Overcast weather free of rain made for a crowd turnout of 45053 at Stevie Wonder Celebration Arena
today. Aalt Durlinger
was the appointed referee with assistance provided by Alexander Zechner
and Idalécio Brioso
A 4-5-1 alignment was the formation of choice for Mbuko.
The following players had been chosen: Gleba - Wettergren, Rivera, Nikkinen, Ðurić - Gjeruldsen, Carlsson, Claesson, Boström, Tolstrup - Einarsson.
Balingsnäs started off with a 3-5-2 lineup.
Starters: Souza Costa - Cuoco, De Vlieger, Wolfs - Boco, Stridbratt, Duvwald, Edening, Speroni - Tourek, Persson.
Today, Mbuko's strategy involved concentrating on the flanks for their attacks.
The referee showed Balingsnäs's M. Cuoco
the yellow card after a particularly nasty challenge.
The home side put themselves ahead 1 - 0 after 19 minutes courtesy of a breakthrough from S. Carlsson
, who scored with a stunning volley following a cross from the right wing.
The visiting team's L. Wolfs
was able to score the 1 - 1 equaliser with a header 22 minutes into the match, after some good work on the right.
A mistake by the home side's central defence after 24 minutes allowed S. Stridbratt
to score for Balingsnäs. The scoreboard now read 1 - 2.
sailed high above the opponents as he headed in a corner kick from S. Rivera
after 31 minutes of play, making the score 2 - 2.
The visiting N. Persson
was booed thoroughly by the home crowd 39 minutes into the game, after he broke through the middle and scored, resulting in the visitors taking the lead. 2 - 3 was the score.
It was 2 - 3 at the break.
Possession in the forty-five minutes was dominated by Balingsnäs, with 53 percent of the ball.
After 65 minutes, Ø. Gjeruldsen
got through on the right and was very close to equalising for the home side, but didn't get the shot away.
Mbuko needed a fresh pair of legs on the field, and after 66 minutes S. Rivera
made way for N. Al-Ismail
The bench was restless, and with 71 minutes passed Mbuko's coach gave Ö. Ahlstad
the opportunity the player had been hoping for. J. Claesson
reluctantly left the field.
As the captain was no longer on the pitch, Ö. Ahlstad
took over the role of being the Mbuko captain.
came close to extending the visitors' lead when he found himself completely unmarked in front of the goal after a pass through the middle. He tried to lift the ball over F. Gleba
but overcooked it and hit the bar instead.
Balingsnäs increased the lead to 2 - 4 as M. Cuoco
scored from the penalty spot, putting the ball in near the top left corner.
Balingsnäs claimed to have seen most of the ball, and the statistics agreed with them - possession being 52 percent.
Mbuko's top performer was clearly C. Wettergren
turned in a dismal performance, however.
The most dominating Balingsnäs player was without a doubt D. Tourek
on the other hand, had a terrible day.
The match ends 2 - 4.