Vejle Boldklub – Match Report vs FC Copenhagen 27/09/2020

Vejle came from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 against FC Copenhagen, with a 92nd minute free-kick from Raphael Dwamena rescuing a point for the newly promoted side. Vejle lined up in a 4-3-3 formation in the first-half, before an injury to Lucas Jensen saw them switch to a 4-1-4-1. FC Copenhagen lined up in a 4-3-2-1, with the impressive Jonas Wind playing in the hole behind Kamil Wilczek. Vejle played well and deserved a point, building on what has been a solid start to the season.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Allan Sousa

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 27/01/1997
  • Current Club: Vejle Boldklub
  • Career: Al-Arabi SC, Al Markhiya SC (L), Vejle Boldklub, Sint-Triudense VV (L)
  • Position: Right/Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Sousa played very well in this match, causing problems with his direct dribbling throughout having started on the left wing and moved over to the right in the second-half where he was able to cut inside onto his stronger left foot. This resulted in Vejle’s first goal, with Sousa receiving the ball on the edge of the box and creating space for himself to arrow a left-footed shot into the top-left corner. He also got the assist for the equaliser with an intelligent free-kick routine that saw him set the ball for Dwamena, moving the ball into a more central position and allowing Dwamena to curl his shot around the wall.

He is a lively and energetic player who is very positive on the ball, constantly looking to drive the team forward with an explosive turn of pace and good close control in tight areas. He was very effective at using his speed and agility to beat defenders, often drawing his opponent in and using a body feint to get them off balance before changing direction quickly and accelerating past them. He also had a very strong first touch which allowed him to receive the ball under pressure and retain possession before bringing others into play.

He did so often, creating a number of shooting opportunities both for himself and for a teammate with his ability to draw pressure and create space. He constantly played with his head up when travelling with the ball which allowed him to assess his options and often led to the right decision being made. His passing was mostly short and accurate, preferring to progress the play with the ball at his feet. However, we also saw his ability from set-pieces as he was consistently delivering crosses into dangerous areas with pace which caused problems for the Copenhagen defence.

Rating – A2

Sousa is clearly a player with a lot of talent and his technical ability should translate well over to a higher standard of league. However, he struggled for goals and assists on loan at STVV in the Belgian Pro League last season and at 23 there are question marks of how high his ceiling might be. A key player in this Vejle team, though, and his performances so far this season certainly suggest an ability to play at a higher level.

Wahid Faghir

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish/Afghan
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 29/07/2003
  • Current Club: Vejle Boldklub
  • Career: Vejle Boldklub
  • Position: Centre Forward
  • Preferred foot: Right

Faghir played as the lone centre forward and managed to impress with some nice touches and link-up play despite being given fairly limited service in front of goal and eventually being substituted early in the second half. He did get the assist for the equaliser, however, receiving the ball on the edge of the box and creating space with a nice turn before getting his head up to find a teammate in a shooting position.

He showed good technical ability, keeping the attacking play moving quickly and effectively with one-touch lay-offs and well-weighted passes into the channels for the wide players to run onto. He was confident on the ball and showed good upper body strength to hold off defenders but needed to be slightly more direct as at times it felt like he was retaining possession and hoping to draw fouls rather than being positive and driving at the defence.

He was lively and alert in the box and showed sharp movement when reacting to loose balls and crosses but wasn’t given the space or the service to trouble the goalkeeper. This meant that he snatched at a few chances when given a sight of goal, which I think was partly due to his young age but also an eagerness to make the most of the few opportunities he was given to have a shot on target.

Rating – A2

Faghir is remarkably well-developed for his age and it is no surprise to see him getting regular first-team minutes with his ability. Not the best game for him to showcase his qualities but did enough to make an impression and show why he has been linked with teams such as Wolves and Leicester over the last few weeks.

Arbnor Mucolli

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Albanian/Danish
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 15/09/1999
  • Current Club: Vejle Boldklub
  • Career: Vejle Boldklub
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Mucolli started in the number 10 position before moving over to the left-wing after a switch in system. He is an intelligent and creative player who likes to progress the ball from deep and plays with an elegance and flair that makes him very entertaining to watch. He possesses great balance and agility when travelling with the ball but also good vision and awareness that allows him to bring others into play with neat flicks and disguised passes.

He should have scored in the first-half with a move that he started and finished, picking the ball up in midfield and beating a couple of players before spreading the play out wide and getting into the box for the cutback which he miss-timed and put narrowly past the post. He was very effective when receiving the ball under pressure and using his first touch and spacial awareness to create separation between himself and his opponent. He is also deceptively strong despite his slim build, so can hold off bigger opponents and protect the ball well.

His ball retention skills meant that he drew a lot of fouls and very rarely gave away possession, however he was also guilty of giving away too many fouls himself. He worked hard off the ball and pressed aggressively but was slightly too eager and easily outsmarted by opponents who got their bodies in the way and won a number of cheap free-kicks. We saw less of his playmaking ability after he moved out wide but from central areas he was very effective at moving the ball into dangerous areas and bringing the front three into play.

Rating – A2

Mucolli is another player who has started the season in good form and is showing potential to play at a higher level. He has already played a lot of first-team football with Vejle despite his young age and may now be starting to look for the next step in his career.

Thomas Gundelund

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 06/11/2001
  • Current Club: Vejle Boldklub
  • Career: Vejle Boldklub
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Gundelund already has a season as a first-team regular under his belt and this is reflected in his mature and composed style of play despite being just 18. He was incredibly impressive up against Viktor Fischer in the first-half, with a clear instruction to man-mark him which saw him stay tight at all times and not allow him any time on the ball. Gundelund marked him out of the game and Fischer was substituted at half-time, a great reflection of the effectiveness with which he was kept quiet.

He was very solid when defending in 1v1 situations, staying tight to his opponent and ensuring he remained goal-side to give them very little option on the ball but to go backwards. His positional play could have been better for Copenhagen’s second goal as he was caught too narrow and left too much space out wide for the cross to come in. However, on the whole his defensive performance was near faultless and he was very impressive against some very talented attacking players.

He was confident on the ball, remaining calm when Copenhagen pressed high and making good decisions over when to attempt to progress the ball and when to retain and recycle possession. He played some very nice progressive passes into central areas, zipping the ball into the attackers feet with pace and accuracy as well as showing an ability to play long passes with a few accurate switches of play.

Rating – A1

A very impressive performance against one of the best attacking outfits in the league which suggests an ability to play at a higher level and test himself against better opposition. Still very young and benefitting a lot from first-team football so shouldn’t rush a move but I would expect him to be on the radar of a number of teams from the top leagues.

Lundrim Hetemi

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Albanian/Danish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 18/02/2000
  • Current Club: Vejle Boldklub
  • Career: FC Fredericia (Y), Vejle Boldklub
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Hetemi started in a midfield pivot before moving into a more advanced position as part of a midfield trio in the second-half. He is a short player with a low centre of gravity and a fairly strong build who is likely to still be developing physically at his age. He was functional and tidy on the ball, retaining possession and moving it on to the more creative players with minimal fuss.

He did not have the best game defensively, struggling slightly to keep up with the movement of the Copenhagen front line and reacting too slowly to loose balls, particularly in congested areas around the edge of the box. He was aggressive and combative but without much success, attempting to break up the play but looking slightly off the pace and was second-best to the majority of the midfield duels. However, his positional discipline allowed the more creative players freedom to get forward and that shouldn’t be overlooked as a functional yet important asset to Vejle’s style of play.

Rating – B2

Hetemi performs an important defensive role in a team that is full of technical ability and attacking flair, not his best game but against a difficult opponent and would need to watch more of him before forming a strong opinion.

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