Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Horses gone wild

And our favourite columnist Abdul Hadi Damanhuri just can't let newcomer Mursyeed take the spotlight from him.

FC Rubin Irbid 0-3 The Dark Horses

My apologies for the delay. The last PSL first round fixture before the league break and the questionable transfer window came at the most unfortunate period of time where many of the players (myself included) had exams to think about. However, the league surely must go on as it had been postponed a week earlier thanks to the ‘zero controversy’ incident.

Back to football, this particular last match of the day had a significant ring on it. Held after back-to-back upsets, where the mighty Warung Din Selamat FC humbled by Bugatti FC and Phoenix Bangkit FC had their sweet first victory over Real Benchwarmer, it was eagerly anticipated that there would be a hat-trick of victories for the underdogs. The weather was unbelievably searing hot that day, adding to the immaculate tension on the field and burning spirits in the players.

Rubin Irbid FC suddenly had a shout in the pursuit of the title. Only 3 points separated from their opponents before the fateful encounter, this should be their cue to get a priceless win. Riding high after the memorable win against Real Benchwarmer, they have the momentum on their side. The only concern would be their frustrating inconsistency, which would be a real liability in the title chase.

Will The Dark Horses finally be beaten? That question was popped in everyone’s minds as it was a source of their darkest hope to see the league leader to show that they are mortal and fallible after all.  Invincible in all of the matches been played, their last match against WDS FC offered encouragement that there maybe some chinks on their armors that can be exploited well. Comfortable on the top of the table, they can’t afford to be complacent in this match.

Straight from the beginning, there were some furores over the selection of starting line-up for RIFC. The captain, Mohd Fauzi makes three shock changes, dropping Abdullah Harith a.k.a Yop, Duang and Azlan Shah, all of them were pivotal in their win against RB. The sound bite from the sideline was the decision was made to give the reserves a run-out first and bring in the big guns when TDH would be slightly tired. Whatever it is, this represents a huge gamble that can seriously backfired. In the least, Abdullah Ashraf a.k.a Gorlami, reportedly sought after by BFC, made a start on the right wing.

TDH captain, Mohd Azri Adnan a.k.a Poey also made some significant changes, omitting Mohd Izzat Borhanuddin a.k.a Cardiac from the backline and pushed Anwar Rasyid to the centre-back position. He also shifted Usamah Baderol Alam and Ibrahim Nasir positions, the former as central midfielder and the latter as striker. Other important inclusions were the return of Mohd Hashemi Dahalan as the starting goalkeeper, and a debut for Muhtadii, filling in the boots of Mohd Imran Zainal Abidin as a striker, partnering Ibrahim Nasir. Although there were many changes for both teams, TDH was still stronger on paper with their spine of the team still intact.

 dzofir (left) and usamah (right)

The first-half starts with cautious proceedings, the ball knocked mostly in the midfield area. As the match unfolds, TDH had the upper hand as they stepped up the gear in their play. Ibrahim Nasir was the main perpetrator, teasing the defence and tear them apart time and again with intelligent runs and good close control of the ball to create chances for Muhtadii, who guilty for missing several gilt-edged chances. RIFC seemed lack of ideas in final third as they easily were snuffed out by TDH imperious defence. Then, the first blood had been drawn courtesy of a corner from Dzofir Zolkepli, which headed in by Usamah Baderol Alam, taking advantage of the opposing defence’s loose marking. RIFC responded by sending in Abdullah Harith as a striker, searching for an equaliser before halftime to ease the pressure on them but to no avail.

azlan, dwang and yop

Azlan Shah and Duang were drafted in for the second-half, bringing urgency and the danger factor to RIFC plays. For a while it worked as Hashemi Dahalan was peppered by shots, engineered by the effervescent Abdullah Harith. However, the calm goalkeeper was up to the task and some brilliant saves bailed his team out. Of course the TDH didn’t only sit back on their lead as they responded in counterattack movement in their most impressive performer, Ibrahim Nasir who plucked the long ball from the air and placed his shot past the on-rushing goalkeeper, Mohd Fauzi. With the two goals lead and the game effectively over, TDH brought in their reserves which added insult to the injury as Syed Ahmad Izzat a.k.a Macheda , picking up a pass from Mohd Halfi Mustafa, supplied a chance ball to Amirul Aiman who responded with a quality effort, a curling shot from the edge of the penalty box  to the bottom right corner.

ibra suri

MY MAN OF THE MATCH: Ibrahim Nasir- it was a close contest actually with Hashemi Dahalan cool performance, Usamah tireless dribbling and Anwar Rasyid solid defending but in this majestic display by this young striker, there could be no one else deserved such accolade. Practically a menace to the opposing team’s defence, he really tormented them with his agility, brilliant first touch and intelligent distribution.

RUBIN IRBID FC VERDICT: Utterly unpredictable. The line-up decision was backfired easily as they got a drubbing from the league leaders. They really had the talents to challenge for the title but inconsistency and naivety would be their main vices.

THE DARK HORSES VERDICT: A resounding win for the title favourites. This is a flawless victory with their strength shown and weakness seemed not existed. 13 points out of possible 15 showed that they could easily crowned champions by third match of the second round if there are no changes to the team. That could be their only Achilles heel: transfer window.

SUPERB SUPER-SUB: Other than reserves that involved in the third goal, TDH brought out their substitute goalkeeper, Khairul Anwar Ibrahim to play as left wing if not mistaken, sporting no 7 jersey, completing a great day out for the league leaders. He showed great enthusiasm in supporting TDH attacks, with cheers from the sidelines. That just sums it up about TDH: even their goalkeepers are dangerous.

Abdul Hadi Damanhuri(Bugatti FC)


kamen said...

best so far! great job hadi

fanarsenal said...

byk sgt gambar ni haha, xperla, credit to nuar for photos, great job

Anonymous said...

bgus di

Abdul Munir Sanusi said...

TDH mmg kejj gell

Anonymous said...

"even their goalkeepers are dangerous"... hidup dato' nuek!! yeahh..haha

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