|Posted on October 28, 2017 at 1:25 PM|
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Following a week’s recess, Hilderinc FC resumed active preparation for their upcoming clash with Snipers FC in the ESPZEN Saturday League Division 3 with a proficient outing against Apache FC in Naval Base Secondary School.
With one eye firmly fixed on next weekend’s opponents, the objectives could not have been clearer from the Blacks who, though had several missing, again demonstrated good depth in the squad with Sunny Tharidu, Dionisis Kolokotsas, Glenn Sandhu, Jon Loh and Omar Mahnin returning to action after missing the game against ORD FC, and as Chua Yuxuan’s late inclusion have added options, the homecoming of Danish Saarin from a broken ankle, months after his debut, was an encouraging one.
Most notably, it was a swansong of Stepan Lobov, one the deadliest forwards to don the Hilderinc colours, as he returns home after an extended holiday.
Having netted eleven goals in his seven game short spell, it was no surprise that the Russian was heavily involved in the Hilderincs first goal.
Holding up to the challenge in the middle of the park, he split the Apache defence with a weighted pass to send Hoonki Song through on goal, and the South Korean duly obligated with calmly picking his spot for the opener in the twelfth minute.
Though the intense weather had a major say on the proceedings, the Blacks were proactive in their attempt and only had to wait another fifteen minutes to increase their advantage.
Omar Mahnin and Chua Yuxuan, both who had entered the fray at the mid-point water, linked up with each on the right flank, and with the latter forcing a mistake from the defender, the Dutchman was on hand to punish the error with a cool finish.
In full ascendance, the Hilderincs were three goals to go six minutes after Ian Morris’ header sent Omar Mahnin on the run, and after floating pass the defence, he pinpoints his pass to the far corner for Hoonki Song to smash in his brace and the team’s third.
In fact, the winger could have had a first half hat-trick after finding himself in space, but the keeper pulled off a good save to deny him.
With a three goal lead and in merciless heat, the Hilderincs opted to regulate their exertions in the restart, and while constructive efforts were still theirs, the opponents too found their channel as they Blacks dropped the pace.
If the first half was a display of affluent attacking football, the second period would be best remembered as the Sunny Tharidu Sweeper-Keeper show as the defender turned goalkeeper produced some breathtaking moments, keeping the Blacks in the lead.
Largely an onlooker before the break, Sunny was first called into action when he reacted well to keep out a low freekick.
And though he had the crossbar to thank for after an audacious long range shot bounced off it, he produced a super save from another cracker that was destined for the back of the net if not for his intervention.
Though the next phase of play did not give the complete reflection of the game, the Blacks did have their work cut out for them after the conceded to two penalties in quick succession.
First when Dionisis Kolokotsas was adjudged to have committed a foul albeit a soft one, but the forward sent it high into the stands.
A second foul was given against the Hilderincs, still time for an unquestionable careless defending, but Sunny Tharidu stepped up to make a brilliant save to keep his cleansheet intact.
Inspired by the stand-in keeper’s heroics, the Blacks picked up the pace and were soon asking the questions at the right end of the pitch.
Jon Loh nearly caught the Apache keeper napping with a low drive after being found by Glenn Sandhu with a sweet pass.
Stepan Lobov, who kicked off the Hilderinc scoring, was at hand to cap his day in playing his part with the fourth after he danced past the defence, but though his shot was saved by the keeper, the ball fell kindly to Omar Mahnin to smash in from close range.
Eager to end his stay with a goal, Stepan came close again with a shot from distance, but the ball missed the goal, falling unto the roof of the net.
With his name already in the headlines, Sunny Tharidu added to his growing collection saves with a pointblank stop from a corner, and when he was finally beaten minutes later, Chua Yuxuan was on end to clear the ball off the line.
It was the Sri Lankan again who claimed the finally pundits when he tipped a rasping strike against the crossbar as the Blacks ran of 4-0 winners in a fine performance.
Though the departure of Stepan Lobov will take some shine off a promising squad, the Hilderincs look certain to pull ranks even tighter to compensate the absence with a focused and cohesive unit.
Apache FC 0 : Hilderinc FC 4
Goals: Hoonki Song (2), Omar Mahnin (2)
1. Sunny Tharidu
2. Glenn Sandhu
3. Nicholas Ledenmark
4. Dionisis Kolokotsas
5. Basil Al Barr
6. Jon Loh
7. Diogo Baptista
8. Hoonki Song
9. Stepan Lobov
10. Ian Morris
11. Erdogan Albay
12. Chua Yuxuan
13. Danish Saarin
14. Omar Mahnin
15. Wong Yih-Khai
Categories: Match Day