The German Shepherd Dog is also named Alsatian in some regions. The breed is known for its reliability but also its aggressiveness. Choucroute meanwhile is a regional dish in the Alsace region, also known in English as white cabbage or Sauerkraut. The visitors tonight Colmar from that very region, without a win in their last 5 games, were to be judged whether they were keeping Red Star in check like a dog does with a herd of sheep or whether they were taken apart, just like raw Sauerkraut.
Red Star’s confident stride
The last defeat of the hosts dates a month back; the Cup tie vs. ASSE that saw a lucky St. Etienne side go through due to luck. Colmar, settled in mid-table gathered a mere 4 points from their last 5 matches. Moreover, their away form is not particularly palatable: 4 defeats and 1 draw. Red Star come with an excellent home record. Their last home defeat dates back to early November. They are confident.
Colmar however, showed that they could play and made the hosts run after the ball. No sign of Red Star’s confident stride that saw them reach 3rd place in a division in which everyone can beat everyone. So it looked for most of the match: Colmar playing, Red Star defending. But scoring. The opener was misleading as it gave Red Star false security. In the following minutes after the early goal (5th minute), it was Colmar rather Red Star who played more confidently.
Red Star grinding
It was much the same during the second half. In fact, it was even more Alsatian pressure where a goal would have been deserved to say the least. That however, did not come. Colmar’s finishing was panicky and wayward. Red Star relied upon counter attacks to relieve some of the pressure. It was also a fine tuning in progress. With each of those rapid forward movements, the home side’s passing got better, more precise and purposeful. Eventually it paid off. It was a relief when the ball went in and the roof over the main stand was almost blown off by the cheer. It sealed the game. It was no pretty game to watch. But grinding out a result is a task in football to underline the capability to be a force to be reckoned with in this division.
It is a sign of the strength of character of Red Star. In previous seasons a game of this nature would have been lost. Not so in 2014/15. Yes, the team looked rattled but never lost their nerves. Instead they kept calm, focused on the most necessary task and played a solid game.
Colmar were not easy to digest for the Audoniens. They proved to be keeping Red Star in check, proving their aggressiveness time and time again. They showed all ingredients of an Alsatian, yet it lacked the bite to get something countable from this game.
The win sealed Red Star’s 3rd place; with 2 games in hand they look confident to win promotion come May this year. The celebrations after the final whistle were long and noisy but fully deserved. The team are getting closer to the realms of professional football and display courage and heart on their trajectory.