|Posted on April 28, 2013 at 9:05 AM|
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By Special Guest Reporter, Jeevan T Kannu
On a wet Sunday afternoon at Temasek Secondary School, Hilderinc FC took on Vietnam United FC and romped to a 6-1 victory. Goals from Iain Anderson (3),Graham Henderson, Jason Lu and last season's top scorer Logaraj Sundram, put a healthy 'goals for' tally on the board for the Blacks.
After last week's impressive Cup performance, which the Blacks were unfortunate to lose against a Danish team higher up in the leagues, they were back to League action again.
Albeit with several regulars missing. The Blacks handed a debut to Justin Madhavan and recalled long serving goalkeeper GopalPeethambaran back into the team.
Gopal was shielded by the central pairing of Kavin Singh and Jeevan T Kannu, with Kumaresan Maniam and Azman Azmi, making their first starts of the season in both fullback positions. A familiar line up further forward saw Graham Henderson sit alongside Justin Madhavan just in front of the defence with the attacking trio of Ian Morris, Logaraj Sundram and Jason Lu hovering around lone frontman Iain Anderson. The latter of that quadrant would go on to have a stormer as the game wore on.
When the referee blew the whistle to kick off, the Vietnamese only had seven players on the field, with a couple of others changing up along the sidelines. Eleven against seven for the first ten minutes should have seen the Blacks put their numerical advantage to good use.
Unfortunately, they did not and looked extremely disjointed as they tried hard to find the rhythm to play their usual passing game. It was even more surprising that the seven men, actually ventured into the opponent's penalty area before the Blacks advanced into the last third of the field.
Slowly but surely, and constantly cajoled by skipper Ian Morris, the Blacks started finding their feet as the Vietnamese found their numbers.
Sitting deep, Graham Henderson and Justin Madhavan, both threaded weighted through balls down the side of the right centreback which Logaraj Sundram latched onto. And it was from one such raid down the left that caused confusion in the Vietnamese defence which resulted in the keeper picking up a back pass on the right edge of his six yard box.
Ian Morris rolled the freekick the length of a shinpad to Iain Anderson and he hammered the ball through the wall and into the roof of the net. 1-0 to the Blacks!
But the Vietnames refused to yield. Their pace took them past the Hilderinc defence a couple of times, but poor decision making and a stupendous save from Gopal, clearly unsighted by the bodies flying ahead of him, kept them at bay.
That seemed to shoot a spark up the entire team and as the skies cleared up, so did the Blacks passage of play.
Graham Henderson again found that slide rule pass between the two right sided Vietnamese defenders which put Logaraj through.
Last season's top scorer, playing on the left wing, decided to assist instead of shoot and the chance was gone.
The Blacks kept pushing on trying to find that killer goal and a flurry of corners ensured. It was from one of those corners that Graham Henderson picked out Jeevan T Kannu, but the defender's towering header from the set piece crashed off the inside of the post and was eventually cleared to safety.
Henderson was starting to stamp his authority on the game. A Vietnamese attack fizzled out and Gopal played an unsuspecting ball to leftback Kumaresan.
Cautiously moving forward, the fullback brought Ian Morris, Graham Henderson and Logaraj Sundram into the play as the quartet played some lovely one touch football on the left flank.
The ball eventually arrived via Logaraj to Henderson in acres of space just outside the box. The Scot, cocked back hisleft peg, typed in the coordinates and sent a tracer missile that beat the keeper all ends up and landed just inside the angle of post and bar. What a hit to make it 2-0!
As the clock wound down to half time, there was still another chance as Jason Lu found himself on the end of a deflected shot.
The midfielder flicked his header upwards and beyond the keeper's reach, but was unfortunate to see the ball clip the top of the bar and go out for a goal kick.
The start of the second half brought a couple of changes. Leslie Eng replaced the tiring Azman Azmi and Goh Chong Wei was shifted out to the right flank at the expense of Justin Madhavan. The debutant's sitting role was taken up byJason Lu.
At 2-0 up, the Blacks tried to go for the jugular with their one touch passing and movement and unfortunately, it was one such passage that assisted the Viets only goal.
The striker running past a static Hilderinc defence to slot in for a goal that would turn out to be meek consolation.
Sensing blood and a path to a comeback, the Vietnamese poured forward to find the equaliser.
The Blacks defence stood firm and from a stirring counter attack scored their third.
Jason Lu, picking up the ball and slotting it into the path of Iain Anderson to prod home his second of the game.
Number four, duly arrived soon after. A lightning break from Logaraj down the left flank had the Vietnamese clambering back to fill the gaps. Beating his man, Logaraj put the ball on a plate for the onrushing Jason Lu to fire in from the right edge of the box and make the points safe.
In the midst of the goals, there was time for the Blacks to change things around, with Jit Singh and Lim Yong Kiat replacing Leslie Eng and Gopal respectively.
The Blacks however, were not done scoring. The sleek movement and passing that was evident in the first half down the left, this time was intricate down the opposite flank.
The final ball found Jason Lu in acres of space and he slipped the ball to Anderson, for the striker to complete his hat trick with aplomb.
With his job done, Anderson made way for Keith Tan to try to add his name to thescoresheet
5-1, but there was still time for one more. And it was fitting that last season's top scorer finished the rout.
Kumaresan picked up Yong Kiat's ball out from the penalty box and sent the ball down the line for Logaraj.
The left winger, twisted past one, jinked past two others and found himself right on the "D" of the penalty box. This time he did not pass, but hammered a low daisy cutter past the outstretched arms of the Vietnamese keeper into the bottom corner for his first goal of the current season.
The game slowly fizzled out as the Blacks kept possession and the Vietnamese tired out.
When the referee signalled for full time, the elated Blacks trudged off the field with their heads held high for a thoroughly professional performance and congratulations all around for hat trick hero Iain Anderson.
HFC 6 : Vietnam Utd FC 1
Goals: Iain Anderson (3), Graham Henderson, Jason Lu, Logaraj Sundram
MOM: Iain Anderson
Yellow Cards: Jason Lu, Leslie Eng
Starting Line Up
1. Gopal Peethambaran
2. Jeevan T Kannu
3. Kavin Singh
4. Azman Azmi
5. Kumaresan Maniam
6. Graham Henderson
7. Justin Madhavan
8. Jason Lu
9. Logaraj Sundram
10. Ian Morris
11. Iain Anderson
12. Lim Yong Kiat
13. Goh Chong Wei
14. Jit Singh
15. Keith Tan
16. Leslie Eng
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Categories: Match Day