Ammar Hussain Lalji
St Peter’s Iver and SJFC started the game off cautiously, with probing passes and good passing interplay. Eagles were hustling well and disciplined in their play – Iver managed to get a few shots past the defenders, but they couldn’t score with Ammar Lalji keeping the Eagles in the game with some brilliant saves. As the quarter went on Eagles started to create more chances with Abbas Rajvani threading through some good crosses, but unfortunately nobody was there convert the clever passes.
The first quarter provided a few tense battles between players. Shot after shot was fired, but our firm defensive line with Jaabir Merali, Husain Bhaloo and Ali Kanani and keeper Ammar were resolute.
After a small break, the Eagles fired into an energetic second quarter. A clipped pass from midfield for Zaki saw St Peter’s get a free kick on the edge of the box. Thankfully, it came to nothing.
St Peters’s game started to become a bit more sloppy, and Abbas, Aadam and Hassan started to dominate the midfield – and had to survive some strong physical play from the our opponents. Towards the end of the 2nd quarter there was more attacking play from the Eagles and we managed to put together a few attacking plays.
The third & most eventful quarter kicked off. As the quarter started, the game became more physical and both sides fighting for the ball and in some cases not. St Peter’s put together some neat passes and drove towards our penalty area and one forward drive saw a tackle at the edge of the box however the referee view was it was inside the areas and and pointed to the spot. A penalty for Over!
All hopes rested on goal keeper Ammar Lalji, an incredible performance so far. The Iver stepped up shot and Ammar saved it! What a save it was too! The game was still there to be won.
Moments later Zaki sent a defence-splitting ball through for Haider Nasser. Iver were caught sleeping and Haider was through! He connected with the ball perfectly sending it to the top corner. The keeper pulled off a spectacular save. Later-on another defence splitting ball through for Husain Mawjee to run onto. He was through! But unfortunately the pass was too strong and he couldn’t reach it before their keeper. The quarter drew to a close.
The fourth quarter started with a disaster for the Eagles. Iver wasted no time and split the Eagles defence, but the striker tapped it just wide of the post. The Eagles pushed forward relentlessly Aiden Hussain and Husain pushing them back. Amman & Husain with some heroic defending keeping us in the game. The final whistle went and after 4 quarters it went to a penalty shoot out to decide the winner.
Both teams selected their first 3 takers and lined up.
A decision on who goes first was solved with a phone toss and Iver won selecting to go second.
The first 3 penalties for both teams went in Penalty after penalty, every taker beating the goalie.
We were now into sudden death!
Brave players Abbas Rajvani, Zaki Mavani, Aadam Merali, Ali Kanani, Jaabir Merali, Hassan Valjy all stepped-up and scored
But the opposition were equally good but it appeared goalie Ammar was getting closer every time.
6-5 to SJFC and the Iver player stepped up while SJFC planned on their next penalty taker.
An unfortunately strike to the bottom left corner by St Peter’s Iver saw the ball hit the post – it was all over SJFC through to the next round of the cup 6-5
The St Peter’s player was in tears SJFC cheered and went to shake hands a tight game and nobody ever likes a penalty shoot out to sudden death.
Thank you to the parents for their support and especially Mohsin Mawjee and Arif Hussein for helping with Linesman duty.
Match Report by Zaki Mavani (Player)