I’ve been away for the last three matches, and having lacked the local newspaper, can’t give much detail about Castel Rigone’s recent struggles. With two losses and one draw, the team has slid down the table into the playout zone in 10th place.
Defensively, Castel Rigone has continued to have difficulty with crosses into the area (guilty of ball-watching and not minding the opposition’s runners). Offensively, they missed two penalties (a woeful team conversion rate of 42% for the season) which would have earned them three more points than they currently have. The team has given up an inordinate number of goals in the first 30 minutes of the game, as the Giornale dell’Umbria has recently described. Also, in each of the last two games, they’ve been reduced to 10 men after red cards, impeding their ability to mount a comeback. Finally, without the outstanding play of their keeper, Franzese, the margin of their last match might have been well worse.
The two away games and the opponents (including clubs in second and third position) admittedly have been difficult. Every team in the league is fighting for survival, and only six points separate the sixth-place team in safety and the 13th-place team slated for relegation.
The video highlights (below) tell the story. Castel Rigone has struggled mightily over their last seven games. Coming up now are the bottom four teams, as well as league leaders and a few teams fighting with them in the middle of the pack. Nine games, and about 17 points required for safety. They’ll have to play their best soccer to make it.
On a lighter note, the club recently donated two goalkeeper jerseys, those of Francesco Franzese (no. 1) and Federico Zucconi (no. 12) to a charity, the Associazione Carobbi Ceregatti, to auction off on e-bay to assist the charity’s support of a hospital project in Malawi. This was an opportunity to do some good and to collect gear that is not otherwise available, so I participated in my first online auction, and won the shirts, one of which now hangs in Simon’s closet (he’s taller than I am now). We’ll now have some club gear to wear to our next match.
In the Casertana video you can see a strange feature of calcio: referees rarely call foul throw-ins, either at the youth level or professional level. Officials are strict about this in the U.S., but apparently this is a less important rule in Italy.
Official Lega Pro video highlights of the week 25 1-2 loss v. Tuttocuoio:
Official Lega Pro video highlights of the week 24 0-1 loss v. Casertana:
Official Lega Pro video highlights of the week 23 1-1 draw v. Nuova Cosenza: