|Posted on September 24, 2017 at 2:30 AM|
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While the Hilderincs would have preferred to respond immediately to last week’s undeserved defeat in the ESPZEN Saturday League, they had to occupy their null weekend with a friendly game against Tebing B FC at the St. Wilfred football pitch.
Even with several unavailable for selection, the Blacks showed excellent depth in strength with a quality line-up, though couple of late withdrawals meant that the bench was relatively limited.
With experimenting the key application of the day, the Hilderincs started the game with a change in formation, giving Kiefer Zambrano is bow, while welcoming Wong Yih-Khai and Rama Witjaksono back after a few weeks, with latter playing his first game since injuring his ribs.
Keeping the impetus right from kick-off, the Blacks were confident in their possession and movement of the ball, and they wasted little time to converting their control to an early goal.
Starting from the middle of the park, Xerxes Lee sent Erdogan Albay down the right flank for the German to send a weighted ball into the box for Ian Morris to open the account inside the fourth minute.
The same duo could have added to the tally two minutes later when Erdogan, again, running the right sent another delightful ball into the danger area, but Ian Morris’ header went agonisingly wide of goal.
With the weather playing a key part, both teams concentrated the play in midfield, trying to gain any gain possible.
However, it was Tebing who seized the upper hand against the run of played, equalising, after the Blacks’ lapse of awareness to allow a free header, giving Sunny Tharidu no chance.
There was little wallowing from the Hilderincs who continued with their pass and move football, and another fine movement involving the midfield trio of Rama Witjaksono, Xerxes Lee and Adib Alias earned the Blacks a freekick after the latter was fouled.
The resultant set-piece was converted by Ian Morris, who saw his goal bound shot flick off the Tebing’s defender’s head, restoring the Blacks’ lead and the goal awarded to the skipper by the referee for his brace.
In a finely played contest, both teams had every chance to test each other’s resolve, and it took a near miraculous save from Sunny Tharidu, one any top professional goalkeeper would be proud of to keep the Hilderincs’ lead intact.
But the Hilderincs’ stand-in keeper was beaten moments later with an intelligent finish by the opponents who deftly lifted the ball into the back of the net to send both teams level at the break.
The Blacks, to counter the unrelenting heat and thin bench, which now included an under the weather, Ian Morris and Rama Witjaksono, who was not going to be risked, having just returned from injury, leaving only one fit player in Wong Yih-Khai.
Despite the constraint, the Hilderincs still formidable with veteran, Dionisis Kolokotsas leading by example and forming an excellent partnership with youngster Goh Heng Kiat in the heart of the defence, while hotshot Logaraj Sundram was added to the attacking front alongside, Omar Mahnin, Erdogan Albay and Hoonki Song.
Learning from the lessons from the first half, the Hilderincs held the game in a near chokehold, with Adib Alias and Xerxes Lee running the proceedings from the middle of the park.
Having a defence impregnable to rare Tebing attacks, the rest of the cast were freed in their pursuit of the lead, and it was only a matter of time that the Blacks duly regained their advantage after Omar Mahnin finished off a lovely Nicholas Ledenmark cross with poise only the Dutchman could afford.
With the game heavily tilted towards the Hilderincs, Logaraj Sundram ensured the Blacks saw off any late challenge with a typical pomp finish which has become his trademark, making him one of the deadliest forwards for HFC since his debut some six years ago.
In running out 4-2 winners against a decent football playing side, the Hilderincs well and truly dusted off the events of last Saturday, and reaffirmed the quality and depth in the squad, as they fluidly interchanged no less than three formations during the game with capable personnel fitting in seamlessly at each change.
The Blacks will now fix their attention on Dreamteam FC, whom they will meet next Saturday when they resume their league duties.
Hilderinc FC 4 : Tebing B FC 2
Goals: Ian Morris (2), Omar Mahnin, Logaraj Sundram
Yellow Card: Dionisis Kolokotsas
1. Sunny Tharidu
2. Goh Heng Kiat
3. Wong Yih-Khai
4. Dionisis Kolokotsas
5. Kiefer Zambrano
6. Rama Witjaksono
7. Adib Alias
8. Xerxes Lee
9. Erdogan Albay
10. Ian Morris
11. Hoonki Song
12. Omar Mahnin
13. Logaraj Sundram
14. Nicholas Ledenmark
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Categories: Match Day