Ibson Celebration

In the Moment: Ibson

A lot goes down on the pitch in any given match. Each week, we’ll be talking to a player about one specific play from last week’s match and letting them give an inside view of the play as it developed.

This week, we talked with both Ibson and Miguel Ibarra about how they combined for the match-winning goal against Houston Dynamo last weekend — a spectacular backheel touch from the Brazilian in front of net that was eerily reminiscent of a goal he scored with Flamengo a decade ago in a 5-2 win over Palmeiras. We spoke with Ibson via a translator.

The finish on first viewing might look accidental, almost a deflection, but it’s in fact exquisite. More on that later, but first comes the setup from Ibarra.

Ibarra: As soon as Darwin gets it, I had to go into the hole. He gave it to me and I knew Collin Martin was there, so my instinct was to play it one time and keep my run going to the line. I whipped it in hoping that someone was going to be there knowing we had four players there with Darwin trailing.

The key thing that opens up the play is when Ibson slips between the defenders at the edge of the box. After the match, Ibarra said, “You don’t really see him in there and defenders don’t really pay attention to him as much.” We asked Ibarra while looking at the video if it seemed like there was a miscommunication between the defenders at that moment.

Ibarra: It does look like that. He is pointing somewhere else when I think he should be right in front of Ibson.

Ibson: I was looking for a space to get in there where I would have a chance to finish. When the ball went further ahead I had already gotten in front of the defender.

From the reverse angle, you can see just how deft the touch is once the ball comes in.

We asked Ibson if that was the shot he was going for — if that was what he was thinking as the ball came in.

Ibson: Looking at the video, what do you think? Was it intentional or luck?

We said, “Intentional.”

Ibson: Okay, then I do not need to answer that. <smiles>

As you can see below, that kind of backheel off a cross directly in front of goal is something Ibson has done before, albeit with a little more space to pull it off. This was the third goal of a hat trick for Ibson in this win back in November of 2008.

Ibson: This was a little easier because we were winning and I had scored two goals already.

Ibson’s translator offered his own take on the match-winner: “We were talking on our way here about the goal, and he mentioned that if he would have tried to right foot it or left foot it, that wouldn’t be possible. So it is genius, but that was the only thing he could have done.” Ibson’s only response was to laugh and shrug.

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