Konrad Ben Kevin
Bohne Frieder
Hannes Markus Stefan Dombo

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We score when we want

Maybe it was never going to be a pretty game. The early kickoff, the No Dice celebration the night before, the second game in three days, and a hungry last-place team defending home turf was always going to make the game difficult. But like a stripper after a nice tip, THC pulled it off.

FF Friedenau were desperate for some points, and they came out in the first half motivated, battle-ready, and played better than their position at the bottom of the table. At times, they overwhelmed the THC midfield, and used the small Monumentenstrasse pitch to their advantage, packing the center and flicking on bouncy goal kicks and clearances in between THCers.

But their gusto went unrewarded. THC defenders were in the scary lock-down mode from last season. Even four extra Friedenau attackers wouldn’t have made a difference. Dumbo, Markus, Stefan, Hannes, and Basti handled everything Friedenau flicked through the midfield. As the first half progressed, THC increased their pressure and started finding space behind Fridenau’s defense. Chances came via crosses, like Frieda’s that Ben clipped over the bar, and classic THC breakaways, like the one Alex put wide after Kevin tortured his defender and served it in.

Friedenau continued their bouncy flicks and their physical pressure through the middle, and broke through on goal early in the second half. After rounding Basti, a firm finish would’ve put the home side up front, and THC would’ve had to deal with a tough comeback. But Hannes never stopped his hustling run back, and threw himself at his own goal to clear the ball as it trickled on the goal-line. It was Friedenau’s best chance, and their last one.

So far this season, it’s been hard to tell where THC stands in the league. With games still in hand, the ever-dangerous Alex/Kevin combo starting to click their respective goal tallies ever higher, and new players integrating game-by-game, THC is rounding into form. And the game mirrored that. A few changes at halftime – Ben dropping deeper into midfield to help out centrally, and Kevin switching to the left to avoid the shadowy ice rink of wet leaves on the far side of the pitch –  helped THC gain control of the game.

They finally broke through on a scrappy goal that befitted this kind of game. Kevin’s seemingly innocuous corner was flicked on by a mess of bodies towards the back post, where Ben and Konny’s pressure on the goalie made it impossible for him to catch or clear. The ball fell into a tangle of legs, and with his back to goal, Ben managed to sneak the ball into the near post. 1-0, and THC never looked back.

Benni’s introduction in midfield help lock down Friedenau’s favorite space, and it was only a matter of time before the increasingly frequent breaks would secure THC all three points. The second goal came on a counter between – who else – Kevin and Alex, then Alex nabbed another after Kevin broke past everyone and squared the ball selflessly for Alex to tuck home.

Kevin’s neat, curling back post finish after yet again breaking through on goal ended the scoring for THC, and his bellowing “JAWOHL!” was the roar of a squad releasing frustration and satisfaction after dealing with a tough opponent, on a tough ground.

THC continue to prove they belong in the Verbandsliga, and the next run of games including the likes of Hertha and the Penguins should give a better idea, in their first season in the top division, of just how high THC can finish.



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