|Posted on July 25, 2016 at 12:30 AM|
HFC Media File Picture
It was a costly resumption to league action after a month in hiatus for Hilderinc Football Club as they cruelly stumbled against perennial rivals Predator FC in the ESPZEN Sunday League 24, playing the entire second half a man down.
Having spent the past four weeks in friendly game mode, the surge in intensity, especially against a contender who is permanently eager for the bragging rights, was telling on the Blacks as they tussled, at times, beyond their comfort levels, though the end result was hash on the Hilderincs, while it privileged the Predators in equal measure.
Early indications flattered to deceive as the Blacks went inches from the opening inside two minutes when Ian Morris’ long range attempt fell just beyond the post with the goalkeeper scampering.
Further efforts from Rama Witjaksono and Gabir Nabil, and almost astute control added to the Hilderinc belief that they were settling in well despite their long break from competitive exertions and the close attention paid by the opponents.
However, it was the Predators who rattled the Hilderinc systems with their first shot on goal when they took the lead against the run of play when the Blacks allowed themselves to be opened up with limited resistance while looking at each other for answers.
Frustrated to have unduly fall behind, the Blacks hurried themselves with their response, exhausting themselves unwarrantedly in the heat at times, but their pressure paid off when Denis Lobov, whose close attention forced a penalty, which Gabir Nabil tucked away with little fuss, bringing the Hilderincs right back into the game deservedly.
It was a case of what if, just before the break when Rahmat Saring was just a mere foot away from giving the Hilderincs the lead when his side foot drifted past an open goal when everyone at the ground thought he had scored.
Though not at their most fluid selves, but with minimum threat to Parthiban Aruchamy, who had little to do between the sticks apart from the goal, the Blacks, fatigued, headed into the break looking to improve on their game management.
If the Hilderincs were keen to prop up their objectives in the restart, it lasted just one and half minutes as they were reduced to ten man after Kavin Singh received his marching orders for a professional foul, infamously his sixth red card in the Hilderinc colours.
It would turn out to be THE critical moment of the game for the Blacks, and it could not have come at the worst possible time, as they had to throw their well thought plans out of the window so early in the half, sacrificing formation and intent alike.
Yet, disagreeing with the circumstances in which they found themselves, even with a man down, the Hilderinc showed fortitude to take the game to the Predators, though the disadvantage with numbers was evident as they laboured in the final third to make meaning of their approach, but there was very little to even suggest that the Blacks will not take anything out of the game.
But one moment rendered everything to waste when Predators’ quick break caught the Blacks flatfooted and put them, most cruelly, behind for the second time in the game, and yet again, it was the only shot on target by the opponents.
With the weather turning foul, the Blacks all but threw everything they could muster at the Predators to salvage at least a point in an unkind game.
In the dying minutes Ian Morris would come agonisingly close twice in a space of seconds, first with a shot that would narrowly deflect off Sam Thorley and later with a scooped attempt that would drop just behind the goal and unto the net.
The Hilderincs’ vexation has no bounds as they pounder the totally undeserved manner in which they fell, a repeated theme in a highly exasperating season which for more than one reason has caused much annoyance to all concern.
As a saving grace, HFC has an immediate opportunity to return the favour to the Predators has they take them on again on Sunday, this time, hoping that lady luck would finally turn her attention mercifully toward them.
Predator FC 2 : Hilderinc FC 1
Goal: Gabir Nabil
MOM: Adib Alias
Yellow Cards: Sunny Tharidu, Rama Witjaksono
Red Card: Kavin Singh
Starting Line Up
1. Parthiban Aruchamy
2. Nicolas Scribe
3. Denis Lobov
4. Sunny Tharidu
5. Alex Wong
6. Sam Thorley
7. Adib Alias
8. Rama Witjaksono
9. Gabir Nabil
10. Ian Morris
11. Mathew Joseph
12. Liao Jincai
13. Kavin Singh
14. Rahmat Saring
15. Omar Mahnin
16. Bayu Tanmizi
17. Basil Al Barr
18. Michael Shankar