Sajjad Masoomzadeh (GK)
Abbas Jagani (C)
Shahid Abbas Jaffer
It was a cold, drizzly Sunday afternoon in North West London for the first round of the FA People’s Cup adults category, with SJFA being represented by a team from our U21’s division.
Their first game came against a tough-tackling and clinical team by the name of Intoxicated. SJ were punished for a slow start to the game as they fell behind 2-0 in the opening minutes. Still struggling to match the pace and precision of the opposition, SJ conceded one more before finally getting up the other end to get a goal back through Murtaza Mamdani’s solid low effort into the bottom left hand corner. After committing men forward to try to add to the potential comeback, SJ were caught on the break and conceded yet another goal to make the score 4-1 to Intoxicated. The 4th goal conceded was taken as a wake-up call as the second half of the match saw a more disciplined and hard-working performance by SJ. A superb solo effort from out wide on the right-hand side by Ilyas Govani saw SJ get another glimmer of hope as the deficit was reduced to 2 goals. Coach Arif Bandali decided it was time for some fresh legs and after a double substitution, SJ continued to pipe the pressure on. In the dying moments of the match, SJ were caught on the break again and intoxicated scored a 5th just seconds before the final whistle which confirmed the final score of a 5-2 defeat.
After a much needed 2 game break SJ’s second match came against another fast-flowing team. This time the team took the game to the opposition and after some good forward play, they took the lead through Shahid Abbas’s calm finish. After this, SJ sat back a bit and attempted to soak up pressure from the opposition who managed to pass their way through to equalise. SJ seemed dazed from this goal and struggled to reorganise, resulting in another 2 goals conceded, making the score 3-1 to the opposition. A resilient SJ team managed to pull back another goal through Murtaza’s second goal of the tournament but unfortunately fell short defensively letting in another 2 quick-fire goals. In the last few knockings, Ilyas managed to find Salman Farishta with a fantastic through ball which was dispatched expertly but was inevitably too little too late as the referee blew the whistle on a 5-3 defeat in SJ’s second fixture.
The third and final game of the group stages came against a team by the name of Ivory Toast. The performance of SJ lived up to the high standards expected of the team as they dominated the opposition and the game from start to finish with some beautiful sweeping moves and deadly accurate finishes. The performance was summed up by a remarkable 10th goal at the final whistle scored by Shahid Abbas Jaffer to complete his hat-trick with an outrageous rabona skill finish after a powerful solo run. The 10-0 destruction pushed SJ to a 3rd place finish in the groups, but which unfortunately meant that they would not progress further in the 2017 FA People’s Cup.
Written by : Salman Farishta