A windy Saturday afternoon saw SJFA under 9s play against Indian Gymkhana (IGK).
The SJFA U9 squad was as follows:
Husayn A Gulamhussein
Pleasantries exchanged and warm ups done, the referee blew the whistle for the start. An early IGK attack gave them a corner, and bizarrely the ball ended up in the back of the SJFA net via about 3 deflections.
SJFA then started to settle into the game a bit more, yet struggled to break beyond the halfway line on a big pitch. Captain Mahdi Azeemali exhibited some exceptional ball control and skill to give the crowd some excitement, but SJFA couldn’t withstand the pressure from IGK and 2 more well worked goals saw IGK go into half time with a 0-3 lead.
A rousing half time team talk and some tactical tweaks saw SJFA make a much better start to the second half, and some excellent skill followed by a great finish saw Mahdi pull a goal back. A worrying injury for captain Mahdi followed; a clash of knees with two IGK players.
The rest of the team, despite losing a key player, seemed to use the loss as a driving force, and after a sustained period of pressure, they pulled another back, making the score 2-3. Keeper Sajjad Suleiman made some excellent saves to keep IGK at bay, however luck was not on SJFA’s side, and a hugely unlucky own goal, deflecting off 2 players and then the post, saw them go 2-4 down.
The spirited under 9s kept pushing forward, and immediately pulled a goal back through Ali Ismail. However, seconds later the final whistle blew, the match ending 3-4.
Take nothing away from this young SJFA side, they were fantastic throughout and played some classy football, and no doubt we’ll be hearing more about them in the future.
Written by: Shahid Abbas Jaffer (steward)