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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: Match Day 2

Match day 2 kicked off with a bang as we started the action with our match of the week: Gang Bintang vs Salibandy!Co. Now those who were there to witness this intriguing battle between two gritty teams should have been entertained, not by the goals, but by both their gameplays which came hand-in-hand with missed opportunities and disappointments from both ends of the court. We then marched on to yet another match which was bursting with enthusiasm, ZAP vs Red Phoenix. This line up, was sparkling with swift tempo and excitement, by which the better and more composed team won by a considerable margin. Match day 2 ended with a demolition; the third match wrapping things up with total domination by defending champions Subang Rascals against underdogs, GMI White Knights.

Gang Bintang vs Salibandy!Co (Match of the week)
Not quite a goal-thrilling match some of us expected, but it was entertaining none the less. Gang Bintang took no chances of being penalized this time around, arriving with a minimum of nine men and thus, avoiding any possibilities of having penalized by the Selangor Floorball Association. Salibandy!Co however, brought a squadron to capsize the Stars.

Upon the blow of the first whistle, both teams started off strong, racing ahead to get that all important opening goal which would surely boost confidence and, possibly demoralize their opponents – especially in a match scaled as such. Stride after stride and wave after wave of offensive play by both teams were delectable to watch however, neither Gang Bintang nor Salibandy!Co could break the deadlock. They both went into the break squared with a whole lot of chances wasted on both ends.

The second period began at the same altitude as before the break with both teams pressing their opponents hard all over the court. After a couple of promising plays turning into zilch, the stalemate was finally broken in the seventh minute of the second period when Jonathan Low’s cross from behind the Gang Bintang goal found Andrian’s stick in the centre, putting Salibandy!Co ahead of the tie. Slightly more than a couple of minutes later, the duo once again caused menace on Gang Bintang’s side of the court, Andrian slotting another one home to give Salibandy!Co a 2-0 lead, and some breathing space.

However against a team of such magnitude like Gang Bintang, no breathing space can be taken for granted. In the 17th minute, Gang Bintang proved that they were still very much alive in the game, punishing Salibandy!Co after some sloppy defending. Awarded a free hit on the left side of the court in Salibandy!Co’s half, Gang Bintang took advantage of their opponent’s confusion and lack of attention in forming a wall, which was built way further than three meters away from the point of free hit. Ruben tapped the ball to Rizal, whom precisely placed the ball at the far right of Salibandy!Co’s goal, out of Colin’s reach and putting Gang Bintang back in the game.

Unable to recover from their slip up, Salibandy!Co were caught once again, 40 seconds after conceding their first goal of the match. With Mohd Khalid placing a through pass across Salibandy!Co’s goal, the ball found Taqi, whom sprinted behind Salibandy!Co’s defense to effortlessly tap the ball in at close range.

The teams entered the second break squared too, this time at 2-2. Much had to change in the third period where effort, precision and concentration were vital in determining where the two points would go after the final whistle.

Just at the brink of the third period, Salibandy!Co’s keeper Colin, had to be replaced due to hyperventilation. On came field player Jeremy Yap in a keeper’s suit, and what a task he had on his shoulders when Edwin handled the ball in the penalty box within a few seconds into the third period. Rizal stepped up to take the penalty. Moving towards the far left before swiftly changing direction to the right, Jeremy was quick enough to read his moves and sufficiently lithe to manage a semi-dive which stopped the shot from hitting the back of the net. Salibandy!Co breathed a sigh of relief and encouraged their forward-turned-keeper.

As Edwin was still penalized for a 2minute foul for handling the ball, Gang Bintang let loosed their power play. Defending well with four men, Salibandy!Co stood their ground, fending off waves of attacks until an opportunity presented itself and Alvin managed to muster a shot which deflected off Andrian’s blade and into the back of the net as Salibandy!Co went ahead once more in this intriguing match.

It all looked really promising for Salibandy!Co until a loose Gang Bintang free hit in the ninth minute enabled Mohd Khalid to snatch the ball around the goalpost and place it into the back of the net, putting his team on leveled terms again.

As wasted chances piled up on both ends, Gang Bintang looked like they scored the winning goal when the ball hit the side of the post and rolled across the line, before Jeremy grasped it thankfully. With time ticking and with a stalemate at hand, Andrian dribbled the ball from Gang Bintang’s left end, bringing it towards the centre before releasing a deadly drag shot within the final five seconds of the match. The shot flew past Gang Bintang’s defence and sent Apec (Gang Bintang’s goalie) the wrong way amidst cheers from the Salibandy!Co bench as players rushed out to congratulate their man of the match, Andrian.

For something that began rather dully than expected, the intensity of the match managed to build up into a crescendo of cheers and respect for both teams at the blow of the final whistle. What a match.

Salibandy!Co 4 – 3 Gang Bintang.

ZAP FC and Red Phoenix
Packed with pace and determination from both teams, ZAP FC took on Red Phoenix last Saturday in what was an enthralling, entertaining match. With efforts to break ZAP’s momentum of passing the ball around the court and controlling the game, Red Phoenix pressed hard from the first blow of the whistle. Their hard labor proved fruitful within the first six minutes when Red Phoenix was the first to put their team on the score sheet. Capitalizing on a mistake from ZAP, Red Phoenix’s Mohd Rashdan put another at the back of the net. It was starting to turn into a sour start for ZAP FC.

Things got worse and they found themselves three goals behind at the end of the first period, with Red Phoenix leading 4-1.

After the break, Red Phoenix continued their full press, forcing ZAP to make a couple more defensive errors. Although team coach Gary managed to pull one back via a beautiful slapshot tucked neat into the bottom corner, there was little that ZAP could have done to overcome the red hot Phoenix. By the end of the second period, it was almost game over with Red Phoenix taking the lead 8-2.

The match ended in favor of Red Phoenix, bagging their second win of the season and flying off to a good start towards their title charge.

 Red Phoenix 10 – 2 ZAP FC

Subang Rascals vs GMI White Knights
The defensive champions flexed their strength in this match, proving that they are still the team to beat although they were held tightly in their first game against ZAP FC. Packed with a squad of veteran players, Subang Rascals stormed into the first period, scoring six goals and giving GMI White Knights no mercy. GMI White Knights however, managed to get one back via Ahmad Aqil to bring the score to 6-1 at the end of the first period, in favor of Subang Rascals.

26 seconds into the second period, Subang Rascals continued their ruthless dominance over the underdogs with Satyan (Snake) providing an assist to Dennis. The nightmare for GMI White Knights continued all through the second period, with them having no response to the unruly Subang Rascals.

Beginning the third period with 14 goals behind, GMI White Knights found new strength in their spirits to go all out, regardless the score line. Two minutes into the third period, Afiz Hassim managed to find the back of the net for GMI White Knights, giving his team something to cheer about. Although there was no fairy-tale ending to this fixture, GMI White Knights proved to be a team that possesses a strong fighting spirit.

Subang Rascals 19 – 4 GMI White Knights


Anonymous said...

what happened to match statistics?

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