On a cold Saturday morning, our under 8’s had their second league match. Off the back of a 10-1 win in week 1, the kids were keen to get going regardless of the cold and wet start to the day – the boys didn’t want anything to come into their way of a second win.
For some of the boys, it was their first game, so whilst it was as an exciting time for a few to receive gold SJFA league shirts, it was extra special for the few who hadn’t played in week 1. With their new tops on, the squad went for a quick sprint round the pitch to get warmed up, and boy did they needed it.
At the same time, the parents were also warming up, but in a very different way – one of the parents kindly brought some hot tea and served their fellow colleagues.
The whistle went for the first 10min quarter and with this being a 6-aside match, all the boys got a fair share of at least 2 quarters. Whilst SJFA started confidently through Hassan Valjy, Ali Nurmohamed and Mikaeel Rashid, a quick break by Holy Trinity put them 1-0 up with a neat finish in the corner.
Coach Nazir and Coach Jamil gave the boys lots of encouragement from the side lines, reminding them of their positions and to track back. The boys hustled away for the remainder of the first quarter and made a few chances and there was some good link up by Abbas Rajvani and Zain Khatau ended with Zain nicking a goal at the end of the first quarter. 1-1 after the end of the first quarter.
Start of the second quarter, with Jawad Dhalla, Jaabir Merali and Shabbar Allibhai coming on with fresh legs, it was a tight affair with no further goals, and ending 1-1. Even with the cold weather, the boys fought hard in midfield and defence with Mikaeel and Jaabir making some good interceptions.
Quarter 3 and with some strong words at the interval from Coach Jamil, he set the team up with Zain Khatau in attack, Hassan Valjy and Ali Nurmohamed in midfield, Jaabir Merali and Hussein Bhaloo in defence and Shabbar in goal, the team were playing some good passing football. This was rewarded with Zain poking in from a through ball by Ali Nurmohamed and then Hussein got one soon after after good play in the middle of the park with the whole team involved. At the back Shabbar made a great save when one-on-one.
3-1 after quarter 3. There was some gloating by Manager Raza who made a brief appearance at start of quarter 3. He thought it was his words of wisdom which made the difference to get the team up 3-1. Strange thing is he still believes that is true.
Quarter 4, and the coaches rand the changes. Hassan Valjy and Jaabir Dhalla back on with abbas Rajvani in goal. The team needed to keep things tight to maintain their 100% record, and boy did the whole team do that. It was pretty nervy towards the end of the half – holy Trinity should have got one back but a great diving save from Abbas R kept it at 3-1.
Final whistle blew and SJFA U8 had their second win of the season.
Great game, and very good performances all round.
Match report by Jamil Merali