Men’s Football in shootout heartbreak

The Men’s Football 2nd team played exceptionally well to come back from 1-0 down against Aston University to draw 1-1, but were unfortunate to lose 4-3 on penalties after extra time.

Early set-pieces were very successful for the hosts as two Will Weightman corners found Birmingham heads in the box, but both headers were off target. Aston created their first clear chance after 15 minutes, but the Lions right-back was on hand to expertly clear the ball off the line to keep the score goalless. The away side brought a good following to the match, and their support translated onto the pitch as it became quite a feisty football match, with cynical fouls being a prominent feature throughout the local derby. It remained cagey in the first half until the Aston striker found some space in the box, shifted the ball to the right and fizzed in a low shot which the Birmingham keeper saved well with his feet.

The second half started in the worst possible way for the Lions as they conceded a penalty after five minutes. There could be no arguments with the decision, and no mistake was made from the spot as the Aston striker made it 1-0. Birmingham kept pushing and eventually switched their 4-2-3-1 to a more attacking 4-4-2 in hope of grabbing an equaliser. Eventually it was a set piece near the end of regular time as a deep free-kick was flicked on and well finished by the Lions’ captain.

Extra-time was a tense period, with several players cramping up and no real chances created. Birmingham were unlucky to lose the toss for the penalty shootout and Aston took full advantage. They scored their first three penalties as the hosts scored twice before missing. The Birmingham keeper made an excellent stop to renew hope, but after Aston scored their fifth kick the Lions hit the bar. It finished 4-3 but after arguably edging the match Birmingham can take no shame from shootout defeat and can now look to push on in their league season.



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