Contributed by: Stephen Alomes
In what ground commentator the indefatigable ‘urban cowboy’, ground announcer Rod Grljusich, accurately described as ‘some of the best football you’ll ever see’ the running, handballing and passing Nauruans outran a stout Danish resistance.
From the first quarter when Nauru had kicked three goals one behind to a scoreless opposition, the Nauruan running game offered a brilliant display of football. Strangely, the Danes did not play badly and at times marked strongly.
However, the Vikings lacked something in the ‘leg-speed’, or was it ‘ball-speed’, department. Frequently they took the ball to their side of the centre circle but were cut off by the Nauruan backs.
Not until the second half of the third quarter when several forward surges eventually delivered the elusive first goal, did the Danes begin to make a mark on the scoreboard. They may have had the biggest flag at the Cup but it was the unflagging Nauruans who dominated Ransford Oval.
Despite the one-sided scores, it was a brilliant game of football, a lot better to watch than some AFL matches which are dominated by stoppages, tackles and the forward press with over 30 players in a quarter of the ground.
As Rod Grljusich called this brilliant match, at IC11 it was ‘History in the making. Welcome to football. Welcome to the future – International Football’.
In reviewing my best players I consulted Rod, who watches most games more closely than everyone except the coaches. We concluded that the best players for Nauru were Febriano Baguga, Yoshi Harris and Maverick Batsuia while Aksel Jensen, Jens Djernes and Christian Rose contributed for the Vikings, who were not disgraced, despite the scores. Official team best players are also listed below.
Denmark now play off for 7th in a classic derby of European style football against Great Britain, both sides probably a little disappointed with how IC11 has panned out. Nauru seem to have returned to their PNG-like best and take on South Africa for 5th in what should be an electrifying fast game of footy, Oceania-Africa style.
Nauru 15.4 (94) def Denmark 1.1 (7)
Goal Kickers: R. Deirerega 5, J. Yoshi Harris 4, J. Dagiaro 3, D. Cook , M. Batsiua
Best Players: J. Dagiaro, M. Batsiua, T. Depaune, F. Baguga, D. Moses, J. Yoshi Harris
Goal Kickers: A. Jensen
Best Players: J. Djernes, C. Rose, M. Biron, A. Jensen, T. Ottensen, B. Lauritzen
World Footy News