Ali Husayn Walji
Ali Hussain Sumar
Mahdi Hassan Lalji
Muhammad Jawad Tejani
STANMORE put on a swashbuckling attacking performance to pick up a much-needed victory against the Lions. In recent weeks the U8s had created a litany of chances each game without putting them away, while also being done on the counter attack on many occasions.
But Saturday saw an increased display of clinical finishing, positional awareness and excellent passing to pick up their second win of the campaign.
Ali Husayn Walji started SJ off with an early brace before a sumptuous cross set up Muhammad Moosa for the third.
Seemingly cruising, the U8s let their eye off the ball momentarily and eased off the pressing to allow their opponents a couple of decent goals, meaning the scoreline was a nervy 3-2 at half time.
But with a renewed urgency, the goals flowed in the second half.
Mahdi Hassan Lalji went on a trademark solo run before dispatching SJ’s fourth, before Moosa chipped in with another to put the game beyond doubt.
Walji came off to a standing ovation after completing his hat trick in the fourth quarter, while an own goal from a fiercely whipped in corner and another Moosa strike – to complete his own hat trick – sealed a famous day for the U8s.
From back to front, SJ were excellent for the vast majority of the game.
Mehdi Lakha and Danyaal Panju were fierce in the tackle and distributed the ball from the back beautifully, while Zaynali Mohamed commanded his area well and passed out from the back with confidence.
Mehdi Bhimji swept up everything in the middle and kept the ball moving with typical aplomb, while Hussain Dhalla’s dribbling down the left wing was crucial in moving the ball up the pitch. He was particularly unlucky not to score.
MJ Tejani filled in several different positions admirably and broke up play like Ngolo Kante, while Ali Hussain Sumar gave a modicum of composure to the midfield when SJ were under pressure.
But this win was also for all those who were rested and rotated for today – the squad have all worked hard every training (and extra training) session to improve their spacing, passing, and team work. It came together on Saturday, and it will come together regardless of who is on or off the pitch. There’s a lot of talent in this group and if they keep at it, they will – together – achieve great things.