Monday, November 01, 2004

Winning Eleven 2 J Hill 1

An outstanding team performance and a pulsulating match saw us move to the top of the Premier Division after 2 games. It was also a special match for me as I scored both goals (although I should have had 4 if I had taken all the chances).

It was expected to be a tough match, as J Hill was consisted of several old school team members in Lai Yee Lai etc.

Leung Ka Kit was ever dependable in goal. Po Tak Chi played as an emergency centre half with Thomas and they did an excellent job in holding the defence together. The right and left flanks of the defence were completed by Ma Tau, Raymond, Gordon and Ken who had all played extremely well to limit the opponent to having not a single shot on target for the whole match. The midfield was boosted by the return of Ah Chow on the right and the goalscorer last week - Po Tak Pong on the left, the middle of the midfield comprised of Ah Sing and Vincent (where Ah Fai, Eric and Sean also played during the game). Upfront, there were Kenward, Kevin and me.

Due to our wealth of attacking players, we decided not to change out style of play and went out to attack. We completely bossed the game for the first 20 minutes. A great throughball from [who was that?] put me clean through with only the keeper to beat, but I was having 2 minds whether to lob the keeper or to round him. At the end, I chose the worst option - put the ball well over the bar.

Soon afterwards, a corner came in from the right which Vincent had perfect connection with and he sent a low shot towards goal and J Hill was lucky to have someone covering the post and the ball was cleared.

Not to be deterred, a good move on the left saw Po Tak Pong played Ah Sing in, and he turned and sent an inch perfect cross across goal, I somehow managed to head the ball wide from 6 yards but to be fair, I was under pressure from a defender. It wasn't looking to be my day...

On the 18 minutes mark, a defensive header from J Hill was chested down by me, and spotting Ah Chow's run, I sent a through ball to him and he controlled the ball inside the penalty area. He could shoot but hearing my call for the ball, he dragged the ball back to the edge of the 6 yard box and I arrived to send the ball low in the corner of the net Paul-Scholes style. GOALLLLLL!!!!! This is the fruit of our understanding developed between Ah Chow and me through our 15 years football relationship. 1-0 to us in the first half.

In the 2nd half, we expected J Hill to start all out attack on us. It also meant that their defence would leave even more gaps for us to explore. About 10 minutes into the 2nd half, a huge throw in from Gordon (Neville!) from the right, and the defender failed to clear the ball outside the area and I took the ball on the bounce, flicked it up and tried an outrageous overhead volley. 99 times of of 100 would have seen the ball ended up in nowhere, but this time the ball sailed straight towards the corner of the net and in it went. GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! Jurgen Klinsmann would have been proud of this shot. :-) I was pleased with the goal, but I haven't realised that it was so special until I saw the cheering of our substitutes and the crowd (there was a crowd larger than the average First Division Hong Kong League match). This goal is not the best I have scored, but it was still special. 2-0

With a 2 goal cushion, we thought we have the match wrapped up. J Hill showed their competitiveness by lumping high crosses into our penalty box again and again. Thomas and Po Tak Chi showed their strength in denying their forwards and Leung Ka Kit was in total command of the penalty area in collecting many difficult balls with challenge from their players. It was inevitable that J Hill scored from one of their corners and the match was up for grabs. 2-1.

Ah Chow had a chance to restore our 2 goal advantage but he took a step too much and his shot from an acute angle was saved by their keeper. Kenward was virtually playing alone upfront after my substitution and we were playing a 4-5-1 with an extra defensive midfielder picking up loose balls. It was desperate and to quote Leung Ka Kit's words after the match, it was a match we played excellently, and we just wanted to win so badly that a draw would be as bad as a defeat. At the final whistle, Ah Chow, Sing and me (all attacking players) were both on the substitutes' bench and it showed how tense it were.

We celebrated at the final whistle and the passion was high. We know that we have played exceptionally well and this is another victory we fully deserved.

So the win saw us sitting proudly at the top of the table with 2 wins out of 2. I am leading the goalscorer chart and hopefully I can maintain my goalscoring record (30 goals in 36 games) which looks pretty impressive:

Year Division Played Goals
2004-2005 Soccer League Premier Division Played 2 Scored 2
2003-2004 Bro Aimar Played 1 Scored 0
2003-2004 Soccer League Division One Played 9 Scored 11
2002-2003 Bro Aimar Group Played 6 Scored 4
2002-2003 Soccer League Premier Division Played 5 Scored 2
2001-2002 Soccer League Played 13 Scored 11

Right people, we are not scared of anyone. Bring them all on!

P.S. Dear teammates, please leave comments or write your own match report from your perspective in the "comments" field. Your comments encourage my further writings.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jims,

As discussed with Ah Chow, I guess we should play 4-4-1-1 next time, with me and you as the 1 1. This is to better utilize our strengths that allow you to take the complete freedom upfront and me to create and connect as much as I want.

Sounds like Liverpool all of a sudden......

cheers,
pegasus

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mate,

Another excellent report provided here. Good job! The first chance that u missed was provided by Ma Tsei-A through pass from the centre midfield area.

yeah, ma tsei is good in controlling the ball just behind the forward player, n he's obviously good in dispersing the ball through the left or right flank.

i agree 4-4-1-1 or 4-1-3-1-1
cheers
ah chow

11:57 AM  
Blogger Plato said...

Hi James,

Thanks for your detailed match report! It's like I was watching the match highlights on TV! You do write reports for other Winning Eleven match, right?

It's good to know the team is doing well in this year's league, where there are tough opponents week-in week-out. I'll definitely come back and see you guys playing next weekend! It also seems to me that the team is tactically more organised, and have built up a good squad by recruiting new members.

Anyway, it's good to be back and see you guys playing!

Plato

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah chow,

I think it was Ah Sing who gave Jims that straight pass. Anyway, we kept missing great chances but kept coverting some of them eventually. Our patience is probably the biggest strength we have. And I totally agree with what you said when we were watching the Carriana match: Scolding teammates was the worst of all.

Our patience and consideration will pay off over and over again, so we really don't needa feel bad about those misses.

Cheers,
Pegasus

9:11 PM  
Blogger James said...

Thanks guys for your comments.

I seem to think that we are in fact playing a 4-4-1-1 already. That would be good to our system especially if Chow and Po Tak Pong are attacking on our right and left, Ma Tsai would be dropping off to add more balance to our midfield. He could also use his physical strength to flick headers on etc.

12:48 PM  
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Good post

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