ESPZen Sunday League Season 28
Queenstown Secondary School23 September 2018
Man of Match
GoalsHaiqal (Muhd Haiqal Syarizz)
Goal Type: Open Play
|1st Quarter||: 0|
|2nd Quarter||: 0|
|3rd Quarter||: 0|
|4th Quarter||: 1|
Determined Reds Sees Out Gazelles
by Boonadine Limdane
On Sunday though, things did not begin according to plan.
With a bout of illness taking out close to half the team, only 10 players were present at kick off, which forced the injured gaffer Boonk to play in goal, sans gloves even.
The team fought for every ball, a key factor that contributed to Sunday's win.
The Gazelles looked like they were in the mood to play. Kicking off the proceedings, the away team were immediately on the front foot, drawing an instinctive save from the stand in keeper to keep AC United in the game.
But it was AC United who drew first blood. Haiqal, who has been in a rich vein of form, closed down a poor back pass by the Gazelles defence and their keeper slammed the subsequent clearance into the diminutive striker, who watched with glee as the ball rebounded off him and into goal!
More was to come shortly after.
A deep cross from Faz found the unmarked Awang at the far right, who killed the ball with his first touch before smashing the ball inside the left post to double AC United's lead!
Almost immediately, Boonk was substituted by a proper keeper as Zad arrives to take his rightful place between the sticks.
AC United continued their bombardment forward. The midfield trio of Leroy, Hafiz and Fahmi were bossing the midfield, leaving Sean's 3-men backline free of danger. Any balls that leaked past the midfield, were easily dealt with by DQ and Faz.
The AC United rightback seems to be getting better with each passing game.
New man Renan was a real handful on the left, winning tackles and protecting the balls, skipping past his markers at will and was having a debut to remember!
Fareez, playing the target man role he relishes, was giving the Gazelles defence hell, and had the ball in the net once, only for th ereferee to rule it out for offside. The Gazelles defence were really struggling to keep the AC Untied frontman quiet and their reprieve only came with the referee blowing for halftime.
Everyone was satisfied with their first half performance. But the manager sounded a warning that with the lack of substitutes, everyone should pace themselves in the second half as he expects Gazelles to have more of the ball. Syaiful and Hafeez were sent on to add some fresh legs up front while Hafiz rushed to the toilet for some urgent detoxing. Complete with his phone, a bottle of water and a magazine...
The versatile Hafeez showed his prowess early in the half, taking the ball to his opposite numbers and in doing so, opened up more opportunities for his teammates.
The team continued in their 3-5-2 formation for much of the second half and just when the team thought they had enough to secure a comfortable 2-0 win, the Gazelles pulled a goal back late on with an opportunistic strike from outside the box that saw the match ball get deflated in the net.
But close off the game they did, with AC United walking off 2-1 winners in the hot Sunday afternoon sun at Queenstown Secondary.
A beautiful day for football, made more beautiful by the positive results on the pitch.
A scary day with a good ending it seems, according to the AC United manager.
"It was amazing in more ways than one," quipped a relieved looking Boonk. "What started off as 21 players on Saturday night turned into 10 and a half players on Sunday morning! But the players today really gave a god account of themselves.
"The determination to get the ball and the non stop harassing in defensive situations, especially in the second half, was a sight to behold."
When asked about the new additions to the team, Boonk's eyes lit up.
"You saw Renan on the field. You can see what he is capable of. His close control and initial burst makes him a asset on the wings. We hope we can convince him to play for us on a regular basis."
A good win in spite of the odds. This team looks set for greater heights.
-Starting 11: Boonk - DQ - Faz - Sean - Leroy - Fahmi H - Hafiz - Renan - Awang - Fareez - Haiqal
Substitutes: Hafeez - Syaiful - Zad
Player / Manager: Boonk