Husayn Ali Khimji
Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
No word better summarises our SJFC U9 players. The impressive ability to not know when they are beaten, with a resolute commitment to compete fairly, whilst displaying a unique desire and conviction. Added to this their pleasure to make each match a nerve-wrecking experience for Coach and Parent alike.
On the back of a 3-3 draw in the previous run-out – fighting back from 3-0 down – where SJFC U9’s yet again underlined their tough spirit. Previous instances included the convincing 6-1 win in January and November’s 6-5 victory from being four goals behind.
The resilience really has become a SJFC U9 trait this season.
In preparation for this early Spring fixture away to the St James U9 Panthers City, Coaches Sadik and Mustafa yet again made excellent use of the available squad, demonstrating the strength in depth.
Following a torrential downpour, the first quarter saw both teams eager to impress. Despite early chances for SJFC, St James U9 capitalised and took an early 1-0 lead.
This seemed to kick our young lions into gear. SJFC started to find a rhythm. The defensive combination of Husayn Kermali and Nadhirali Rajwani kept the St James U9 strikers at bay.
Q1 and Q2 saw Javadali Muraj, Hassan Merali and Zachariya Mohamed pepper the St James’ goal with a range of long range and near shots.
The SJFC persistence was soon repaid with two quick fire goals from Zachariya and Hassan. On the balance of play, we deserved the 2-1 lead.
A reassuring, confident goalkeeping display from Ali Rehmani helped keep SJFC’s lead in-tact. In Q3, Javadali swapped his shooting boots for goalkeeper gloves.
Holding on to a slender one goal lead tested the parents resolve as they shouted encouragement from the touch line. Every tackle, shot and save was played-out by the over zealous crowd.
The coaches applied final substitutions and tactical tweaks ahead of Q4.
The quarter commenced with multiple counter attacks by the SJFC players. One in particular – involving most of the outfield players – required a superb save by the St James keeper.
SJFC continued to weather the St James attacks as both teams went toe-to-toe for midfield control.
The patient SJFC display was rewarded with goals a piece for Zachariya and Hassan.
The game ended 4-1 to SJFC. A well deserved victory.
The players and coaches thanked St James for the match, and SJFC coaches debriefed on the winning performance and the ongoing improvements by the squad.
Man of the Match: Husayn Khimji for a solid midfield performance, including an assist and a string of timely interceptions.
Match report – Zahid Khimji (parent)