SJFA U12 v AFC Wembley

On the 14th January, SJFA played their second match of the 2017 campaign, today against AFC Wembley. The match was played in the Neasden Sports Centre, and was buzzing with activity from all the different sporting events taking place. Today we had Fuad Musa, our tier manager, coaching us.

He chose this team to participate:

  • Ali Abbas Suleiman (GK)
  • Ali Khatau
  • Ali Hadi Govani (C)
  • Yousuf Datoo
  • Shahid AP
  • Jameel Walji
  • Husayn Yahya Merali
  • Mohamed Mahdi Jahnmohammed
  • Hassan Merali Chuzi

All 9 of us needed to be fit, as unfortunately we didn’t have any subs to bring on. Another test that even professional clubs, such as Hull, have to face. We played 2 halves of 30 minutes, swapping sides each half. This match would require a lot of tracking back and pressing.

As soon as SJFA kicked off they started to play with real purpose passing it around well. It wasn’t long before we made a breakthrough into their defence, but unfortunately their defenders managed to intercept. It was a very good sign to start the match.

After a few minutes of end to end football we managed to get a few shots in, testing their two main defenders and keeper out a lot. Several times we managed to play a through-ball but it was intercepted by their two strong centre-halves. After some strong resolute defending it was a rocket of a shot that managed to hit the back of the net. There was no chance for Ali Abbas Suleiman to save it.

We kept our heads up but soon the ball was back in the net again. We knew we needed to score a goal, and this would be the perfect time to do it. We managed to sustain more pressure on their area. This was a really bright 10 minute spell. Hassan managed two shots, but their keeper made two fantastic saves. We carried on playing very well, and were really giving them a hard time. Regrettably, we didn’t manage to score, and the ref called for half time.

It was time for a quick team talk by our manager. Soon we were back out playing. AFC Wembley brought on 3 or 4 subs from their first team who were talented individuals, unfortunately, we did not have this luxury!
The rain had started pouring down, which was a challenge to keep warm in the frosty air. SJFA tried to attack some more, and we created a few good chances which their keeper managed to stop.

Down the other end AFC Wembley troubled us with a few shots, and from their corners managed to score twice. We couldn’t defend the corners as well as we wanted to, which is a thing we need to improve on. A couple more chances for AFC Wembley and they managed to score another. The substitutions and fresh legs made a difference. SJFA defended as best as they could, and whenever we had possession managed to create chances further up field.

The referee blew the whistle with the final score 5-0. Overall SJFA played well, but, as always, there is room for improvement. It was still a valuable experience to take away. We shall look forward to playing our next fixture.

By Husayn Yahya Merali