Saturday, July 19, 2008

1st Outing for 2008 Majors Select Team_19.07.08

This report was written by our dedicated SJCYFL Majors Division Head, En. Abdul Qadir Jilani Abu Bakar. Good outing for our Majors Select Team Players. Best of luck for their next tournament in August 9th and 10th in Shah Alam.

Taman Pudu Ulu, Saturday, July 19, 2008:

Today the SJCYFL's 2008 Majors Select Team participated in their first under-10 football tournament organized by MPAJ-Bintang Muda (formerly YFA). They headed off to a great start by beating their first two opponents by a two-goal margin. First they beat the Brazillian Soccer Centre with goals by Seanjev Tan and Kuhan Raj. Sean's goal was down to sheer persistence as he pressured the opposing defender and stabbed the ball pass their goalkeeper to open the scoring. The second goal was Kuhan's opportunity to demonstrate to the "Brazilians" the kind of individual dribbling skill that he possessed as he samba'ed past a few players before putting in a great finish for the second goal.
The day's scoring responsibilities for the team were shared as Connor Jennings and Kishenthiran got into the act in the second match against Bintang Biru-B from Penang. Connor unleashed an unstoppable shot from outside the goalkeeper's box for the first goal (...his dad owes him a trip to McD's for that). Kishen then made the opponents pay for bringing Kuhan down just outside the box with a glorious freekick over the opponent's wall. Aaron Tan, the goalkeeper, together with Muhammad Adri Razam and Brendan Michael formed a formidable wall in defence which could not be penetrated.

Then came the game with the group favorites, MBPJ. All knew it was going to be a tough match and true enough, they hit early with a goal from a freekick that sailed out of Aaron's reach into the top right corner. But if not for Aaron's amazing goalkeeping feats after that, there would definitely have been more goals for the opponents. At the end, it was just too hard for the forwards to penetrate their strong midfield and defence. The coach, Paul Vannan, introduced some new legs in Benjamin Tee but it was not enough to stop the team from going down 0-1.All was not lost because there were still two more group matches to be played.

Nevertheless, the day was getting hotter and by the time the team took on Bintang Muda Sungai Buloh B, it was already noon and matches were about an hour behind schedule. Even though the opponents were seen to be the weaker team in the group, the boys just could not find it in them to put the ball in the net. The match ended scoreless and everyone started wondering if the team would pay the price for this. It effectively meant that a win in the final match was necessary to ensure progress into the quarter finals.
This scenario set up a must-win match for both teams, SJCYFL vs MPAJ-YFA A (the tournament organizers first team). The match began quite tense with both sides aggressively trying to score first. It resulted in the most controversial moment for SJCYFL and possibly the turning point when a shot at goal appeared to have crossed the goal line before the YFA goalie secured it. The referee, however, did not award a goal because perhaps he could not see the ball cross with certainty from where he was standing (...I'm sure this incident would be a hot topic for discussion at the next FIFA committee meeting - use linesmen at tournaments or introduce goal line technology!!!) Almost immediately after that YFA counter attacked and through a sweeping 1-2 move by their strikers, the ball barely went into the SJCYFL goal after hitting the left post.The devastation of getting behind, the disallowed goal and the scorching heat proved too much for the team to overcome. The 0-1 lost meant the team was going home early. Some, like Aaron, were inconsolable but after Coach Paul's closing talk, they went back with their heads held high having put on a good representation for SJCYFL. They executed the coach's game plan as instructed, including the reserves, Tan Zi Ling, Nik Muhammad Hazim and Benjamin Tee who waited patiently for their chance and played their hearts out whenever the coach called on them.
Having their first taste of tournament football this year certainly created a hunger in all ten players for more action in future tournaments (... and for food because they have not gotten a proper lunch at that point) and hopefully will drive them harder to be selected for the next event on August 9 & 10 in Shah Alam.

p/s The parents/family members should be commended too for patiently sitting through the day's events. If this article doesn't appear in the mainstream press tomorrow or someone's blog site (you know who you are coz' I cc'ed you), please let your sons read this email to show that we're proud of each of them for the role they played and being an important member of the team.
- By an unexpected reporter who has never wrote anything this long since he left college...
Photo courtesy of Nik Samhan Nik Azman

For more information, email Abdul Qadir at

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