Hello everyone! After the one-week break for the first term tests (hope ya’ll did well!), our beloved Football League is back again! Week 2 provided intense action — goals, cards, fights – you name it! Teams shook off their initial nervousness and rust to delight one and all with an exciting week!
The week started at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, 18th March, 2014. The first match saw KFC pitted against KKK. Prior to the start of the tournament, KFC were billed as one of the favourites to win the league; however, after KKK’s outstanding performance in their first game, this match was viewed more as a clash of titans rather than a David v. ‘Goal’-iath situation! Braving injuries once again, Sanjeev and Rakesh of KKK continued their pressing game, while Devansh in defence is always a feared sight for any opposition. However, KFC had other plans as they played the long-ball game in order to expose the ‘weak-link’ in KKK’s poor goalkeeping. Kushaan’s long balls could not be effectively dealt with by Akhil, leading to two botched clearances which were hit straight at the charging forward, Aakarsh, who gladly slotted in the ball for two goals. The third goal saw Aakarsh finally complete a dribble and take a long-range shot which went in despite the efforts of KKK’s goalkeeper. And thus, the league had its first hat-trick. At 3-0, the game was effectively finished, but KKK got Mikhail on, who did what Aakarsh was bought to do (or at least, tries to!), that is, complete dribbles, leading to a late spell of pressure through which KKK pulled one back in. However, it was too little, too late as the game ended 3-1.
I must take a moment here to make a special mention of the rather comical fight that broke out between Kartik Ashta and Rakesh J. due to the latter’s aggressive play. (Ask Nishkarsh if anyone wants to see a replay!) A moment or two later, another fight involving Ashta broke out – this time, a struggle between a celibate life and a desire to be a father, as Devansh unleashed a cracker of a Roberto-Carlos-shot, straight at what was formerly known as ‘The Ashta Spot’.
The second game of the day was nearly cancelled due to scheduling issues. However, Team Narendra Meena’s match was shifted to the following day, while Brew Crew were asked to play Team Naman Joshi, even though both teams were missing their respective female players. Little did we know that a slight change of plans was about to provide us with the blitzkrieg that would make a guerilla fighter embarrassed. The match kicked off, and before Team Naman Joshi had a chance to understand what was happening, they were down by three excellent goals scored by Mohit Chawdhry within four minutes. The match continued, and no matter what tactics and strategies were used by Naman, Somil, and AK, they could not stop the attacking trio of Arshan, Mohit, and Wangdi. Basketball heroes turned football warriors as Wangdi assisted three and scored one. Although Team Naman Joshi pulled one back through Rajveer, it was a mere consolation, as the final score baffled everyone. 7-1. Game, set, and match.
The third match saw Balvinder’s FPRP and Akshay Agarwal’s Team pitched against one another. Touted as one of the favourites, FPRP were determined to get their first win; while Akshay’s team, having had the first week off, were looking to kick-start their campaign with a win. Both teams (and the referee too!) took to the ground dressed in black. However, due to protests by one of the managers, the colours had to be changed, leading to a slight delay in kick-off. After a disappointing first week, FPRP played Areen in defence, (pairing him with Anirudh Bhatia) allowing Arshu and Vivek more time in attack, and boy did it pay off! Areen, Arshu, and Vivek played the system of short passing to perfection, taking shots, and constantly testing the opposition goalkeeper. Loma, Akshay Shreedhar, and Kshitiz “Mini-Shukul” Arya were not enough to stop their team from going down as they fell to a 3-0 defeat owing to two goals from Vivek and one from Arshu.
The last match was the most entertaining of the season so far! Final score? 0-0. The match was marred not only by off-field fights, foul play, and bookings, but also a sending off! The match saw Shukul go up against Yash — two extremely aggressive players, with a penchant for dribbling and shooting. It was end-to-end stuff as both the goalkeepers were constantly tested. The match would have been long over had it not been for the goalkeeping heroics of our Canadian immigrant, Sujit Nirman. The moment of the day saw Mona attacking a loose ball on the half-volley with the ferocity of the likes of Gerrard, Scholes, and Lampard! It was great misfortune that the shot could only hit the crossbar, as even Sujit stood baffled. Four yellow cards were issued by the referee, leading members of Team Joshiley to accuse the referees of being manipulated by crowd pressure. A heated argument broke out between Utkarsh Joshi (Manager of Team Joshiley) and Sanjeev Kumar (Assistant Referee), which further worsened the situation. The match ended with a second yellow being meted out to Joshiley’s captain Shukul, and it was no surprise that the first player to be booked in the tournament was also the first to be sent-off. 0-0.
The Team of the Week has Sujit in goal (2 cleansheets after 2 games!), Mohit and Vivek in defence for the attacking foundation that they give their team, Arshan in mid-field (he was the unsung hero in their 7-1 win!), and Mona in attack (she sure can shoot!), with Aakarsh on the bench (sorry, bro!). See you again next week! So long!
P.S. It is a sincere request that the spectators do not leave behind trash lying on or near the ground. There is a dustbin beside the court, so please use it.