The ZIS Varsity Boys football team spent 4 days from the 5th to the 8th of November competing in the Division 2 ISST tournament in Brussels. The competition was hosted by the International School of Brussels, with the matches being played on two pitches located on the school campus.
With weather conditions cold and windy, Zurich kicked off their first match against The British School of Brussels and started at a high tempo, coming out on top of their opponents in their play but with the scores level at half time.
Some slack defending by Zurich at a corner was met by a clinical BSB header, giving Brussels a 1-0 lead midway through the second half. Despite dominating the proceedings and pressing for an equalizer the rest of the match, Zurich were unable to find their elusive equalizer and finished the games aggrieved losers.
Knowing the importance of picking up points in the early matches, Zurich went into their second group game against the American School of Paris with even more determination. However, they fell behind to an early goal. They responded early in the second half as striker Jerome Albert (’15) latched onto a flicked header from midfield to slot around the Paris keeper.
Zurich had performed well but only picked up only 1 point from their first 2 games, leaving them in need of a win and a favour from another team to progress to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, the favour did not materialize and Zurich went into their third and final group game knowing a point would see them finish third in the group and a loss would see them finish last in the group.
They responded magnificently to the setback, brushing opponents Vienna International School aside 4-0. First, attacking player Axel Håkansson (’17) finished a flowing counter attack with a low shot across the keeper into the right hand corner of the goal.
Two further goals from attacker Naoise Gallagher Chu (’15) followed, as he first controlled a long ball from center defender James Boakes (’16) to shoot to the keeper’s right and find the back of the net, and then slid in to finish a pass across the box from Jerome Albert (’15). Defender Fabian Stoeckling (’15) rounded off the scoring with a clinical finish across the keeper in the only goal of the second half.
The game that followed saw Zurich beat The American International School of Vienna 5-1 in another display of strong attacking football. Winger Alberto Fernan (’16) opened the scoring with a dangerous solo run from the left wing, before Oscar Edstam (’15) buried a cross into the top of the net from close range to bring the score to 2-0.
Naoise Gallagher Chu (’15) furthered Zurich’s lead, taking the ball around the keeper and slotting home after a lofted through ball from Jonas Bahceli (’15). Again Gallagher Chu (’15) sprinted clear of the defense and finished into the middle of the net before substitute Lucas Becker (’15) added gloss to the score line as he collected a pass to power the ball through the keeper at his near post. The match ended 5-1, and lined Zurich up to play The American School of The Hague the next morning for 5th place.
However, Zurich failed to get themselves going during the playoff game, surrendering two poor goals to lose the game 2-0, and finish at an unsatisfactory 6th place. The players were pleased to have played exciting football, but disappointed to have been unable to consistently make their play count.
By Naoise Gallagher Chu