|Posted on April 22, 2018 at 12:50 AM|
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With injuries and unavailability of key players tormenting the Hilderinc FC to the fullest extent, one would have questioned the frame of mind of the Blacks to agree to play serial Champions, TeamCuzz FC, albeit in a friendly game.
Stripped to the barebones, only the Blacks’ reliability withheld them from walking out from a fixture at the eleventh hour, when even the well-equipped have been put in place by a team who had just secured their hat-trick of ESPZEN Saturday League Division 1 titles.
Even up to Friday, the Hilderincs were at the mercy of some who have failed to step up in the absence of those who were genuinely unavailable for selection, and only reaching a contestable strength when hastily assembled aid from Hilderinc Twa’s Darren Tan and Kumaresan Maniam, along with associates, Indika Gayashan, Harmeet Singh and trialist goalkeeper, Adam Dang, lend their hands in much appreciated alms, however, on matchday, one work related withdrawal and a crass no show rendered the Blacks a place between the rock and a hard place.
Lining up with an extremely raw goalkeeper and a midfield whose only recognisable face was Darren Tan, the Hilderinc’s subconscience might have secretly hoped for a hat-trick of inclement weather induced call-off rather than being led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Though the early moments of the game had some level of symmetry between the sides, the Hilderincs’ façade with a nervously uncooked keeper was soon exposed and they were punished needlessly.
Despite the annoyance of the manner of the goal, the Blacks’ response was noteworthy, as a fine play by Harmeet Singh and Travis Fujii to setup Nabil Zahrif for the youngster to apply a mature finish to draw them level.
Encouraged by the equaliser, the Hilderincs began to face up to their formidable opponents, and Glenn Sandhu stood out amongst the rest with his lung-busting runs and tenacious crosses which almost had their desired effect.
However, in spite of an assured backline, further gaffes by the trialist keeper had the Blacks trailing by four goals to one, the fourth of those goals prompting a pitiless replacement of the men between the sticks.
While the Hilderincs were limited with clear goal scoring opportunities, there was no faulting the endeavour as they gave their best in knocking on the door, with Dionisis Kolokotsas almost heading in his first HFC goal.
With just two outfield replacements, and more tiring legs, they Blacks made do with whatever resources they had, especially in midfield when Basil Al Barr and Travis Fujii were slotted into the middle of the park, notwithstanding the fact that they were a fullback and a forward respectively.
Though it was a slightly better showing, the experience and cohesion of TeamCuzz was clearly apprehend and despite the better showing by 18 year old goalkeeper Na Byung Hee, the Blacks were at the receiving end of a slick side.
Further to the already distressing strain, injuries to Ian Morris and Mike De Bear left the Blacks on the brink, but full credit to the Hilderincs, who in true spirit, gave 100% till the final whistle.
While the defeat was heavy, the Blacks can draw heart that on another day, the fight might have been closer against a fine team, though they would be keen to arrest the recent stupor in attendance.
TeamCuzz FC 9 : Hilderinc FC 1
Goal: Nabil Zahrif
Yellow Card: Basil Al Barr
1. Adam Dang
2. Glenn Sandhu
3. Nicholas Ledenmark
4. Dionisis Kolokotsas
5. Basil Al Barr
6. Indika Gayashan
7. Harmeet Singh
8. Darren Tan
9. Travis Fujii
10. Ian Morris
11. Nabil Zahrif
12. Na Byung Hee
13. Riley Aiman
14. Mike De Bear
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Categories: Match Day