Sport4U Charity Shield
Ang Mo Kio Sec School1 September 2019
Man of Match
|1st Quarter||: 1|
|2nd Quarter||: 1|
|3rd Quarter||: 0|
|4th Quarter||: 0|
Same Old Opponents, Same Old Result
by Boonadine Limdane
Playing Seng Kang Rangers (SKR) for the 7000th time in 6mths, AC United met them again on Sunday at Ang Mo Kio Secondary School. This time for the Sports4U Charity Cup. But like the past few meetings, the opponents proved too strong for the team in yellow, condemning them to yet another defeat, albeit by a more respectable 2-0 margin this time round.
The opening minutes were fast and furious. With Boonk in goal, it was only a matter of time before the opponents scored. Their pacy left winger was SKR's early threat and he popped up with a ferocious left footer that screamed past Boonk within the first 10 minutes for the opener.
DQ and Tommy were still looking at ways to nullify the attack down the right when the second came, courtesy of another defensive lapse. Their striker ghosted past the AC United backline with some impressive footwork before doubling his team's lead with a right footer that sailed in just under the crossbar.
From that time on though, AC United started fighting back. Tommy and Hafiz were beginning to stem the SKR attacks, leaving DQ and Yan free to support the attack via their respective wingers Ridhwan and Haiqal. Taufeeq's passing range was well complemented by Jansher's hard running in the heart of midfield, allowing Bob time to pick apart the SKR defence.
Eizwan, being alone up front, was running his socks off as he chased every half chance punted his way.
Smallboy, Hafeez and Salihin were brought on later in the half to freshen things up.
Unfortunately, the changes did not affect the scoreline as both teams trudged off the pitch at halftime with the score still 2-0 to SKR.
A switch to a more offensive 4-3-3 in the second period changed things around for the boys in yellow. Playing much higher up the field, the gameplan was changed to one that was more direct, with an attacking trio of Hafeez, Aidil and Jansher to aim at.
Thrown into disarray, the SKR backline started to misplace their passes under the constant pressure from the AC United men and for much of the second period, the game was played in the SKR half. Aidil and Hafeez had a handful of chances, but just could not find the back of the net.
There was a moment of panic midway through the half when a misplaced pass from the AC United defence hit an SKR striker and the ball richocheted back towards the AC United goal. Only a full on sprint by the AC United keeper, whose desperate right handed dive saw him scoop the ball off the line and into safety, did the team keep the score at 2-0.
At the other end of the pitch, in spite of the hustle and bustle, the AC United boys just could not breach the SKR defence and the game ended 2-0 in favour of their opponents.
Yan was asked about how the tactical switch made by Tommy after the second goal, where the dynamic DQ was moved to the left and him in the opposite direction, managed to stop the threat down the right.
"After the switch, the defence started to help each other out," explained Yan. "We started to calm down and cover each other, and avoided committing unneccessary tackles.
"In the second half, there was more communication between the midfield and defence, we passed the ball faster. Basically, we took too long to click as a team. But once we did, the football started to flow."
Man Of The Match Bob echoed his teammate.
"First half everything was haywire tbh," recalled the stocky midfielder. "Everyone was out of position."
"Second half, everyone was more composed and everyone started to open up to make easier passes."
Bob has played in defence, midifield and attack for the team but when asked which position suited him best, the answer was clear as day.
"I play best at attacking midfield!"
Starting 11: Boonk, DQ, Hafiz, Tommy, Yan, Ridhwan, Taufeeq, Bob, Haiqal, Jansher, Hafeez
Subs: Eizwan, Hadi, Smallboy, Aidil