Jaabir Walji (GK)
Husayn Ali Abbas Ismail
Husayn M H Merali
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
Now, cold Saturday mornings in early December are not for the faint-hearted but the Tier 3 boys were in good spirits and looking forward to their matches. Ali Ismail even played with a fractured wrist! The coaches and parents had the pleasure of sub arctic weather with which to contend, but the skills on show and the dodgy chai quickly thawed all concerned.
The first game was predominantly made up of year 5 boys with a few year 4 boys to make up the numbers. The boys played very well in the last few games and had been working hard in training to improve passing of the ball and moving into space.
SJFA began playing 3-2-1, with Rohan Malik up front, Husayn Ismail and Ali Ismail in midfield, and a back three of Alireza Hamir, Adam Valjy, and Husayn M H Merali who was making his debut.
The game kicked off slightly late but when it did both teams had early opportunities to score. However, it was early in the first half that the deadlock was broken and it was SJFA who took the lead even after some great defending by Indian gymkhana. A loose ball fell to team captain Alireza who slotted in from close range after side-stepping the keeper.
A few minutes later, Indian Gymkhana crossed in a corner and made it 1-1 through an unfortunate own goal.
In the second half, SJFA really battled hard. We soaked up pressure, broke up play, and hit on the counter attack. Rohan Malik hit the bar with a great shot; Husayn Ismail was a threat from midfield; Ali Ismail passed well; Alireza Hamir controlled the defence; and Husayn Merali and Adam Valjy defended bravely.
In one move, SJFA moved the ball quickly from defence to the right wing, a cross came into the box, and – on his debut – Kumail provided the finish, smashing the ball in the bottom left corner to make it 2-1.
After this, Jaabir pulled off some unbelievable saves and strong defending from the whole team kept the opposition at bay.
Overall it was a great team effort. It is great to see how far these boys have come in such a short space of time and more importantly they are enjoying their football and improving with every game.
Result: Indian Gymkhana 1 – 2 SJFA