Image credit: Brad Merrett
On a sunny afternoon at Whyteleafe FC, Cascadia produced a dominant display to emerge as 6-3 winners in a friendly match against a battling Chagos Islands side.
Cascadia’s superiority was in evidence from the start.
Throughout the first half, Cascadia were more creative – faster, better on the ball and better in front of goal. Max Oldham pulled the strings from the centre of the field, producing deft touches and creating chances for the likes of Chase Boone and Callum Powell to latch on to.
But the Chagossians had their own chances, using their players’ strength to attack Cascadia on the counter – but their attackers too often failed to connect.
After 23 minutes, Callum Powell put Cascadia in front with a driving run and a low shot – a lead doubled a minute later, when Oldham’s rebound shot was tapped in by Chase Boone.
However, Cascadia couldn’t cement their dominant position, and the Chagos Islands built up a head of steam, rewarded following a series of near misses – including a lovely turn of play by Mervin Bonjon – by a Hansley Sagai goal on the 34th minute.
Cascadia steadily managed to regain control over the match. The Chagossians were robust and disruptive, but were unable to handle showboating from the talented Cascadian attackers.
On the brink of half time, Cascadia won back their two-goal cushion after Angelo Calfo headed in from a corner.
Max Oldham added a fourth early in the second half, answered moments later after Mervin Bonjon scored from a penalty, having been brought down by clumsy Cascadian defenders.
By this time, however, the Chagos Islands were flagging, their lower energy in evidence as Cascadia heaped pressure on the Chagossian defence, aiming to regain that three-goal lead.
And they did so 15 minutes from full time, Callum Powell scoring his second after a big run and big shot into the right side of the goal – unstoppable, despite the best efforts of the goalkeeper Ivan Antalika. Boone added his second just five minutes later, capping off a dominant performance from the two Cascadian strikers.
Chagos Islands reduced the deficit once more, Andrew Heroseau scoring very much against the run of play.
Their performance was spirited, but the Cascadians’ skillful attackers and efficiency in front of goal was too much for the now-exhausted Chagossians.
But with nine goals and plenty of action, the two teams can take heart from the fabulous display they put on for the sizeable and enthusiastic Bank Holiday-weekend crowd.