NYL Juniors started the match to disrupt their opponents rhythm and for the first 30 minutes of the match LA could not get the ball out of their own half. Ashikur (Ricky) controlled the midfield battle and Zaeem, Shariful, Shurayh and Suhel caused all kinds of panic for the LA defence. All that eluded NYL was a goal even though you felt they would rack up a rugby score, much was NYL’s possession and flair on show. But much credit must go to LA and in particular their goalkeeper who continued to frustrate every NYL assault on their goal.
But disaster struck for NYL in the 32nd minute when LA’s first real attack resulted in a goal. As NYL’s frustration waned on, their full-backs were told to push forward more and a LA long ball caught the NYL defence on the counter-attack with only Abdullah and Farhan in defence. The big centre forward for LA got a clear run on goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot as little Hamza was left with no chance in the NYL goal.
If NYL could not be more frustrated than they already were, this goal certainly did it, and for the next five minutes NYL seemed disorganised and flustered, and little Hamza had to pull off a good save to deny LA another goal.
The game then took another turn just before half-time as Abdullah and Farhan steadied the NYL team and a quick NYL attack by Shurayh where he dribbled past three LA players before seeing his shot blocked by LA best player, their goalkeeper, only for the rebound to fall to the feet of Zaeem just inside the box, who let rip a fantastic left foot shot to equalise 1-1 for NYL.
The celebrations that followed the goal were a precedent for the rest of the game and the game went into half-time with the score at 1-1. The second half saw a rejuvenated and more determined NYL who again pegged the LA team into their own half, winning every ball in the air and on the ground. However, NYL’s attacks kept being pounded by the very impressive LA goalkeeper who was quick off his line every time and was by far their best defender on their pitch.
NYL’s breakthrough came in the 65th minute when some fantastic play by man of the match for NYL, right back Ziyad, and Zaeem played some fantastic one-two football to find Shurayh who let fly a thunderbolt that left the keeper with no chance, and to score the all important goal that led NYL to a 2-1 lead. The celebrations for this goal eclipsed the relief of the first and even manager Kamal Siraj got in on the act only to be warned by the referee not to jump onto the field of play.
The 70th minute saw a string of changes for NYL, with the impressive Ashikur and Suhel being replaced by Abdul Rahman and Aziz respectively, and striker Alim being replaced by Ferdous. And in the 76th minute it was these boys that linked up well to put the game beyond doubt. Abdul Rahman was quick to get into the action and tested the keeper with a fierce 30 yard shot that was just saved by the keeper, and his appearance seemed to give new energy to NYL. He and the ever present Shariful running the midfield show. The third goal came from a good run from Nahidur on the left wing feeding the ball to Ferdous who set up Abdul Rahman who scored from in the six yard box to make the score 3-1 to NYL and to cap a brilliant NYL performance with his first ever goal for NYL.
What impressed the most about this performance was the attitude and the determination of the NYL players who looked hungry. The end result flattered the LA opposition who were really never in the game and the mentality of the players to come back from a goal down needs applauding, in particular the performance of Abdullah and captain Farhan, who were solid in the central defence. Well done boys, keep up the good work.
Hamza (7 – had little to do, made two good saves in the game. Looked comfortable in goal)
Ziyad (8 – played his heart out through the pain barrier as he carried an Achilles injury, but still did not shy from any tackles. Man of the match performance)
Abdullah (8 – has formed a formidable partnership with Farhan, looking composed and accomplished. Won everything in defence)
Farhan (8 – a captains performance, was superb in defence)
Nahidur (7 – can run up and down that field all day! Too much energy for words and linked well with Suhel on the left)
Ashikur (Ricky) (7 – controlled the game from the beginning, had a hand in every move and won that midfield but tired near the end)
Zaeem (8 – scored an important goal, and was a constant threat down the right flank with his trickery)
Shariful (7 – Mr. Stamina of the year, was determined and aggressive on the pitch, a fantastic performance but got booked for needless unsportsmanlike conduct)
Shurayh (7 – expecting a lot from Shurayh this season and he did not disappoint and got on the scoresheet)
Suhel (7 – was always a threat, missed a great chance but his performance was great, in particular the way he covered Nahidur on the left)
Alim (6 – missed ample of chances but he kept at it. Opposition defenders were rightly afraid of him! Tired during the game)
Abdul Rahman (7 – Came on to score the 3rd goal and did Ricky’s job fantastically winning everything. Extremely pleased with his performance and hope he keeps up the good form)
Ferdous (6 – came on as a sub and set up the 3rd goal, made some very good telling runs)
Aziz (6 – played a part in the 3rd goal but needs to put his training performances into the match)