League Update - Sunday 3rd November (ASA vs ATHLETICO) Todays - TopicsExpress


League Update - Sunday 3rd November (ASA vs ATHLETICO) Todays game was one that pitted together a team that would have to be considered our DERBY rivals. Both our clubs have the utmost respect for eachother and both teams have the common objective of winning the league title at the end of the season. These games are usually the jokers in the pack, as anything can happen when pride is at stake, players are emotional and it can sometimes get quite fiery out on the pitch, with adrenaline pumping the players up. There were a few new faces in the starting line up, Youssef moved into a central role for tactical purposes, and Mohammad Hashem started in place of Rami Beyhum who had been struggling a little bit with his knee. Tarek Cheaito also had his first taste of league action at RB after recovering from a broken arm in pre season and Fouad started out wide in a 3 pronged forward line alongside Aboudi and Jarrah made for speed. There was also a start in goal for Yahya Choucair who has been training very hard to get back in to the squad especially with the excellent form of Ali Hubballah lately. Starting line up: Yahya, Hikmat, Samir, Ghadi, Tarek, Ali A., Mohammad, Youssef, Fouad, Rami J., Aboudi It is no secret anymore that ASA prides itself on a possession match style and building the game from the back is a pivotal part of our chemistry. With this in mind Athletico attempted a high pressing game to put some pressure on our backline when in possession of the ball, and for the most part our players handled the intensity admirably, showing a strategic calmness whilst gently maneuvering the ball from left to right finding the passing routes. At a time when we seemed to be in complete control of the game, a slightly mistimed back pass allowed an onrushing Athletico player the opportunity to pounce, as he read the game well and punished us with a goal. It was the first goal we have conceded in the league so far and this was going to test the character of our team. ASA centered off and almost instantly pushed up a gear, picking up the game tempo and running at their Centre backs. Athletico were finding Aboudi a bit too hot to handle and decided that fouling him may be the only way to slow him down. A few rugged late tackles pursued and Yellow cards were dished out to 2 of their defenders in the space of 5 minutes. It was all to no avail though as we were determined to go in at half time as equals. Moments later Aboudi was off again running straight at the heart of their goal and brushing their players aside along the way. Out rushed their keeper to close down the options, but a beautifully crafted chip shot made sure that half time ended 1-1 HALF TIME: ASA 1 ATHLETICO 1 The second half picked up where it left off, and ASA had the majority of ball possession, linking up smoothly but just lacking the finish. Rami Beyhum made an appearance, along with Firas and a surprise opportunity for young Ali El Hajj. We created chance after chance, trying to put the finishing touches on some inventive football moves, before a quick counter attack allowed Athleticos very talented CM through on goal for an easy finish. We were behind again, in cruel fashion, but football is unforgiving at times and it just so happened to be the case today. Again we picked ourselves up and declared war on their goal, with blocked shots, Handball calls that were ignored and clear penalty shouts that were simply waved away by the referee. Things were not going our way at all but our players kept fighting. Finally the breakthrough that our effort deserved and a cross into their box was only half cleared before Captain Samir Fired a half volley into the roof of their net for the equaliser. We could smell the win now and our players superior fitness levels were starting to show, as Athletico players fell to the ground clutching their ankles, knees and arms in an attempt to slow the game down. We had at least 5 chances to finish the match off, as we hit the cross bar twice and their keeper made a couple of outstanding saves to keep Athletico in the game. The Full time whistle blew and it was going to be points shared. FULL TIME: ASA 2 ATHLETICO 2 Football isnt always fair, and maybe we deserved a win in the end, but it just wasnt meant to be and we need to move on and take the positives out of the experience. FINAL THOUGHT: Our boys showed unbelievable resilience and true fighting spirit to come back from going a goal down twice in the game. The desire to win is the heartbeat of this squad, and we will keep pushing forward. I know our boys will be determined to get back to winning ways starting next Sunday vs Al Khoyoul. Rani Ghaziri
Posted on: Sun, 03 Nov 2013 22:44:50 +0000

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