|Posted on August 28, 2022 at 3:50 PM|
If football is dubbed the Beautiful Game, it can certainly be called the Curious Game as well, after Hilderinc Twā felled to a surprised defeat against a youthful, but talented Whitehouse FC in the Hilderinc Football Club Invitational.
With an initial 20-men squad reduced to 15 by kickoff, though with a reduced bench stocked with forwards, the Blacks were nonetheless confident of a proper display despite being top heavy and with limited resources in other departments.
And while late arrivals forced alterations to the initial lineup, the Hilderincs played to form and found themselves ahead with an early routine cornerkick goal, which is fast becoming their trademark, when Nigel Pek rose to head in an Aqil Shah’s set-piece.
Unfortunate to be denied a doubling of the lead, when Florent Zhu’s perfect volley was saved on the line by the Whitehouse goalkeeper, the Hilderincs were pegged back after the opponents were awarded a penalty for a needless infringement, annoying the three spotkick given against them in six games.
Seeking to regain the upper hand immediately, the Hilderincs were unlucky to see they efforts either parried away or were prevented by the woodwork.
However, having taken the lead, the Blacks were shocked to go into the break 3-1 down when they were made to pay for failing to deal with a speculative attempt and an own goal Ong Ji Kai, whose headed clearance inadvertently found its way past Jose Kasijo into his own net.
With the Hilderincs well below their high standards, the instruction would not have been any simpler, as they were directed to just play their game, and reverse the fortunes without distractions.
As told, the Blacks were industrious in their approach, though the youngsters were determined to hang on to their lead.
Peppering the Whitehouse defensive third, the Hilderincs were camped in and around the penalty box, though they had to deal with speedy counterattacks, which needed competent handling by the defenders, while requiring a fine save from the Blacks goalkeeper on at least two occasions.
After been repeated thwarted by the Whitehouse captain in goal, who almost single-handed decided to keep the Hilderincs away with his heroics between the post, the Hilderincs finally broke through when Nigel Pek, again rose to head in the ball to reduce deficit.
Following further saves, and the ball crashing off the crossbar, the Blacks finally levelled the numbers when Neo Yao Sheng bravely bundled in the equaliser, something that was long overdue but an outcome that was inevitable, considering the Hilderincs’ relentless pressure.
Just when it looked that they were left off the hook, the Blacks were hit where it hurts most when a quick break way let to a simple tap in winner very late into the game.
And with the Hilderincs throwing everything but the kitchen sink in the dying minutes salvage a draw, they ran out of time, though the last piece of action of the game should have resulted in another equaliser, when left unattended, a clear headed from another corner was sent over the bar, and the Hilderincs down on their knees.
Incomprehensible, the combination of remarkable goalkeeping, the woodwork and indecisiveness in key areas contributed to a rare defeat, but though just a friendly, the manner of the loss was indeed hard to take, and the return to training is the only way to remedy and sense of disbelief.
Hilderinc Twā 3 : Whitehouse FC 4
Goals: Nigel Pek 8’, 63’, Neo Yeo Sheng 69’
O.G. Ong Ji Kai
1. Jose Kasijo
2. Ong Ji Kai
3. Uwais Yahya
4. Nigel Pek
5. Neo Yao Sheng
6. Lim Yang Shan
7. Md Hariz
8. Hafiz Khir
9. Sam Lindley
10. Aqil Shah
11. Florent Zhu
12. Anthony Ferraccu
13. Casimir Simon
14. Lim Chew Beng
15. Sasikumar Manirasan
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Categories: Match Day