It's funny, I tend to romanticize the good old days of hanging in the FUSA chatroom while watching Fulham on dodgy internet streams. That must have been one heck of a chatroom, b/c suffering these streams is maddening. I don't think I saw more than a 5 minute stretch at any point in the match w/o the feed going to crap and having to refresh. And the popups...
It's a shame to drop the points against a side of Wisla's quality, but with the int'l break and fixture congestion, I can't fault Jol for playing a side largely made up of the 2nd team. And credit Wisla for coming out and attacking the way they did. They took the fight to us. Unfortunately, it was a fight we didn't look particularly up for. That was made worse midway through the 1st half when referee Martin Hansson sent Dembele off on a straight red following one of the worst dives I've seen in a while, by Wisla's Nunez. You may remember ol' Martin from his signature faux pas, the Henry handball to beat Ireland.
From there we played a very defensive match, often compacting to 8 men in the box and daring Wisla to shoot from 18 yds or more. They made Schwarzer work on a few of them, and ultimately converted in the 2nd half on a cracking strike by Biton. Wisla's Chavez spent the evening challenging Fulham players by running through them from behind. Hansson finally gave him his 2nd yellow to send him off, but could have done so much sooner in the match on any of a number of challenges. We made a desperate push late, but it came to naught.
My only real gripe with Jol in this one is how he handled the formation after Dembele's sending off. He moved AJ to the wing and played Sa alone up top. Given Sa's average (at best) speed and his clumsiness, I'd have preferred to see Frei or Kasami come on and put an in form AJ up top. He eventually did take Sa off in the 2nd half, but due to a hamstring injury, not tactics.
I thought the supporters from both sides were in good voice. Wisla's were loud and active despite a fairly empty stadium, and the Fulham faithful broke through the din a few times as well.
Again, while I hate to see us fail to get a result in this one, it was a fairly irrelevant match in terms of advancing. We likely won't win the group now, but we sit 2nd on pts in the table at the midway point and we get the 2 worst teams at the Cottage in the 2nd half.