Tuesday, April 19, 2011

..Silver Medallists..

Moscow derby against M1.

Trying catch up with the M1 "mat motor" as I would call him.

Dinie gave away an unfortunate penalty.

Silver medalists.

Happy hour, qualifying into the finals.

With the band of supporters.

RSMU's Gattuso.

RSMU first eleven. Not according to jersey numbers.

Pretty awesome shot.

I mentioned in my earlier post about me playing with the university football team. Turns out I was selected for the Inter-varsity Games after all, and much more than that, I was selected as the first eleven. We had only our second training together to acclimatise ourselves with the field and a friendly game against MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute) and I must say, those MAI guys can pass the ball around with ease, and are much more comfortable with holding the ball. As for us, we were quite decent in the first half, but to the end of the second half, they scored 4 goals in what, about 5 minutes or so and thus they beat us 4-0. So you can understand our pessimistic goals for the coming games, so called Sechenov Intervarsity Games (SIG 2011).

We were the first to arrive, at about 8.00am or something, and it was a cold morning. But we were used to the weather and was sure our training was much worse than this. The badminton guys and ping pong were also playing at the same venue, so we had some supporters here and there. Then there the Raptorz boys who were cheering for their star player Shan, our friends Dol, Mok and the lads who came after their Sudeb cycle not that far from there, and others who I forgot to mention. A special thanks to them.

The team from Volgo was supposed to play first but since they weren't here yet, we had to play first, against strong favorites and home team, M1. The game was quite balanced, and we created better chances, but a slip from Aman was capitalized quickly by their nippy striker and he slotted the ball coolly past our reserve keeper, Dinesh. The game ended 1-0, but to be honest, we deserved at least 1 point. At that point, I was only thinking of getting through the day one game at a time, plus I was quite hungry.

Then my sister and Allysha came to support, together bringing with them energy drinks and some food, so it was really a morale booster, so thanks sis! :D Our second game was against Volgo, and I only knew 1 guy, Izwan Syafiq. The Volgo guys were stunned with Iqbal's quick thinking when he shoots from just around the D area, into the net. Its celebration time since it was our first goal of the day. Then came the tricky game against dark horses Kursk, who indeed uses black jerseys, which was intimidating. We though we could get 3 points against Kursk since they were just beaten by M1 some time before, but they stood their ground and we couldnt get past their defence, so 0-0 was the final score.

Our final group stage game was against the slick and quick passing team, MAI. I was nervous, and it was a tough time trying to keep myself strong against their winger, but mostly their attack just came from the middle and as always, the reliable pairing of Lavan and Azzam, and some help from Aman, helps soothing things around. Then we have our own Gattuso, Shazli who did the dirty work and stopped all their attacks. Shan and Iqbal controlled the midfield, while Vara by now was out injured until the end, with hamstring attacking him, gifting a place to Mizi, which was later proven crucial. It was still early in the second half, and we have ourselves a corner kick. I somehow thought, "lets give this a try" and just went up there on my own as they were only about 3 of our guys in the penalty area. Shan did an out-swinging corner and I just missed it by a bit but then Iqbal kicked or flicked back the rebound just before me, and I just couldn't miss an open goal, scoring with my head and screaming with delight. We settled ourselves and went away with a 1-0 scoreline, getting second in the table and with a semi-final against Kursk in our way.

I really though Kursk was going to be a tricky game, as surely they would have already know our tactics by now. But our midfield general Shan was not to be denied, as he scored a delightful long range shot from the middle of the pitch I reckon. It was a beaut. Then Shafiq finally opened his account for the day by scoring his characteristic long shot. He was there again in the second half as his delightful cross found the flying header of Mizi and the old man also got 1 goal for his memory.

3-0 was the final scoreline and we were delighted as the silver medal was surely ours, and it was a long and unpredictable journey to the final. Going into the final, we were only left with just a few of our players. Joining the injury list were Iqbal, Vara, Reez, Shafiq and others I dont remember. All I know was the defence was rock solid and lastly only Lavan went out with an injury. I was really proud with the lads but we were really tired and out of depth, and so we lost to M1 with a 3-0 scoreline which I think was kind of justice because really the M1 guys played better and they are damn fit. Thanks guys for getting me a medal which I really appreciate. I even have my own story to tell with my headed goal which sealed our passage into the semis.

The RSMU footbal team :

Goalkeepers : Dinie, Dinesh

Defenders : Mate, Aman, Lavan, Azam, Naqqib, Sam, Awi

Midfielders : Shazli, Shan, Reez, Che Pooh, Iqbal, Vara, Mizi

Forwards : Shafiq, K


Anna Mohamed Amin said...

congrats!! 2nd medal ek naqqib utk intervarsity?

shogunn_general said...

a ah. first one was gold for handball, in 2007 :) thanks!