U16 III Squad:
Muneeb Kazmi (GK)
Ammaar Merali (C)
After a tiring day at school, our team arrived at the venue optimistically, to play in the qualifying rounds of the People’s FA Cup tournament. We knew we would be up against tough opponents, however that didn’t deter us from giving 110% effort.
In the first match, we let ourselves down with a man-marking error. A player got loose and slotted the ball away for us to go 1-0 down. Despite the conscious effort from the whole team and some superb saves from Muneeb, we managed to defend until the last 2 minutes when they scored another goal. It was unlucky for us as it was a marking error that cost us the game.
In the second match that we played, we lost 3-1. Zain scored our first goal of the night in the bottom right corner. In the third match, we were up against one of the best teams in our group. The final score was 6-3, and in my opinion, I feel that we played very well to get 3 goals past their keeper. In all honesty, we were lucky to get the third goal after it deflected off their defender sending the keeper the wrong way.
The last match of the night saw us defeated due to sheer strength and pace. The whole team did not track back to help the defence, and therefore, the opposition had the chance to fire away a couple of shots.
Overall, our team gave everything to each match that we played and despite our series of losses, we took away areas in which we could improve. Despite not progressing to the next round of the People’s cup, we can practice what is required to do so in training and hopefully come back better and stronger next year.
I would like to express my thanks to all the coaches, parents and the SJFA admin team for organising these beneficial fixtures and for also taking their time out on a Friday night to watch the boys in the freezing cold. Dedication!
By Ammaar Merali