|Posted on July 23, 2022 at 9:45 AM|
Having played their last league football on 8th March 2020, Hilderinc FC returned to competitive action after some 867 days later in their opening clash in Group A of the MSC Cup against perennial rivals, Club M FC.
Bills as the MSC derby, the two sides, who committed to training immediately following the end of the Circuit Breaker in June 2020 when everyone had stopped their football, were pleased to be pitted against each other, adding to the many thrilling fixtures between themselves over the years.
While equally reduced by COVID, injuries, travels and personal unavailabilities, the intimate knowledge of the Blacks was well deployed by Club M with their instant press deep into the Hilderincs’ half.
Looking as it they turned up late for the party, the Blacks were in sixes and sevens with their composure and focus, losing almost everything they were scrapping with.
In fact, the Hilderincs were at their worst, totally bereft of all semblances of a Club who have been training every week for the past two years, committing endless and cardinal sins they had worked hard to eliminate from the system.
So being only 2-0 down going into the break was a feat itself, partly due to wasteful finishing by the opponents, and a overworked defensive backline’s desperate attempts to react to the series of events as supposed to their usual purposeful endeavours.
The recess provided much needed opportunity to recalibrate focus and intends, and duly the Hilderincs looked worlds apart after the restart.
Tardily turning up, the Blacks began the second half in complete contrast from the first.
Reversing the earlier momentum, the Hilderincs took the game by the scruff of the neck, and finally showed their true worth and composure relentlessly drill in training each week.
Hitting back after being bullied in the first period, the Blacks turned teaser instead, as they took control, spending extended time in the opponent’s half.
While still raw with their approach in the attacking third, the Blacks received the perfect shot in the arm when a speculative punt from Nabil Zahrif from the midway, dropped into the back of the net after the Club M keeper failed to read the drop, which in itself, took an eternity to fall from the sky.
Buoyant by the reduced deficit, the Hilderincs went on the chase to find the leveler and after prodding several times, almost found a way through.
Having done remarkably down the right flank, Aamir Fikri, facing a choice to shoot or to drag the ball across the box for a perfect assist, second thought his options to pass to Nabil Zahrif, instead of skipper Ian Morris, having worked his way unnoticed, would have been in a better position to sweep the ball for a certain goal.
At the other end, though reclaiming defensive stability, the Blacks had keeper Gowtham Durai to thank to keep them in the game with several brilliant saves.
With barely 7mins remaining in the game to find parity, the Hilderincs, pressing hard for the equaliser, were served with a blow to the gut, first with a penalty, and then with unwarranted goal to make the final score a little unflattering as far as the Blacks were concerned.
However, it was a fruitful game played against a respected opponent, and would certainly give both good and bad pointers, and perhaps more of the latter to work on back on the training pitch next week as the Hilderincs keep pushing hard to be better with each opportunity, having declared that to keep improving makes a preferred objective at this stage.
Club M FC 4 : Hilderinc FC 1
Goal: Nabil Zahrif 53”
MOM: Gowtham Durai
Yellow Card: Aitor Fernandez
1. Gowtham Durai
2. Tan Eu Ren
3. Nicholas Ledenmark
4. Sergey Darovskikh
5. Basil Al Barr
6. Aitor Fernandez
7. Basil Chai
8. Danzal Han
9. Danial Hairul
10. Ian Morris
11. Fahmy “Ollie” Barker
12. Aamir Fikri
13. Nabil Zahrif
14. Sean Rajah
Categories: Match Day