewster. The game opened up and became very end to end, with both teams over committing in attack. Unfortunately it was another nutmeg on the keeper, this time a toe-poke, that made it 4-1 to the home team.
The fifth followed when a rebound was hit home from close range. Brewster made a great initial save from a volley, but it was Tekkers who reacted quickest to make it 5-1. Game over? Not by a long shot. Southampton made it 5-2 when Jonaitis cut out a pass and unleashed a top corner shot from near the halfway line. A goal which, on any other day, would likely have been very heavily praised, if it weren't for the spectacular goal show put on by the men's and women's teams over the weekend.
The Aztecs were knocking on the door and looked good value for a third before half-time. Jonaitis, Tuku, and Santos having shots saved. Tekkers remained a threat, and caused Brewster to rush off his line for a sliding tackle to bail out the Aztecs, susceptible to the counter. Mbuna came close for the greens, stealing the ball, and placing it agonisingly wide. Brewster was called upon again to make another important save, and a combination of Tuku and Dye were able to protect the Aztecs goal in a scramble.
The fast-paced game lead to many fouls being committed, and Tekkers were awarded a 10m penalty. The powerful shot was blasted just wide of the goal. Tuku on his debut was trying everything to get on the score sheet, and almost worked a goal from a rebound of his own shot. Scrambling with the keeper to get the loose ball, he attempted two bicycle kicks while on the floor. Ultimately they proved fruitless for the Aztecs.
The sixth Tekkers goal just before half-time came from another scramble. It seemed no matter what they did, the ball was being sucked into the goal. The valiant defending must be admired, but we'd rather not be so susceptible to counters in the first place if we can help it. 6-2 to the home side at the interval.
Dynamo Tekkers started the strongest and missed three glorious opportunities to extend the lead. The cruel irony of sport is that luck tends to work in mysterious ways. The Aztecs were blessed not to concede three chances which should have been goals, but then switched off at the resulting corner following the confusion of the referee's signals. What should have been an easily defended routine saw the 14 sneak free and receive the ball unmarked to make it 7-2.
The Aztecs replied from a corner of their own. Jonaitis confusing the opponents with his disguised corner kicks, which bobbled past the defenders and keeper, onto the post, for Sam Ray to pounce once again for his second of the game, bringing the score to 7-3. The game had this end-to-end, punch get punched feel about it. Two teams going at it hard, with the result being an entertaining attacking spectacle for the neutrals. Tekkers extended the lead once again, 8-3 now. Sam Ray scoring at one end, couldn't prevent a goal at the other, as the Tekkers player evaded the sliding tackle and shot past Brewster from close range.
The gap was extended further to 9-3 following a well hit shot from a tight angle. Alberton Mbuna brought it back to 9-4 when he hit a well-placed bottom corner shot from inside the centre circle. The game continued to flow, and both teams had chances from free-kicks that were not converted. Jonaitis made it 9-5 following a scramble from a free-kick. Unable to clear it and launch a counter, the Aztecs won the ball back. Jonatis strength stole the ball, Tuku's acrobatic challenge prevented the clearance, then he slide in Jonaitis who chipped it over the onrushing keeper.
Tuku had a shot from distance which was parried by the Tekkers keeper. Santos reacted well to the rebound, but the keeper was able to hold it at the second time of asking. The keeper quickly threw the ball forward to the number 10, who received unmarked, and with a beautiful lob, sent it over the head of Brewster, who was coming out to clear up the danger. 10-5.
The game continued back and forth. Tekkers extended again to 11-5, playing the ball down the line and finding the runner at the far post. Sam Ray had another good chance immediately after, 1v1 with the keeper, who made himself big and kept the ball out. And then it happened. One of those goals where we'll all remember where we were when we saw it. Callum Bowers tried to poke the ball through to Dexter Santos, but it was cut out by the defender. The ball came back to Bowers, and the defence had recovered. In a 1v1 with little to do, Bowers flicked the ball up, served himself for the volley, and smacked it into the top corner. Both teams were stunned with disbelief. 11-6.
After scoring his first, Bowers then scored his second. 11-7. This was another stunner, a hard left-footed shot into the bottom right corner from distance. Tekkers kept pushing, forcing two more saves from Brewster, and also hit the post. Sean Dye relieved the pressure with a shot from distance that the keeper tipped over the bar. They made it 12-7 after intercepting an underhit pass, and approaching Brewster 3v1, working the ball, and passing into the empty net.
Tekkers scored again, to make it 13-7, with an unsavable top corner rocket. Esteban Makoly and Sean Dye came close again, and Tekkers hit the post. The attacks weren't stopping. Ryan Brewster made a good save from a long range effort, and then the Aztecs scored another. Laurynas Jonaitis dribbled wide on the right, and hit a low cross to the back post for Dexter Santos to score. 13-8. Sam Ray dazzled the defence and hit a shot hard and low to make it 13-9.
The Aztecs kept coming. Lauraynas Jonaitis carrying the ball forward with skill, but the greens couldn't find the final pass. Tekkers on the counter made it 14-9, chipping the ball over Brewster, trying to salvage a 2v2 counter. Brewster then nearly scored a goal of his own, shooting narrowly wide of the left, after being supplied by Jonaitis, coming up to add more numbers in attack. Tekkers then made it 15-9 with another unstoppable shot.
Callum Bowers forced another good save from the keeper from distance. The Aztecs had a corner on the right, which ended up as a kick-in on the left. Tuku reacted quickly to take it before Tekkers could organise the defence. Bowers saw the gap, called for the ball, and had it fed to him on a plate to score his third and the Aztecs' tenth to make it 15-10.
Southampton kept searching. Brewster, Bowers, Jonaitis all came close to scoring, forcing good saves, and shooting narrowly wide. Tekkers finished the scoring at 16-10, finishing coolly in a 2v1 against Brewster. But that didn't stop the greens coming forward for more. Tuku and Jonaitis came close again, but couldn't convert the attacks. The final chance came from Brewster, having a shot with the last kick of the game, which was held by the keeper as the buzzer sounded.
Wow! What a game! Time to let the heart rate recover.
Overall, so many positives to take from this game. Huge improvements displayed from last week. Some defensive issues need to be worked on, and this will come with time. The team has gone from scoring two goals to scoring ten, and has so many different players contributing with goals and assists. At no point did the team look like they were going to throw in the towel. Intensity, effort, encouragement, communication, fight. This team couldn't be asked for more, and are becoming a team you can be proud of.
Three cracking goals on his debut earned Callum Bowers player of the match.
Enjoy some of the photos taken!
Enjoy the full game below.
With so many goals in this game, the highlights are almost as long as the full match!
Our second competitive match, and a much improved performance. This is a growing team with a bright future. If you want to know where and when the games are, you can check our schedule here.
If you want our official Adidas kit, get yourself over to KitLocker.
If you would like other Aztecs merchandise, go to Spreadshirt.