The SJFA Tier 3 has almost 60 registered players, a manager, and three coaches.
We had played IGK a few months back and we beat them narrowly 2-1. They were a good team physically, and we did well to win. This latest fixture would be a good test for us, and show our progress.
IGK lined up in a 2-1-3 formation.
Our squad managed by Bruce was:
Abbas Chandoo (GK)
Ali Rayhan Merali (captain)
Muhammad Aqeel Mavani
Husayn M H Merali
Our formation was 2-2-2 with Abid and Aqil at the back, Ali Rayhan and Jaabir in the middle, and Yasin and Rohan up front.
IGK came on quite strong but our defence was equal to the task. We played slightly too deep, and this is a problem that we have to address.
As time went by, the defence continued to play sensibly, and special mention has to be made of Jaabir who broke up the IGK play again and again. Rohan and Yasin were excellent on the break. At an IGK corner, the ball ended up in a goal-line scramble and somehow ended up in the net. We were one down!
After the last match, I had called for the players to show more grit, and that is exactly what they did. They fought, battled, and pushed forward. In an excellent break-away move, Rohan passed to Yasin for a tap-in and it was all level.
I kept the shape and formation as it was. Muhammad Aqeel came on for Abid, and Husayn replaced Jaabir for a while. Again, I felt that we were slightly deep and could not get forward. Ali Rayhan pushed further up and Jaabir came on again, and we started to threaten. In a very tight and tense game, it was end to end. Any team could have snatched a goal. Rohan was a real threat and ran at the IGK defence relentlessly.
Without a doubt, the two amazing saves by Abbas kept us in the game.
SJFA 1 – 1 Indian Gymkhana
Review and Analysis
This was a great performance with grit, determination, and lots of skill. Every player gave 100% and battled to the end. We were without 4 of our first team, and so I think this was a great result and performance, and it says to me that we have made progress.
Appreciation to IGK
It was wonderful to welcome IGK and host them. I look forward to playing them again.
What we learned
- Attacking formation is the way forward
- We must not sit too deep
- Our goal kicks and distribution needs improvement
Selection for games
Every week at The Hive, the coaches will be looking out for two key qualities: ability and attitude. Such players will be invited to play in the games. It is very important that the players take The Hive practices seriously, and demonstrate their skills every week.
Our motto: we back our skills, no matter who the opposition
This means our boys should feel confident to back their skills no matter what the format, who the opposition, or what surface they play on.
Manager – Tier 3, SJFA