On a typical cold spring April Saturday, SJ travelled to the Evergreens with redemption in mind for our loss to them earlier in the season.
Warm ups went well, with the gaffer teaching us zonal marking in record time – and what a stroke of genius that was.
Match started and it was tight in the middle with Mohammed Mehdi Karim anchoring the midfield and Gibran and Murtaza Merali pulling the strings.
Irfaan as always showed great bravery and strength despite being clattered, he kept going and did really well. He combined well with Baqer on the left showing good strength to keep the ball.
Maz on the wing with Maisam Merali behind him made some good runs stretching their defence.
In the week where Murtaza helped KDB analyse his stats to negotiate a better contract, Murtaza put in a great case forward to uncle Mo who was watching from live stream via Shahid Abbas.
Murtaza picked up the ball in the middle of the park and clipped in a ball for Yaseen to latch onto with a beautiful finish lobbing the keeper into the top far corner. A finish that Kun Aguero would be proud of.
After that goal SJ took control of the match and the passes got crisper and the runs from the wings were proving to be too much for their defence. Then we won a penalty, my view was being blocked by captain’s enviable Afro. Anyways the penalty was calmly despatched by Murtaza sending the keeper the wrong way, adding to his stats sheet for uncle Mo.
We had a scare towards the end of the first half where Evergreen were through on the edge of the area, and a combination of the keepers fingertips and the post, kept the ball out.
2nd half was a different proposition, Evergreen were chasing the game and pressing much quicker. A special mention here for the ref and the linesmen who had a brilliant game, one such example was when passed back to the keeper and keeper was a bit too relaxed, eventually he was closed down and somehow evergreen got the ball in the back of the net – the linesman called for an offside or a foul, either were correct decisions to be fair. This meant we managed to keep our first clean sheet of the season.
Adding insult to injury for Evergreen, we quickly switched on, Murtaza picked another beautiful through ball and the ever confident Yaseen ran onto it and finished neatly over the keeper.
The defence did really really well to thwart the onslaught at the end to give us a well deserved clean sheet.
Onwards and upwards SJ
Match report by Imranali Khaki