We had put together the following squad to participate in this friendly:
Muhammad Mahdi Panju (GK)
As always the game started intensely with both sides trying to stamp down their authority. SJFA got an early corner which was taken by Ali Dewji, his pinpoint accuracy found Sami Merali who scored with his head 1-0 to SJFA.
Although AVA were winning the early battle in midfield we were creating the better chances. Sami played a beautiful flighted ball to Ali who took an early shot and went just over the crossbar. Soon after we had a free-kick taken by Aqeel Karawalli, the ball broke in the box to Sami who finished again 2-0 to SJFA.
Unfortunately, the game changed at this point. We had a few dubious referee decisions and some of our players were getting wound up by the opposition and the referee. AVA were awarded a free-kick just outside the area and scored 2-1. They were soon awarded another free-kick outside the area and they scored again 2-2! AVA could feel they were now back in the game and they continued to press and won a corner and we went to sleep and they scored again 2-3 AVA.
Soon after this our keeper, Muhammad Mahdi Panju, was injured as he went for a 50/50 ball and had no choice but to come off and took no further part in the game. With no substitute keeper Jaabir Walji immediately volunteered to go into goal as cover.
We re-organised and just before half-time Yasin crossed a ball that beat the keeper and fell to Mohamedmahdi Janmohamed (Tommy) who finished making it 3-3.
The second half was one that we all would like to forget. AVA were winning the individual battles and it felt as if we had ran out of steam and ideas. AVA scored three quick goals, before Sami scored his third goal completing his hatrick 4-6.
AVA then went on to score 2 more goals from Free-Kicks and the game ended 4-8.
The key take away from this game was that we conceded 5 goals from set-pieces! A lot of work to be done in training on this aspect of the game moving forward.
Final mention to Yasin, who continues to shine in our games. Being one of the slightest and youngest, he shows little fear in taking players on with his skill and flare, tackling boys much bigger and stronger, proving versatile by playing in different positions and giving 100%.