Abbas Ali Ladha
Mujtaba Hussein Dewji
Ali – Reyhan Merali
Headline: SJFA come back from 5-1 to draw epic thriller against IGK.
On Saturday 17th November, SJFA Under 11/12’s took on IGK in an enthralling game of football.
This match which was supposed to be a 9 a side game was changed to 8 a side due to some of our boys having to play with the under 13’s.
With some last minute formation alterations which our boys took in their stride, the match began with both SJFA and IGK playing possession football and testing each other out.
Our defence was rock solid for the first 10 minutes of the match ably marshalled by Abbasali Ladha, Mujtaba Dewji and Husayn Gulamhussein with Suhail Merali keeping us in the game in the early exchanges with some superb saves.
Ali- Reyhan Merali supported by Sajjad Suleiman had control of the midfield, with Ali Ismail and Adam Valjy harrying the IGK defenders.
As the game wore on, IGK brought on fresher players from the bench which we do not have the liberty of, to take control of the match and scored 4 quick fire goals. What was great to see, was that our boys heads did not drop and they were finally rewarded for their efforts with a great goal scored by Ali Ismail after a quick counter attacking move. Receiving the ball on the right wing, he cut inside and smashed a shot into the top left hand corner.
Our goal seemed to have jolted IGK into action again, and with the game going towards half time, they scored again to make it 5-1.
The boys needed to re-group and the whistle to signal the end of the half came at the right time to give them a much needed break and the arrival of Ali Dewji and Jaabir Walji to call from the bench.
With the team talk finished and a tweak to the formation and players, the second half got under way.
Having the luxury of rotating the players, we started to impose our style of play onto IGK and came back into the game after the front line harassed their defenders into making a sloppy clearance and Sajjad Suleiman pounced onto the mistake with a superb finish into the bottom left hand corner to make the score 5-2.
SJFA were now purring. The feeling was if we could get another goal, we would be right back in the game.
Ali Dewji dropped deeper into the midfield and started pulling the strings to feed both the wide attackers Adam Valjy and Ali Ismail, and it was from this that we scored the 3rd goal. Receiving the ball in midfield a glorious defence splitting pass was played to Adam who finished with a superb strike into the top left hand corner. We were back in it!!!
We now had a foothold in the game, and started to control it from back to front. The whole team were energised with the passing crisper and tackles flying in to ensure that we would not concede again.
Soon enough IGK were rocked, Ali Dewji received the ball in midfield and went on a solo run, took on the IGK defenders and with a drop of his shoulder fired in an unstoppable shot to make it 5-4, and the game was back on!!!
The clock was running down and our boys intensity went up a notch to try and get an equaliser. The goal duly came courtesy of Ali Dewji harrying the opposition goal keeper into making an error and instead of holding onto the ball he shot against Ali with the ball nestling into the back of the net.The comeback was complete and the boys held on for the draw in the few minutes that remained.
Coming off the pitch at full time, the boys were understandably elated at what they had achieved. What seemed a lost cause at half time was salvaged through perseverance and never giving up.
I’m extremely proud of the way the boys applied themselves throughout the match with encouragement been given even when the score line was against us. This quality will hold them on good stead for future matches, knowing that the game is not over until the final whistle is blown.
Perhaps the best compliment came from the opposition coach who said and I quote “ I shouldn’t have made many changes thinking the game was already won”, well done to your boys for coming back”.
Coach: Asgherali Gulamhussein.