Each week our team will attempt to watch a few matches around the world and then write something resembling a ramble or review. This won’t be a round-up of who scored, we’ll actually be watching as many games as possible involving African and Asian players, and any other players, really – (after all, everyone is from Africa, if scientists are to be believed!) – and we will then report back our findings. We will endeavour to do this weekly but some weeks it may not be possible.
Uchida shines for Schalke
I’ve watched a lot of football matches this past week but none have come close to being as entertaining as the Europa League clash between Schalke and FC Twente on Thursday. With the match televised on ITV4 and it being the Europa League, I had low expectations, but the beauty of football is you should always expect the unexpected. After Twente taking an early lead, Schalke needed to score 3 goals to overturn a two-goal aggregate deficit and progress into the quarter-finals.
It was a gigantic task, but they did it with a swashbuckling 4-1 win. Aside from Robin Van Persie, there is another Dutch striker who ‘scores when he wants’ in the form of Klaas Jan Huntelaar. The klaasy (sorry) striker has scored 38 goals in 38 games this season, scoring a hat-trick on the night with some emphatic finishing. One of the stars of the show, though, was Japanese right-back Atsuto Uchida. After an uncertain first half, he battled through the second half and controlled the right-wing with Jefferson Farfan, putting in a tireless shift of defensive astuteness and productive forward runs. It was his smart reverse pass which found Raul Gonzalez who cleverly back-heeled for Huntelaar to finish off another chance.