Discussion in 'TSL: Club Pages' started by heznfire, May 29, 2012.
Parma's Kits Stadio Ennio Tardini (Capacity: 27,906)
Parma's Starting Lineup (5-3-2) GK Antonio Mirante (83) RB Jonathan (2) - RCB Cristian Zaccardo (5) - CB Alessandro Lucarelli (6) - LCB Gabriel Paletta (29) - LB Massimo Gobbi (18) RM Jonathan Biabiany (7) - CM Stefano Morrone (4) - LM Daniele Galloppa (8) ST Sergio Floccari (11) - ST Sebastian Giovinco (10)
Parma's Season 6 Schedule & Results Matchday 1: Sao Paulo v. Parma (1-1)Matchday 2: Parma v. VfL Wolfsburg (5-1)Matchday 3: Aston Villa v. Parma (3-3)Matchday 4: SC Braga v. Parma (3-2)Matchday 5: Parma v. QPR (2-1)Matchday 6: Santos v. Parma (4-0)Matchday 7: Parma v. Olympiakos (1-1)Matchday 8: Bologna v. Parma (4-0)Matchday 9: Parma v. Dinamo Moscow (2-0)Matchday 10: Parma v. Sao Paulo (2-2)Matchday 11: VfL Wolfsburg v. Parma (3-1)Matchday 12: Parma v. Aston VillaMatchday 13: Parma v. SC BragaMatchday 14: QPR v. ParmaMatchday 15: Parma v. SantosMatchday 16: Olympiakos v. ParmaMatchday 17: Parma v. BolognaMatchday 18: Dinamo Moscow v. Parma
Parma's Season 6 Serie B Individual Stats Goals: 1. S. Giovinco - 132. S. Floccari - 93. J. Biabiany - 44. D. Galloppa - 25. A. Lucarelli - 15. G. Paletta - 1 Assists: 1. S. Floccari - 82. S. Morrone - 42. S. Giovinco - 44. J. Biabiany - 35. D. Galloppa - 25. Jonathan - 2 Points: 1. S. Giovinco - 171. S. Floccari - 173. J. Biabiany - 74. S. Morrone - 44. D. Galloppa - 46. Jonathan - 37. A. Lucarelli - 17. G. Paletta - 1 Shots: 1. S. Giovinco - 382. S. Floccari - 363. J. Biabiany - 254. D. Galloppa - 145. S. Morrone - 66. Jonathan - 47. A. Lucarelli - 37. G. Paletta - 37. C. Zaccardo - 3 Shots on Target: 1. S. Giovinco - 221. S. Floccari - 223. J. Biabiany - 184. D. Galloppa - 65. S. Morrone - 35. Jonathan - 27. A. Lucarelli - 28. C. Zaccardo - 18. G. Paletta - 1 Tackles: 1. A. Lucarelli - 442. G. Paletta - 353. C. Zaccardo - 284. J. Biabiany - 215. Jonathan - 195. D. Galloppa - 197. M. Gobbi - 158. S. Morrone - 129. S. Floccari - 910. S. Giovinco - 7 Yellow Cards ( ) : 1. M. Gobbi - 11. A. Lucarelli - 1 Red Cards ( ) : Saves: 1. A. Mirante - 34 Clean Sheets: 1. A. Mirante - 3
Manager Heznfire, Parma Highly Anticipate Serie B Debut
May 29, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- The atmosphere at today's opening press conference could not have been more different than the last time Heznfire faced the media.
At the conclusion of Season 5, the mood in the locker room and at the press conference was of somberness and frustration. Parma had just fallen in the final minutes of its home match against VfL Wolfsburg, 1-0, allowing the Serie C Championship to slip from its grasp and losing control of its destiny to clinch a spot for promotion to Serie B.
Today, less than 24 hours before the start of Season 6, the second-year manager could not have been more excited, thanks to the LA Galaxy's 3-2 victory over FC Kobenhavn last season, meaning the Italian squad would move up to Tradition Futbol Serie's second tier. "While we didn't accomplish all of our goals last season, we are thrilled to be moving up the ranks of TFS," Heznfire said during his opening statement.
"Serie C is a great leage with some high-quality teams. Despite our hot start to the campaign, we never took any win for granted and knew that we had to outwork the other team to earn three points each match. It was rewarding to see the players and coaching staff's hard work pay off and earn promotion in my first season as manager here," Heznfire added.
Heznfire went out of his way to give credit to his players, especially the veterans in the locker room.
"It was the players, not me. They decided to buy into my system and philosophy from the outset. They decided to take charge and come together as a unified squad, and because of that decision, we will get to make our debut in Serie B tomorrow. We're going to have to bring that same attitude to the pitch if we want to experience the same success in Serie B as we did in Serie C last season."
Parma will have to bring a lot more than just great attitude to the field if they want to compete for a Serie B Championship this season. Can Parma's high-powered offense -- Serie C-leading 41 goals -- and shutdown defense -- second-best 15 goals allowed in Season 5 -- translate to Serie B? The Italian squad fell well short of the mark in its three Coppa matches last season, losing all three to Serie A and B teams in group play, and will need to execute much better against tougher competition.
"Our form in Coppa last year was certainly disappointing, but all three defeats were by one goal with two coming in the final minutes. We never felt we were over-matched and expect the ball to bounce more favorably this go-around. Plus, those losses came before a tactical change that we expect to help our squad really flourish in Serie B. We are excited, and we'll be ready," Heznfire stated before leaving the podium.
Will the Italian squad be ready for its debut in Serie B? We will find out soon enough as Parma faces Sao Paulo in Matchday 1, VfL Wolfsburg in Matchday 2, and Aston Villa in Matchday 3.
Stay tuned in here all season for your Parma FC coverage.
Floccari Forces Draw in Parma's Preseason Friendly
May 30, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- Serie C Golden Boot Award winner Sergio Floccari appears ready to replicate his season from a year ago, despite talk from Manager Heznfire that his goal share would be spread to fellow attacker Sebastian Giovinco in Serie B. Facing one-goal deficits twice in the second half of Parma's preseason friendly against the Zikry -managed Ajax, Floccari evened up the match both times -- in the 59th and 90th minute -- to help the Italian squad earn a 2-2 draw.
"With Bassy [Giovinco] joining me at the top of the formation, I will no longer be the sole focus of the opponent's back line. His presence will open up more space for me around the box. I just need to make sure I capitalize on my chances. Thankfully, I did that tonight," Floccari opined.
Parma was fortunate that Floccari did convert as quality scoring chances were far and few between against the Serie A stalwart. The Italian squad could only muster four shots -- all coming after the intermission -- with the only two on target finding the back of the net. "Our attack was definitely rusty tonight, especially in the first half, but this is why we play preseason friendlies. It allows us to see what works and what doesn't in our new formation. We're going to tinker with it a bit before our Serie B opener," Heznfire claimed.
Parma's rust was clearly visible in the front and the back of the formation in the opening half. Dribbles were constantly poked away, passes intercepted, and long runs resulted in clean tackles. The most head-scratching mistake was committed by goalkeeper Antonio Mirante in the 19th minute, leading to Dutch squad's first lead. Mirante tried to clear the ball on a one-timer after receiving a pass from his backer, but completely mishit it. The short lob traveled right to Eriksen at the 18-yard box, where he took one touch and buried the shot for a 1-0 lead.
"I just took my eye off the ball as I prepared to clear it," said Mirante as he shook his head in disgust. "It was a mental mistake that led to a cheap goal. I'm glad I got it out of my system in a friendly as opposed to a league game. I won't be able to afford those mistakes in Serie B."
Despite the first-half mistakes, things started to come together for the Italian squad in the second half. In the 59th minute, Floccari beat a Dutch defender on the dribble inside the box on the left side. Facing a tough angle and a charging Ajax keeper, Floccari slotted the ball under the diving keeper and into the back of the net for a 1-1 score.
Twelve minutes later, Ajax retook the lead as the left-footed Janssen scored on a beautiful free kick over the wall and just inside the left woodwork from 22 yards out. Mirante could only shrug his shoulders as he got the ball out of the back of the net. All hope for a draw appeared to be lost for Parma in the 84th minute when the speedy Giovinco -- who beat the last line of the Dutch defense for a wide-open breakaway -- scuffed a left-footed shot, watching the ball slowly trickle outside the left post. It had been Parma's best chance of the night, and another opportunity in the final minutes seemed unlikely.
"I couldn't believe it," Giovinco offered when asked about the breakaway. "It was my best chance of the match, and I rarely miss those opportunities. But to miss without forcing the keeper to make a play on the shot is as disappointing as it gets. I just told myself that I couldn't allow us to lose on that miss."
Giovinco indeed redeemed himself in the 90th minute, beating an Ajax backer with a nice touch toward the end line. As Giovinco found himself trapped at the end line a few yards outside the right post, he chipped a perfect ball to an open Floccari on the back post. The Dutch keeper tried to recover back across the box, but he was too late as the Italian striker headed in the cross with ease.
"While I recorded the marker, all the credit for the goal in the final minute belongs to Bassy," said Floccari. "He made all the moves, sucking in the defense, which allowed me to be open on the back side. He's a playmaker, and it couldn't have come at a better time."
Ajax had one final rush in stoppage time to try and get back its lead for the third time, but a clean header off a corner kick went straight into Mirante's chest. Mirante cleared the ball, and the final whistle blew for a 2-2 draw.
Heznfire left us with this final thought to sum up the friendly, "Were we fortunate to get a draw? Yes. Did our form look hideous at times? Absolutely. But we just went toe-to-toe with and drew with one of the championship-contending squads in Serie A and, most likely, our toughest opponent to date. A lot of good came out of this match, and the experience will benefit us in league play."
Parma's Second-Half Explosion Nets Three Points in Serie B Opener
May 30, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- Chairs were thrown. Doors were slammed. Expletives were screamed. This was the scene in the Parma locker room at halftime. The Italian squad was trailing, 1-0, to LasVegasFC 's VfL Wolfsburg -- the same club that handed Parma two losses in Serie C and ended their hopes of a championship in Matchday 18. The German squad earned its lead on a header of a beautiful cross from the right side of the pitch on a counter-attack in the 42nd minute. It's safe to say that Manager Heznfire wasn't too pleased his team's effort through the first 45 minutes.
"We're playing in our Serie B opener [Ed.: I'll be writing these recaps in the order the matches were played, not the schedule order] against the only Serie C squad we couldn't earn a point from last season, and we come out with an apathetic effort? Completely unacceptable," Heznfire offered afterwards. "I wasn't going to allow that to carry over for another 45 minutes. So I did the only thing that came to mind: I pissed off my players and lit a fire under their asses."
The motivational tactic worked brilliantly as the trio of Parma attackers -- Sergio Floccari, Sebastian Giovinco, and Jonathan Biabiany -- netted five goals in a flurry, using a variety of crosses on the ground and through the air to finally break through the Wolfsburg defense. Floccari finished with four points (2g, 2a), Giovinco tallied three points (1g, 2a), and Biabiany posted two goals, doing all of their work in a 29-minute span.
When asked about the difference in offensive efficiency between the two halves, Floccari credited a slight adjustment in the formation. "In our friendly vs. Ajax, Heznfire went with a 5-3-2, but it left me and Bassy on an island at the point of attack. We struggled to find space in the opponent's back line since our midfielders were playing too defensively."
"Before the match, Heznfire decided to make a last-minute switch with the formation, utilizing a 5-2-1-2 rather than a 5-3-2 to push up Biabiany into the attack and relieve pressure from the two strikers. It wasn't working in the first half as we tried to adjust to the new spacing, but it all clicked after the break."
It was a big three points for Parma, not only because every win in Serie B is huge, but it also allowed the Italian squad to finally get that Wolfburg-esque monkey off its back. If Parma's offense can click like this for the remainder of the Serie B schedule, the sky is the limit.
Box Score: Matchday 2
Sergio Floccari caps Parma's five-goal spurt with this header off a corner kick in the 81'
Parma, Sao Paulo Add a Point in Brazil
May 31, 2012
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Parma traveled to snake3249 's Sao Paulo for its first road match in Serie B and left Brazil with a point, earning a draw in a very even match. Both clubs had a similar time of possession, number of shots, and quality scoring chances, with each side putting one in the back of the net.
"It was a tightly-contested match throughout. Sao Paulo FC gave us a handful, especially in the first 60 minutes, but we were able to claw out a draw due to some late defensive aggression up front," said Manager Heznfire. "While we want to win every match, we are always happy to get out of a hostile atmosphere with points."
The Parma manager was happy with the draw because a loss seemed likely most of the match. In the 35th minute, the ball was poked away from a scrum 30 yards in front of the Parma keeper to Sau Paulo's Cicero on the right side of the net. Not only was Cicero unmarked, he had open space for 15 yards in front of him as Parma's sweeper was out of position due to the scrum. Cicero made the defender pay for his mistake, taking a few touches to his left and bending a brilliant, left-footed shot from 25 yards out around Antonio Mirante and inside the left post to give Sau Paulo a 1-0 lead.
The Brazilian squad continued to put the pressure on Parma early in the second half and almost recorded a much-needed insurance goal. Sau Paulo had two quality opportunities within 10 minutes of one another early in the half that resulted in shots connecting with the crossbar.
Parma responded in the 61st minute, earning two of its three corner kicks. The first corner attempt was its best chance of the two as Parma got off a clean header just inside the PK spot, but the shot was parried away by the Sao Paulo keeper. The Italian side kept trying to build up an attack with short passes between the strikers and midfielders, but Sao Paulo's back line continued to shut them down outside the 18-yard box with technical tackles.
However, as the match went into the the 75th minute, Parma -- still trailing 1-0 -- increased its pressure and aggression, and it resulted in a crucial takeaway by Sergio Floccari in a bang-bang play. In the immediate aftermath of another Parma turnover in Sao Paulo territory, Floccari pressed the backer controlling the ball quickly. The Brazilian defender took a bad touch, and Floccari stole it, finding himself on a wide-open breakaway. The Serie C Golden Boot Award winner lived up to his title, slotting home the game-tying goal into the right side of the netting.
"The clock was ticking, and we needed to make a play," Floccari stated. "There were only about 15 minutes left in the match, and we couldn't afford to play back any longer. We needed to pressure Sao Paulo's back line into making a mistake. Fortunately, I was able to poke the ball away in a critical moment and tie up the match."
The final minutes of the match had a lot of back-and-forth between Parma and Sao Paulo, but neither team had a quality chance to steal away two more points. With the 1-1 draw, Parma improves to a 1-1-0 record with four points, while Sao Paulo earned its first point of the season with a 0-1-1 record [Ed.: Sao Paulo has since picked up a win, holding a 1-1-1 record with four points through three matches].
Box Score - Matchday 1
Parma's Sergio Floccari slots home the game-tying goal in the 76' of a 1-1 draw
Parma Receives Tough Draw in Coppa Tradizione
May 31, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- At 6:00pm EDT today, it was announced that Parma had been placed in Group E of the seasonal TFS Coppa Tradizione. The Italian club will be joined by two Serie A owners -- HokieNYC 's Sunderland and hokie79 's Fulham -- and one Serie C manager, danwin 's Athletic Club. This is the second year in a row that Parma has been in a group containing two Serie A teams, one Serie B club, and one Serie C squad -- the toughest possible breakdown.
Manager Heznfire will face two opponents for the first time in his short career: HokieNYC's Sunderland and hokie79's Fulham. The Hokie Brothers are in the same TFS tier for the first time as HokieNYC has been a mainstay in Serie A for four seasons and hokie79 shot up to the top tier in three seasons. Coincidentally, both were in the same Coppa Tradizione group last season, with HokieNYC taking the top spot of Group B and hokie79 falling one point shy of advancing.
Parma does have a history with its third opponent from last season in Serie C: danwin's Athletic Club. The Italian squad took all six points in the clubs' two matches, winning by a score of 2-0 in Matchday 5 and 4-0 in Matchday 14.
Coppa Tradizione was a disaster for Parma last season, placing in last place of Group D without notching a single point. Manager Heznfire has much higher hopes for his club this season, and the Italian fans are expecting to advance to the Round of 16. It won't be an easy accomplishment, but it is certainly doable.
Here is Parma's Coppa Tradizione schedule:
Group Match 1: @ Athletic Club
Group Match 2: v. Fulham
Group Match 3: v. Sunderland
Parma Blows Early Lead, Rallies for Draw
June 1, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, England -- Despite ending their first-half woes to take an early 2-0 lead, the Crusaders' defense vanished in the rain and allowed three unanswered goals. For the second consecutive road match, Parma found themselves trailing by a goal as the clock ran into the final 15 minutes of play. And once again, it was Sergio Floccari that saved the Italian squad, scoring the game-tying goal to ensure a draw and one point for both Parma and Nickaepi 's Aston Villa.
"We're glad we are leaving England with points," quipped Manager Heznfire, "but it was a disappointing draw for us. To take a quick two-goal lead and then blow it that quickly and in that fashion, we need to shore that up immediately. Serie B offenses are much more lethal than in Serie C, and we need to be able to protect multi-goal leads. We left a strong possibility of three points on the table, and we almost didn't even pick up a single point."
The Italian squad was buzzing all over the pitch in the first 21 minutes, controlling the pace of play to take a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Sebastian Giovinco in the 3rd minute and Daniele Galloppa in the 21st minute. Giovinco opened up the scoring by receiving a fantastic through-ball from Floccari and speeding away from the Aston Villa back line. Coming towards the goal from the left side, the Italian striker was able power the shot past the English keeper on the near side. Galloppa doubled Parma's lead when a blocked Stefano Morrone shot landed at his feet 15 yards out. Galloppa, like Giovinco, struck the ball inside the near post on the left side.
The Crusaders appeared to be running away from the English club, but Aston Villa changed that notion in a hurry. Just three minutes later, Gabriel Agbonlahor scored on a well-struck grounder from 21 yards out that slipped past keeper Antonio Mirante in the right side of the net to cut Parma's lead in half. Then, in the 35th minute, Aston Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton found space on the right side of the box and sent in a perfectly-timed low cross to a sprinting Stiliyan Petrov. Petrov received the cross on the near side of the net and volleyed it in with his right foot, adding a top nominee for TFS Goal of the Week.
"We thought we should have had the lead at halftime," backer Alessandro Lucarelli shared in the locker room. "However, Aston Villa scored some high-quality goals. We believed that if we could shut them down in the second half, three points would be ours."
But the Italian squad didn't shut down the Lions. Instead, the English club took its first lead of the game in the 55th minute. Agbonlahor added his second goal of the match when his diving header off a Barry Bannan corner kick beat Mirante to the left side of the goal. Aston Villa's crazy comeback had been completed, and they took their foot off the gas pedal and tried to hold on defensively for the win.
However, Floccari was Parma's savior once again. In the 75th minute, Galloppa sprinted down the right side of the pitch and hit a high cross to the back side. A charging Floccari came over the top of the Aston Villa defender and headed home the game-tying marker and Serie B-leading fourth goal of the season.
Neither squad wanted one point from this match as both Parma and Aston Villa had prime opportunities to get a fourth goal in the final minutes. In the 84th minute, the Italian side had a clean header off a corner kick that appeared to be going into the left side of the net. However, a Lions defender was able to use his head to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line and allow the Aston Villa keeper to pick it up.
A few minutes later, the English squad had a close shot saved by Mirante, and it rebounded right to another Lions attacker. The attacker tried to score the winner off the rebound, but a sliding Parma defender got in front of the shot and blocked it away for the clear. The final whistle blew shortly after, leaving both sides dissatisfied with their point and ending a classic match for the fans.
Parma's record remains undefeated through three matches at 1-2-0 with five points, sitting in fourth place. Aston Villa earned their first point of the campaign, holding a 0-1-1 record through two matches. The Lions still have a road match against Yak61 's FC Kobenhavn to play in Match Week 1.
Matchday 3 - Box Score
(Ed.: Floccari had an assist on Giovinco's goal)
Galloppa's rebound goal gives Parma a 2-0 lead in 21'
Petrov's brilliant volley ties match at 2-2 in 35' (GOTW Nominee)
Agbonlahor's diving header gives Aston Villa a 3-2 lead in 55'
Floccari's header ties match at 3-3 in 75'
Match Week 1 Recap (Matchday 1-3; Coppa Group Match 1)
Parma finished the first Match Week as only one of two Serie B clubs to remain undefeated (Roger's Santos), grabbing a 5-1 victory over LasVegasFC's VfL Wolfsburg and two draws against snake3249's Sao Paulo and Nickaepi's Aston Villa. The Crusaders' five points placed them in a two-way tie for fourth place with Santos, trailing each of the three teams at the top of the table by a single point.
The Italian squad's potent attack appears to have made the leap from Serie C to Serie B. Parma leads all of TFS with nine goals in three matches, although GovernedSpy's Rubin Kazan could surpass that total, tallying seven markers in only two matches in Serie C. The offense has been fairly efficient, scoring those nine goals on 37 shots and 23 shots on target, but suffers long droughts at times, resulting in one-goal deficits in each of the three matches.
Parma's defense played well in its first two matches against VfL Wolfsburg and Sao Paulo, allowing just two goals on seven total shots on net. However, the defense completely fell apart in a rainy clash against Aston Villa, letting in three goals that cost the Crusaders an extra two points. The back line needs to be more aggressive as Parma has been significantly out-tackled by its opponents, 66-41. An increase in aggressive, yet clean, tackling should take away some space and quality scoring opportunities that opponents have seen around the 18-yard box thus far.
Due to scheduling conflicts, Parma's Group Match 1 showdown against danwin's Athletic Club will be postponed, most likely to this Sunday. A proper summary will be provided in next week's recap.
"The Aston Villa match may be one that haunts us at the end of the season if we are in championship and promotion contention. We understand how tough it is to earn points in Serie B and blowing multi-goal leads cannot become a trend. However, the Lions deserved all three goals they scored, and I think it shed some light that we need to adjust our strategy a bit more if we take an early lead like that."
"All in all, we've picked up points in each of our three matches. Only one other club can make the same statement. We want to continue to do that for the rest of the campaign, but victories win championships, not draws."
Player of the Week
Striker Sergio Floccari was the catalyst for Parma's attack, leading Serie B in both goals (4) and assists (3). Floccari's seven points have already given him a two-point lead over second place for Serie B Points Leaders -- VfL Wolfsburg's Giovanni Sio. Floccari is also a top contender for Most Clutch Player of the Week, scoring two game-tying goals in the 75th minute or later.
The Week Ahead
Parma will square off against UcanHateMeNow's SC Braga, BESHIKTAS's QPR, and Santos in Match Week 2. SC Braga is the only squad in Serie B without a point thus far, QPR is tied at the top of the table, and Santos is tied with the Italian club in fourth place as the only other undefeated team. The Crusaders' manager has not faced either of these three teams in the past, meaning no result should be expected.
In Coppa, Parma takes on hokie79's Fulham in Group Match 2. No match in Group E has been played thus far, but it should be assumed that this match will be pivotal in deciding who advances to the knockout round and who goes home.
Hey - I think this is some of the best content I have seen on TSO. This stuff is amazing. Really well done.
Thank you very much. It's great to hear that you, and hopefully others, are enjoying the extra content. I have to give credit to kaptainkracker1, Zikry, RedAL925, and others because I perused their club pages for ideas for the types of posts I should include. It's been fantastic to see more users updating their club pages on a more consistent basis this season as it breathes life into this league.
I really enjoy this type of creative writing. I would have composed these posts and recaps during Season 5, but I got a late start and didn't join the league until Match Week 2. I'm definitely taking advantage of it this season. I hope to continue to do so when FIFA '13 releases, but I will be in my first semester of law school and will barely have time to play the matches, let alone provide recaps. We'll see, though.
Floccari's Late Magic Saves Parma Again
June 5, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- The match was tied, and another Parma lead was blown as QPR's Cisse headed in his rebound to knot the score at one apiece in the 73rd minute. Yet despite the collective groan that escaped the Italian fans' lips, there was no panic on the Crusaders' sideline. Instead, they remained calm and looked at their captain in the front, Sergio Floccari, wondering if he could work his magic once again. Floccari would not disappoint, scoring a brilliant game-winning goal in the 74th minute -- his third straight game-winning or game-tying goal after the 70th minute -- to hand Parma a 2-1 victory over BESHIKTAS 's QPR.
"All I care about are the table points," said Floccari, who has tallied five goals and three assists in his first four matches, when asked about being clutch. "My job is to put the ball in the back of the net to help my squad win and move up the standings. If that means my teammates need me to score in the final minutes of a match to do so, then I will do whatever it takes to put myself in that position. Fortunately, my teammates have set me up the last three matches to capitalize on our late scoring chances. We as a team, not me individually, have been clutch."
While it was Floccari who capped the match for Parma, it was Sebastian Giovinco who opened up the scoring in the 13th minute on a controversial penalty kick. Giovinco received a pass and took a few touches inside the 18-yard box on the right side of the net when QPR backer Taye Taiwo softly tripped him. The referee in the middle blew his whistle and motioned for a Parma penalty kick, eliciting visible frustration on the English sideline towards the weak call. Giovinco lined up for the Crusaders' first penalty of the season and buried it into the right side of the frame as QPR keeper Paddy Kenny guessed the wrong way.
Each side blew quality scoring chances for the next 60 minutes. In the first half, QPR had a close-range shot ring off the post, while Parma's Daniele Galloppa had a breakaway shot that went directly at Kenny and was deflected wide of the post. The biggest blown opportunity for Parma occurred in the 72nd minute, not only ruining a chance to take a two-goal lead but setting up QPR's counter-attack for the game-tying goal.
Floccari had the ball inside the 18-yard box on the left side of the net with only Kenny between him and a two-goal lead. The Parma striker took a quick touch and hit a well-struck shot with his right foot past the QPR keeper. However, it ricocheted off the inside of the right post and back to Kenny for the save.
With Parma pressed up for the attack, QPR was able to quickly hit a long ball over the Crusaders' back line to the speedy Cisse. Cisse ran onto the ball just before the 18-yard box, with Parma keeper Antonio Mirante charging at him. Cisse got to the pass first and attempted to chip Mirante, but the Italian goalie got his fingertips on the shot and knocked it straight in the air. However, with Mirante out of the net, Cisse was able to out-jump the Parma defense and head the rebound as it fell from the sky into the net for a 1-1 tie.
Then, just a minute later, Floccari recaptured the lead for the Crusaders with a GOTW nominee. The Parma striker sprinted toward the end line inside the box to the right of the net. As the QPR defender was about to cut him off, Floccari quickly cut back to the middle of the box, taking two touches to put himself about eight yards away from Kenny. As the QPR defense closed in, Floccari hit a quick shot with his weak left foot that beat the keeper in the upper-90 inside the near post to give Parma a 2-1 lead.
QPR increased its aggression shortly thereafter, trying to earn its second equalizer, but the Parma defense clamped down on the English club's attacks and preserved the win for the Crusaders.
"QPR is a heck of squad," claimed Manager Heznfire after the match. "With Cisse, Zamora, and Wright-Phillips on the attack, their offense can be quite a handful. They had plenty of opportunities to put more than one in the back of the net, but the breaks fell our way. Plus, if that early penalty kick isn't whistled, it would have been a completely different match."
"But to be the last undefeated Serie B squad, you need a little bit of luck."
Parma improves to 2-2-0 and jumps into a second-place tie with BigSmooth33 's Bologna in the table. QPR has lost three straight matches to fall to a 2-0-3 record and a tie for fourth place.
13'  S. Giovinco
73' D. Cisse B. Zamora
74' S. Floccari Jonathan
QPR's Taiwo fouls Giovinco in the box in the 13'
Parma's Giovinco converts his PK for a 1-0 lead in the 13'
QPR's Cisse heads in his rebound for a 1-1 tie in the 73'
Parma's Floccari uses great cut to the middle and shot inside the near post to score the game-winner in the 74'
Parma improves to 2-2-0 and jumps into a second-place tie with BigSmooth33 's Bologna in the table. QPR has lost three straight matches to fall to a 2-0-3 record and a tie for fourth place.
4 in a row!!!
Giovinco's Hat Trick Helps Crusaders Cruise
June 7, 2012
SANTOS, Sao Paulo -- In the first four matches of Serie B, Sebastian Giovinco had been overshadowed by his attacking partner, Sergio Floccari. Floccari stole the headlines with five goals, eight points, and endless heroics, while Giovinco's impressive five points went unnoticed. The Season 5 Serie C MVP made sure to break out into the spotlight on the road against Roger 's Santos. Giovinco was responsible for all four of Parma's goals in a 4-0 thrashing of the Brazilian club, recording a hat trick and an assist to lead the Italian club to its most complete match of the season.
"There's a reason he was voted the Serie C MVP last season," Manager Heznfire said when asked about Giovinco's special performance. "He's always been the catalyst for our offense, whether he's putting himself in position to score or setting up his teammates with crisp, flawless passes. He was in top form today, and his two early goals really set the tone for this match."
It only took seven minutes for Giovinco to put his mark on the match. Floccari -- who totaled three points with a goal and two helpers -- sprinted down the left sidelines towards the end line, quickly running out of grass. He hurriedly hit a long cross with his left foot that seemed to float right on top of the end line. As the cross slightly curled back onto the pitch on the back post, Giovinco charged in and volleyed the cross into the netting with his right foot to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
Giovinco added the second of his three goals in the 14th minute, scoring on a near identical volley as he did seven minutes earlier. Floccari was dribbling down the left side, but he had much more space in front of him and was able to work closer to the net. As the Santos defense began to edge over to contain Floccari, he hit another lefty cross to Giovinco -- who had broken free on the far side -- for another right-footed volley and a 2-0 Parma lead.
"It was a fantastic start, and it felt great to get on the board twice so early in the match," Giovinco commented. "Sergio [Floccari] deserves credit for those two crosses as they were beautifully placed, especially the first one which had a much higher degree of difficulty."
It wasn't Parma's first early multi-goal lead of the season, and they knew that they needed to play tough futbol on both ends of the pitch. "We were very excited by our start, but we had to temper our enthusiasm quickly," stated Parma keeper Antonio Mirante, who picked up his first clean sheet. "All of us remember what happened in the Aston Villa match [Parma blew a 2-0 lead to draw, 3-3], and we weren't going to let that repeat itself."
The Crusaders back line buckled down the rest of the way, holding Santos to just four shots and only one on target in the match. As the Brazilian club was forced to play more aggressively in the second half, it opened up counter attacks for Parma, who used one to generate a corner kick in the 65th minute. Giovinco's corner from the right flag stick found Floccari's forehead in the middle of the box. The striker hit a bouncer to the right of Santos keeper Rafael and into the net to give Parma a match-clinching 3-0 lead.
Santos kept trying to generate attacks against the Parma defense, but the back line held firm as the clock ran into stoppage time. It was then when Giovinco added the cherry on top for his hat trick, drilling a penalty kick to the right of Rafael in the 90th minute to cap the Crusaders' scoring for the match.
"Giovinco was the man of the match with his four points and hat trick, but we know we have two stars up top in Giovinco and Floccari," Heznfire said afterwards. "It was Floccari's turn to shine in the first few matches, and it was Giovinco tonight. They currently hold the top two spots in the Serie B points race with Floccari's 11 and Giovinco's nine. It's a tough task for any opponent to shut one of them down, let alone both of them. They're a terror on the attack, and we're lucky they're on our sideline."
Parma remains undefeated with the win, jumping into a second-place tie with a 3-2-0 record.
Santos loses its third straight match, falling to a 1-2-3 record and extending its scoreless drought to five matches.
7' S. Giovinco S. Floccari
14' S. Giovinco S. Floccari
65' S. Floccari S. Giovinco
90'  S. Giovinco
Floccari sends a perfect cross along the end line to Giovinco, who volleys the ball in the net to give Parma a 1-0 lead in the 7'
Similar to the first goal, Giovinco volleys in Floccari's cross to extend Parma's lead to 2-0
Manager Heznfire, Parma Earn First Points in Coppa Tradizione
June 11, 2012
BILBAO, Basque Country, Spain -- Nothing has ever come easy for Manager Heznfire and Parma in Coppa Tradizione during their two-year marriage. Last year, the Crusaders were defeated in all three of their group matches by one goal to earn a ghastly zero points. Before this year's edition of
Coppa, the Italian club was confident that they would reverse their tournament fortunes, despite a tough draw in Group E.
Parma's first group match was against its former Serie C opponent, danwin 's Athletic Club. Many pundits predicted that the Crusaders would roll past the Lions due to their recent history as Parma outscored Athletic Club by a 6-0 margin in two matches last season. However, the Italians walked into San Mames Stadium in Bilbao and found themselves in a dog fight.
The Italians dominated the ball throughout the match -- possessing it 60 percent of the time -- but struggled to generate any quality chances much of the first half against the Lions' aggressive, doubling back line. Then, in the 43rd minute, a weak aerial clear by Athletic Club was headed back into Parma's attacking third by Daniele Galloppa. The ball reached the feet of Parma striker Sebastian Giovinco, who turned past a Spanish defender to find himself at the 18-yard box just to the right of the net. Giovinco drilled a low line drive past keeper Iraizoz and just inside the left post to give Parma a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
"We were hesitant, nervous for the entire first half," said Giovinco after the match. "I think the pressure of the Coppa expectations got to our club a bit, and we knew this wasn't a match we could afford to lose. Once I was able to put us up, 1-0, we were more confident in the locker room at the break and felt we would be able to put the match away early in the second half."
That would not be the case as the Spanish squad earned the equalizer in the 55'. The Lions were awarded a corner kick after Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante pushed aside a shot on target. Midfielder Susaeta delivered the corner from the far side of the pitch, and an unmarked Fernando Llorente found open space just outside the six-yard box. Without a Parma defender in the vicinity to nudge him out of position, Llorente easily redirected the corner into the back of the net with a strong header to tie that game at one apiece.
The Italian squad -- knowing three points were needed if they wanted to advance -- vamped up its attack, finding the passing angles to maneuver past Athletic Club's aggressive back line. However, it appeared that the match would end in a stalemate as Parma could not capitalize its chances. In the 62nd minute, Giovinco found himself past the Lions defense and inside the 18-yard box, only needing an accurate shot to give Parma the lead back. Instead, Giovinco rushed the shot and scuffed it with his right foot, missing badly to the left of the net.
As the match crept into the 83rd minute, Parma finally broke through for the game-winner. Of course, par for the course all season, it was Sergio Floccari that notched the clutch marker. Defensive winger Jonathan was sprinting down the right edge of the 18-yard box when he hit a high cross into the middle of the box. Initially, Floccari appeared to have been well-marked by the Spanish backer, but Floccari used his strength to muscle in front of the defender and headed in the game-winning goal.
Manager Heznfire let out a huge sigh of relief on the sidelines as the final whistle sounded, knowing he had picked up not only his first points in Coppa Tradizione, but also his first victory. "It was a tough battle out there," stated Heznfire during his press conference. "I know many of the media felt this would be an easy match for our Crusaders, but that is never the case. We're obviously ecstatic with the result because a win by any margin is still a win."
"What makes Coppa Tradizione so great is that it provides a clean slate for every club. How you're doing in you league is irrelevant come tournament time. Anything can happen. Athletic Club came out here on their home turf and played a quality match. A few more breaks for them and it would be danwin smiling at this podium, not me."
Parma is now in a three-way tie at the top of Group E with hokie79 's Fulham and HokieNYC 's Sunderland with three points. However, Sunderland has already played two group matches, meaning a winner of the Parma-Fulham contest in Group Match 2 would be in prime position to advance from the group. A colossal tilt is on the way.
43' S. Giovinco D. Galloppa55' Fernando Llorente Susaeta83' S. Floccari Jonathan Box Score
Giovinco hits a low strike inside the far post to give Parma a 1-0 lead
Fernando Llorente finds open space on a corner and heads in the equalizer
Floccari pushes his way in front of the defender to head in the game-winner on Jonathan's cross
I see that writing college football game stories for multiple seasons have come in hand.
Giovinco, Parma on the Brink of the Knockout Round
June 11, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- Heading into their highly touted clash, both Parma and Fulham had each earned three points in their first group match of Group E and knew a victory tonight would all but ensure a spot in the knockout round. Managers heznfire and hokie79 had never faced each other before, so the conventional wisdom was that both squads start slowly and get a feel for the other's playing style.
Parma striker Sebastian Giovinco had something else in mind. It only took Giovinco two minutes to put his name on the scorecard and 45 minutes to notch his second hat trick of the season as Parma used all three of his goals to beat Fulham, 3-0, and take a commanding lead of Group E.
"Our goal heading into Coppa Tradizione was to advance out of the group," offered Manager Heznfire. "We knew tonight's match was critical to achieving that goal, but I never thought in a million years that Bassy would put that type of clinic on in the first half."
"Fulham is a Serie A club, and one of the fastest rising teams in TFS. We expected a 'tooth-and-nail' battle the entire 90 minutes. And the way he maneuvered through the Cottagers defense was astonishing and of world-class quality. If that is the form Bassy can maintain for the rest of the season, our attack will be unstoppable."
Unstoppable is exactly how to describe Giovinco's play this evening. In the second minute of the match, wing back Jonathan dribbled down the right side of the pitch and crossed a ball to the top of the six-yard box. Giovinco slipped his way in front of the Fulham defender and headed in the cross to the near post for the early 1-0 lead.
In the 30th minute, a perfect through-ball from Jonathan Biabiany sprung Sergio Floccari open on a breakaway on a Parma counter attack. As Floccari drew out a charging Fulham keeper, he slid the ball to his right to a sprinting Giovinco, who easily hammered the ball into the wide-open net to give Parma a 2-0 lead.
Then, as the first half was about to end, Giovinco was dribbling outside the top of the 18-yard box. He thought he saw an open angle, but his shot was blocked by a Fulham defender. However, the ball trickled a few yards forward into an open space. Giovinco was able to run on to the ball, and without taking an extra touch, he drilled the ball low and inside the far post to complete the first-half hat trick.
The Giovinco blitz stunned Fulham. While they tried to remain positive during the intermission, it was apparent that their spirits had been broken. The Cottagers put up a valiant fight in the second half, but the three-goal deficit was too much as Parma retreated into a conservative, defensive formation. Fulham's attacks went nowhere, giving Crusaders keeper Antonio Mirante his first career shutout in tournament play.
Giovinco has recorded four of Parma's five goals in Coppa Tradizione, and the Italian side will likely need one or two more to win Group E. With six points in the group, Parma needs to at least draw HokieNYC 's Sunderland in the final group match to move onto the knockout round. A Parma loss allows for a potential three-way tie between Parma, Sunderland, and Fulham that would be decided by goal differential.
Thankfully for Parma, Giovinco's three goals would likely do the trick there as well.
2' S. Giovinco Jonathan30' S. Giovinco S. Floccari45' S. Giovinco D. Galloppa Box Score Highlights
Giovinco heads in Jonathan's cross in the 2nd minute to give Parma an early 1-0 lead
Floccari draws out the Fulham keeper before finding Giovinco for an easy goal and a 2-0 lead
Giovinco collects his rebound and drills a shot to the far post to earn a hat trick
Giovinco's Third Hat Trick of the Week Holds Off SC Braga's Late Rally
June 12, 2012
BRAGA, Portugal -- Hat tricks are a rare occurrence. It's difficult for players to score one goal in a match, let alone three, so the feat is usually followed by joyous celebration and praise. The celebration and praise are becoming routine for Parma striker Sebastian Giovinco as he notched his third hat trick of Match Week 2 in a 3-2 win against UcanHateMeNow 's SC Braga.
No, I assure you that you didn't misread the last sentence, and it is not a typo. Giovinco has tallied 10 goals in Match Week 2, recording seven goals with two hat tricks in three Serie B league matches and a hat trick in the Crusaders' 3-0 win against hokie79 's Fulham in Coppa Tradizione. Without checking TFS's records, it is probably safe to assume that Giovinco has had one of the best match weeks in the history of the league.
When asked about his historic accomplishment, Giovinco responded, "I'm truly blessed to be in this position. God gave me the gift to play futbol, and He has allowed me to perform extraordinary things on the pitch. I have to also give credit to my teammates and coaches as they have allowed me to thrive in this new formation, and the dividends are certainly paying off."
Giovinco began his quest for his third hat trick of the week in the 25th minute. Striker Sergio Floccari was dribbling down the left edge of the box when he sent in a cross to the middle of the box. A charging Giovinco placed his head onto the cross and firmly headed in the match's first goal into the top of the net.
Seven minutes later, Giovinco doubled Parma's lead when the referee awarded the Italian club a free kick from 22 yards out. The striker lined up for the take and was able to bend a perfect kick just above the SC Braga wall and inside the left post to give the Crusaders a 2-0 advantage.
Giovinco completed the feat in the second half when Daniele Galloppa was taken down just inside the 18-yard box, forcing the referee to signal for a Parma penalty kick. As he has with his previous two attempts this season, Giovinco calmly delivered the PK into the back of the netting for a Parma 3-0 lead in the 64th minute.
While most thought that the penalty kick was just the cherry on top for Giovinco, it ended up being the game-winning goal as SC Braga aggressively attacked Parma's defensive formation in the final 20 minutes of the match. In the 73rd minute, the Archbishop winger Alan found out space to the right of the Parma net. Alan was able to cut into the middle of the box at the end of his run and strike a low ball past keeper Antonio Mirante and into the far netting to ruin the clean sheet.
Then, in the final minutes of the match, SC Braga made things uncomfortable for Parma. In the 89th mintue, a lazy tackle by Crusaders wing backer Massimo Gobbi in the box led to a penalty kick for the Archbishops. Striker Lima cut the deficit to one by kicking the PK at the middle of the goal as Mirante dove to his right.
In stoppage time, as Parma tried to run out the clock to preserve the win, Parma's back line telegraphed its pass, and Lima was able to intercept it just outside of the 18-yard box. Before Lima could get off a chance to knot the match up at three, Parma's sweeper Alessandro Lucarelli was able to win the ball back from Lima to seal a 3-2 victory for the Crusaders.
"We played a great first 70 minutes of the match, especially Bassy," quipped Manager Heznfire afterwards. "We switched to our defensive formation after Giovinco's PK put us up three goals, but our defense was too lazy and conservative in those final minutes. We were playing not to lose, rather than going for the jugular. SC Braga just ran out of time before completing the comeback. We need to continue to shore up our back line."
And if Parma doesn't? "Well, I guess Bassy better start scoring four times a game instead of three," Heznfire joked as he left the podium.
25' S. Giovinco S. Floccari32' S. Giovinco J. Biabiany64'  S. Giovinco73' Alan Hugo Viana89'  Lima Box Score Highlights
Giovinco bends a perfect free kick over the wall and inside the near post for a 2-0 lead
Alan cuts his way into the middle of the box to jumpstart SC Braga's rally in the 73rd minute
Match Week 2 Recap (Match Day 4-6; Group Match 2)
Through the first two weeks of the season, Parma remains the lone undefeated club of Serie B. The Crusaders defeated BESHIKTAS 's QPR, Roger 's Santos, and UcanHateMeNow 's SC Braga on their way to a perfect 3-0-0 record in league play in Match Week 2. The Italian side's nine points pushed them to the top of the Serie B table with a 4-2-0 record, where only kaptainkracker1 's Dinamo Moscow -- who still has a match remaining this week against LasVegasFC 's VfL Wolfsburg -- can surpass them.
Parma's offense replicated its effort from Match Week 1. After scoring nine goals on 37 shots and 23 shots on target last week, Parma poured in another nine goals on 36 shots and 21 shots on net this week, padding its total to a TFS-high 18 goals. It's safe to say that all doubts about the Crusaders' attack making the jump from Serie C to Serie B have been erased. Parma has not been shut out in a match yet this season, with only one opponent -- snake3249 's Sao Paulo -- holding the Italian squad to a single goal.
The Crusaders' defense picked up their form from last week, only letting their three opponents to combine for seven shots on net. Parma only allowed one goal in its first two matches as goalkeeper Antonio Mirante earned his first clean sheet of the Serie B campaign. Mirante seemed headed to pick up his second, but SC Braga connected twice in the final 20 minutes. While allowing three of seven shots on frame into the net is not an acceptable save percentage for Mirante, the back line has done a much better job of preventing quality chances.
Parma completed two of its Group E matches in Match Week 2 as the Crusaders needed to make up a postponed game against danwin 's Athletic Club. Despite dominating possession 60 percent to 40 percent, the Italian squad eked out a 2-1 victory to earn its first points in Coppa Tradizione. The Crusaders struggled to capitalize on prime scoring opportunities in the second half until striker Sergio Floccari headed in the game-winner in the 83rd minute.
The close match against Athletic Club was a wake-up call for Parma as they prepared for their second group match against hokie79 's Fulham. The Crusaders wouldn't be able to survive missed chances against a Serie A club. Striker Sebastian Giovinco made sure it wouldn't be an issue as he secured a hat trick in the match's first 45 minutes to lead Parma to 3-0 halftime advantage. The momentum of his offensive onslaught carried over defensively in the second half, when Parma maintained the clean sheet to hold a favorable goal differential in Group E.
"Five matches, five wins, 15 points. A combination of Sergio Floccari's late-minute magic, Sebastian Giovinco's display of hat tricks, and improved back line tackling led to a perfect week. The roster appears to be rounding into top form as we enter the middle of the season. We are currently sitting at the top of the Serie B table and are in excellent position to win Group E of Coppa Tradizione. I can't ask for much more than that."
Player of the Week
Striker Sebastian Giovinco put together one of the best match weeks in TFS history. Excluding Parma's make-up group match against Athletic Club, Giovinco tallied 10 goals and an assist for 11 points in four contests in Match Week 2. He posted hat tricks in three of those four matches and averaged 2.5 goals per game this week. Giovinco now has 13 total goals this season -- nine in Serie B and four in Coppa Tradizione -- in eight matches to place him in first for the Golden Boot Award in both events.
The Week Ahead
Parma clashes with jb_banco 's Olympiakos and BigSmooth33 's Bologna in Match Week 3 of Serie B. Manager Heznfire faced both of these managers in Season 5. Despite losing the Serie C Championship to jb_banco 's RSC Anderlecht last season, the Crusaders earned four points against them with a 3-1 win in Match Day 3 and a scoreless draw in Match Day 12. Parma faced BigSmooth33 's Celtc in group play of the Coppa Tradizione last year, losing 1-0. Expect both matches to have no more than a one-goal margin as Parma fights to stay ahead of the pack in Serie B.
In its final group match in Coppa Tradizione, Parma challenges HokieNYC 's Sunderland. The Crusaders need at least a draw to win Group E and move onto the knockout stage. While a loss doesn't eliminate the Italian side, it certainly leaves things to chance. Expect Parma to play conservatively as they try to feel out Sunderland's tendencies against a manager they have never faced before.
Parma Suffers First Loss at Hands of Sunderland, Advances on Controversial Tiebreaker
June 18, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- The Crusader players were nervously huddled around the 50" HD television in the corner of their home locker room after suffering a 3-1 loss to HokieNYC 's Sunderland in the final group match of Coppa Tradizione. The defeat -- Parma's first in its nine total contests this season -- could have eliminated the Italian club from the tournament despite earning six points in its first two matches.
With a two-goal loss to Sunderland, Parma would advance on a tiebreaker as the second club of Group E only if hokie79 's Fulham did not beat danwin 's Athletic Club by more than four goals. As luck would have it for the Crusaders, Fulham could only muster a 4-0 result despite finding an offensive rhythm with two goals in the final 10 minutes, meaning Parma would advance on the "Goals For" tiebreakers in a controversial managerial decision.
"We probably should have gone for another goal - to ensure we advanced," hokie79 would say after the match. "Would we have gotten one - who knows - it wasn't guaranteed. But there's unwritten rules in football, and I didn't want to break them. I will answer to our fans and take all the blame. For me, this performance may be a boost in our morale as we all know we have struggled all season."
The unwritten rule that the Fulham manager referred to is that clubs should not try to win matches by more than four goals when thoroughly outplaying their opponent in an attempt to promote sportsmanship throughout the sport. However, Coppa Tradizione commissioner Broncos218 issued this statement in response to the situation:
"Obviously it's not ideal, but without time for playoff tiebreakers, GD will inevitably have to break ties at times. This does not mean go out and win 10-0 when you're about to finish your group with 9 points, but in matches like the one between hokie79 and danwin today (hokie needed 5 goals to advance, won 4-0), GD may be pivotal. If you anticipate needing a large victory or it turns out that way following the match, it'd be courteous to alert your opponent so they don't take a potential beating the wrong way. Again, it's not the ideal situation, but it is necessary at times during the group stage."
This situation could have been avoided if Parma had taken care of business against Sunderland. It appeared that may potentially be the case early in the match when Crusaders striker Sergio Floccari connected on Sebastian Giovinco's cross to beat the Sunderland keeper inside the near post, giving Parma a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.
However, the Italian squad fell apart on both ends of the pitch as Sunderland showed the world why they were the Serie A veteran. The English team displayed its world-class form the rest of the match, pouring in three goals with beautiful strikes around Parma defenders from 18 to 22 yards out, while shutting down the Crusaders' high-octane offense.
By allowing Sunderland's third goal in the 80th minute, Parma had left themselves vulnerable to a potential brutal elimination. "We're ecstatic to advance to Coppa Tradizione's knockout round for the first time, but we certainly left the door open for Fulham," claimed heznfire after the match. "If the Cottagers had netted that fifth goal, we would have been extremely upset .. at ourselves, not them."
Parma finishes in second place of Group E, facing the winner of Group F in the Round of 16. At the current moment, snake3249 's Sao Paulo would be the opponent as they sit atop Group F with six points through two matches.
S. Floccari 27' Giovinco S. Sessegnon 35' Campbell S. Sessegnon 45' N.Bendtner N. Bendtner 80' CampbellBox Score Highlights
None were recorded.
Morrone, Parma Blast Bologna
June 20, 2012
BOLOGNA, Italy -- Midfielder Stefano Morrone's role isn't supposed to involve points. No, that's left for the three men at the top of the formation in Sebastian Giovinco, Sergio Floccari, and Jonathan Biabiany. No, Morrone's job is to hang back defensively and prevent an opponent from successfully completing a counter-attack. That's why everyone, including Morrone, was surprised that the defensive midfielder posted three assists in Parma's 4-0 blowout win against BigSmooth33 's Bologna.
"This certainly wasn't expected," Morrone said through his giant grin as he stepped to podium for the first time this season. "In our first six matches, I believe I had only garnered a single point. With the formation alteration this season, my positioning was pushed back, meaning I would have little impact on our scoring opportunities. I knew I would pick up an assist here and there, but I never thought I'd get three in a single match."
It didn't take long for Morrone's play-making to take effect as Parma jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. Morrone was working the left sideline when he crisply passed the ball up to Floccari at the top of the 18-yard box. Floccari took one touch to the inside to beat his defender and struck a lightning bolt to the far post that had no chance of being stopped.
In the 26th minute, it was the other midfielder, Daniele Galloppa, that displayed brilliance. Parma had won a free kick deep down the right sideline, leaving a difficult, sharp angle for any attempt at net. However, the left-footed Galloppa, rather than playing it safe with a cross into the box, decided to surprise the Bologna keeper with a shot to the near post. It worked as Galloppa was able to bend the free kick around the two-man wall and past the late-reacting keeper to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.
As the first half drew to a close, Morrone picked up his second assist in similar fashion to his first. Morrone set up Giovinco at the top of the box on the right side of the net. Giovinco took a few touches to work his way around the Bologna defense before rocketing a shot to the far post to give Parma a 3-0 advantage at the intermission.
Parma retreated into a defensive formation in the second half to preserve their lead. The Red-Blues kept pushing and pushing to try to get on the board, but the Parma defense suffocated most of their opportunities. As Bologna kept pushing up, it left open space for Parma's attackers on the counter-attack. In the 86th minute, Morrone earned his third assist by playing a through ball to the speedy Giovinco down the left sideline. With no defender between him and the frame, Giovinco dribbled down to 12 yards from the net, took a touch inside, and beat the keeper with a crisp shot to right side of the netting. Giovinco's second goal of the match gave him his Serie B-leading 11th of the season and closed out the scoring.
"We never expect to win by these kind of margins in Serie B," Manager heznfire claimed afterwards. "Any club can beat the other on a given night. Tonight was our night. Morrone's play-making in the middle of the pitch helped us get off to a hot start, and we were able to hold onto momentum for the remainder of the match. I have faith that Morrone could provide that spark for us in any match."
Just don't be surprised when it happens the next time.
5' S. Floccari S. Morrone26' D. Galloppa40' S. Giovinco S. Morrone86' S. Giovinco S. Morrone Box Score
None were saved.
Rival Managers Heznfire, Jb_Banco Draw in First Serie B Clash
June 23, 2012
PARMA, Italy -- In their short managerial careers, heznfire and jb_banco have developed a bit of rivalry, stemming from their days in Serie C last season. heznfire -- Parma's manager -- and jb_banco -- the former RSC Anderlecht manager -- were the leaders of Serie C in Season 5. While Parma may have won the battle, earning four points in their two matches, it was RSC Anderlecht who won the war, walking away as Serie C Champions with a one-point edge over the Italian club.
The rivalry was brought to the forefront by the media this week as Parma and jb_banco 's new club Olympiakos squared off in Match Day 7 -- the managers' first clash against each other in the mid-tier. It was a highly-contested battle that ended with each squad walking away with a point in a 1-1 draw.
"It's never easy to go head-to-head with jb_banco," exclaimed heznfire afterwards. "He's an excellent manager, and his strategy -- especially defensively -- is tough to crack. It's the reason he has a Serie C Cup in his trophy room, and we don't. It leaves a bitter taste in our mouths, but we hope to swish it out in Serie B."
The Crusaders didn't get off to the start they wanted as it was Olympiakos that netted the first goal of the match in the 20th minute. Giannis Maniatis received the ball on the left flank and saw a streaking Giannis Fetfatzidis towards the 18-yard box. Maniatis played a great ball in front of Fetfatzidis, who one-timed the pass with his left foot. The one-timer was hit hard and low to the far post as Parma keeper Antonio Mirante couldn't react fast enough to the quick shot.
It appeared the Red-Whites would enter halftime with a one-goal advantage, but a critical mistake by Olmypiakos goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri evened up the match at a goal apiece. In the 44th minute, Parma played a long through-ball in the air over the top of the Olympiakos back line. The ball landed just outside the top of the 18-yard box, where Megyeri came out to play the ball with his feet. Before Megyeri could clear the ball away, Parma striker Sergio Floccari -- the intended recipient of the through-ball -- stole the ball away and easily slotted home the equalizer into the empty net.
The second half would see no more goals, but it certainly wasn't devoid of chances, especially in the final 10 minutes. In the 80th minute, Olympiakos attacker Kevin Mirallas wove his way through the Crusaders defense until he found himself 10 yards from the net with only Mirante in his way. Mirallas tried to slot a quick shot to the far post, but Mirante was just able to kick out his left foot to deflect the shot away.
Four minutes later, it was Parma that had a quality opportunity prevented by brilliant goalkeeping. Floccari found himself with an opening from 20 yards out at the top of the box. Floccari drilled a strike to the far post. It appeared to heading for the back of the net when Megyeri compensated for his previous mistake by fully laying out on a dive to his left. Megyeri was able to get his fingertips on the shot and push it wide of the post.
Neither team could garner another quality scoring chance as the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate. While both managers would have liked to earn a win against their rival from Serie C, both were happy with the point as it kept each squad near the top of the Serie B table. We'll have to wait and see who wins the season series between the two rivals when Parma travels to Greece in Match Day 16.
20' G. Fetfatzidis G. Maniatis
44' S. Floccari
Fetfatzidis' one-timer beats Mirante to give Olympiakos a 1-0 lead
Floccari capitalizes on Megyeri's mistake to knot the match at 1-1
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