X-League Sunday Premier League Season 13
Woodlands Secondary School2 October 2022
Man of Match
Goal Type: Open Play
Assist: Henry Shah
Smallboy (Fitri Ruzaini)
Goal Type: Open Play
Assist: Ridhwan (Muhamad Ridhwan bin Taib)
Ridhwan (Muhamad Ridhwan bin Taib)
Goal Type: Open Play
Assist: Smallboy (Fitri Ruzaini)
Goal Type: Penalty
|1st Quarter||: 1|
|2nd Quarter||: 0|
|3rd Quarter||: 1|
|4th Quarter||: 0|
Second Half Blitz Inspires Giant Killing Act
In the surprise result of the weekend, AC United came from behind to beat league leaders Druzhba with all 4 goals coming in the second half, to end the former's 100% record with an emphatic 4-2 win at Woodlands Secondary School on a scorching Sunday afternoon.
No one gave AC United a glimmer of hope going into this game. The Russians came into the game on the back of 3 wins out of 3, while the blues came into the game as the cellar dwellers of the division with 3 losses in as many games. But the team looked resolute and ready for the battle nonetheless. The return of Zad in goal was a welcomed change. Zul and the impressive Alvianto formed the centre back partnership, ably assisted on the sides by Dayat and Tobi. In midfield, Hazry and Ruiwei were flanked by Henry and Haikal, and up front we had Andy and Wan leading the attack.
Druzhba kicked off the first half, with the blues prepared for an aerial assault similar to the German All Stars game. But the assault never came. In fact, the blues were matching the league leaders man for man, challenge for challenge. The pre-game instructions from manager Boonk to not shirk from 50-50 battles clearly sunk in. As the game went on, the blues started to get comfortable and the short passing game started to come in.
A beauty to watch, as Zul and Alvianto dispossess their opposite numbers, and instead of booting the ball into kingdom come, took the time to search out their wingbacks. The balls eventually came to Hazry and Ruiwei, with the latter going on a few mazy runs but to no avail.
Just when everything looked to be going right, disaster struck. A momentary lapse in concentration in the backline allowed a Druzhba striker to steal the ball and didn't take long for the ball to nestle inside AC United's goal for a 1-0 lead to the Russians.
This was the 4th game in a row AC United conceded first and everyone expected the worst.
Andy, Syaiful, Smallboy and Kaide were all sent in to steady the ship and to try and get something back before the break but the score remained 1-0 to the opposition.
Drastic situations required drastic measures. Manager Boonk started to suit up, readying himself as a replacement in the AC united backline for the second half, much to the chagrin of the watching supporters, many of whom were flabbergasted.
"No more players left ah?" one supporter was overheard whispering to her friend.
The instructions for the second period were simple. Take the ball to the opposition and play the game in their half.
The second half saw Boonk and Hadi as replacements in defence, and Shafiq an addition to the frontline. And what a change they were.
From kick off, the boys in blue bombed forward. Every pass was more precise, every run more determined.
It didn't take long for the rejuvenated AC United to pull a goal back. Henry's clever shot was deflected out for a corner and the man with the newly dyed red top floated the resulting corner deep into the Druzhba box. Kaide was first to react as he bundled the ball home to bring the scores level at 1 a piece!
The celebrations didn't last long. A misplaced pass in midfield was picked up by the opposition and three touches later, was in the AC United box to complete the move and put his team 2-1 up.
The goal though, only seemed to galvanise the team. Everyone seemed to up their game in search of the second goal.
The danger on the wings were a concern for the AC United defence in the first half but with Hadi and Boonk now guarding them, the doors were effectively closed, and the key thrown away.
Boonk especially was a beast! His thunderous forays into the Druzhba half was only bettered by his lightning quick steals off his opposite number. Time and time again, the geriatric defender bombed down the right, occasionally combining with Henry to try and crack open the Russian defensive wall.
And crack open it finally did. On one of his forays upfront, Boonk spotted Wan in space behind Smallboy. His outside foot pass cut the Druzhba defence like a hot knife through butter. Just when it seemed Smallboy was in the way, the AC United sharp shooter showed great awareness with a clever dummy, allowing the ball to go to Wan, who instinctively returned the ball to his strike partner via an ole through the centre back's legs. Smallboy, with the goal at his mercy, smashed home to give AC United a well deserved equaliser!
The team continued to pummel the opposition defence. Smallboy, Kaide, Henry, all had potshots on goal that stung the hands of the opposition keeper.
It wasn't all one way traffic though. In their enthusiastic search for the next goal, the AC United team invariably left gaps at the back and it was only through the brilliance of Vice Captain Zul and the unidentified flying object known as Zad that no other goals were conceded. One such flying save by the AC United custodian drew gasps from both set of supporters!
With their backline solid as a rock, the team continued their bombardment of the Druzhba backline.
A third goal eventually came. Again the irrepressible Smallboy was involved. His snapshot from outside the box was too hot to handle and the ball fell to Wan in the 6 yard box. With his back to goal and surrounded by defenders, the skilful striker danced his way around 1, 2, 3 defenders, before pirouetting and slamming the ball into the net to give AC United their first ever lead this season!
With the scorching sun draining the life out of both sets of players, passes started going wayward and runs became few and far between. But AC United looked to be gaining the upper hand thanks to some clever substitutions.
But AC United almost shot themselves in the foot when a pass back into the AC United half saw a Druzhba striker intercept the ball and it was only through Zad's excellent goalkeeping that the score remained 3-2 to AC United.
With minutes left on the clock, Henry won a corner on the right and left it for Boonk to take. The AC United rightback back's first corner was bundled out for another corner. But his second was a thing of beauty. He sent a delicious right footed floater to Kaide in the box but a Druzhba defender's hand inadvertently got in the way and hit the ball before Kaide could pull the trigger.
Andy stood over the ball in his usual Ronaldo stance. Wheeeet! Tap tap tap BANG! and it was 4-2 to AC United.
And the game ended soon after.
The team were understandably ecstatic with the win but different groups of players had different theories to the change in fortune.
"My hair power right? Bring us luck," shared Hazry, who arrived at he field with Henry, both sporting flaming pink hair.
"Boonk power lah," exclaimed Zul. "Every ball he win siol!"
Whatever the reason is, it was a confidence building win for AC United and hopefully, this result will put them in good stead in the upcoming games.
Zad, Zul, Alvianto, Dayat, Tobi, Ruiwei, Hazry, Henry, Haikal, Andy, Wan
Smallboy, Boonk, Hadi, Syaiful, Shafiq, Kaide, Syaiful