|Posted on October 16, 2016 at 4:40 AM|
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An uneven Hilderinc FC, who were missing several regulars, were put through the paces by the youngsters of AC Milan Academy, the official football school of the acclaimed Italian giants here in Singapore at Merlion Sports City.
Fuelling tenuous conspiracy that the usual sweltering Sunday sun had followed them to Saturday, the already lopsided Hilderincs, heavy with defenders, only had Jon Loh and Bayu Tanmizi, who himself was returning after a lengthy injury, and versatile Michael Rooke as their central midfield options.
Hard pressed, the Blacks, who tried all week to re-arrange this fixture to a later date, were forced to employ a risky experiment with their formation against the well-drilled junior Rossoneris.
Having “scouted” their opponents a week earlier, the Hilderincs were careful not to allot undue deference to the capable youngsters, but to force the issue themselves in their usual manner
While their experience nullified much of the youthful exuberance, the junior Rossoneris’ fitness levels left the Blacks wanting, especially on the counter.
Despite a fairly even opening quarter, the Hilderincs were guilty of insipidly focus, which allowed the AC Milan boys several speculative but bold attempts at goal, prompting a change of formation consequently.
And it was one of those efforts off a routine corner that left the Blacks trailing, but in all fairness, more could have been done to prevent it.
However, the Hilderincs were level within six minutes when Michael Rooke smashed in a crisp finish, profiting from another long range thrown-in from veteran Kavin Singh.
Frustratingly, the parity lasted just two minutes after a static and philanthropic Hilderinc allowed AC Milan to regain their lead.
The Blacks did have their chances to equalise before the break through Sashikumar Mahathevan and Rahmat Saring, but were thwarted by indecision and the AC Milan goalkeeper.
The second half was a wearisome affair with both teams, particularly the Hilderincs, who were feeling the full effects of the unrelenting heat, as they sat deep in their own half inviting the junior Rosseneris to come at them.
The Blacks, who at this time resembled a collage of whoever that was available, save for Michael Rooke and Rahmat Saring, who bravely and admirably battled on, running to the ground with their dedication.
With fatigue taking over, the Blacks were further adrift when they were caught again on the counter, though many would have been more concerned about the final whistle at this point of time.
However, true to the Hilderinc resolve, the Blacks hit back immediately with Kavin Singh, and the day’s star performer, Michael Rooke, combining to play Ian Morris through on goal, leaving the skipper to fend off the attention of two defenders before slotting in past the goalkeeper.
While despite a final push, there was no late comeback, but it was a good examination for the Hilderincs who will certainly appreciate the intensity provided by the AC Milan boys, and will remind themselves that fitness is a key element for playing football, even at an amateur level.
AC Milan Academy 3 : Hilderinc FC 2
Goals: Michael Rooke, Ian Morris
Yellow Card: Kavin Singh
Starting Line Up
1. Liao Jincai
2. David Zheng
3. Kavin Singh
4. Wong Yih-Khai
5. Sunny Tharidu
6. Nicholas Ledenmark
7. Michael Rooke
8. Jon Loh
9. Sashikumar Mahathevan
10. Ian Morris
11. Rahmat Saring
12. Gopal Peethambaran
13. Michael Shankar
14. Parthiban Aruchamy
15. Mathew Joseph
16. Bayu Tanmizi
17. Ritesh Aidasani
Categories: Match Day