X-League Sunday Prime League Season 1 Division 2
Team Kamikaze vs HomeWest United @ Turf City
The Seniors geared up for this match fully aware of the tricky nature of the tie. Homewest had given the team quite a run for their money in their earlier tie and no one was taking it lightly in the return fixture. There was a sense of quiet calm masking the feeling of apprehension due to the must-win nature of the tie.
However, the moment the first kick of the match went underway, KKZ put to bed all fears and their ruthlessness was duly rewarded. The forwards Hevy and Victor showed excellent workrate as they kept closing down their opposing defenders and the resulting pressure saw Kamikaze presented with excellent opportunities that they took with glee. Aravin Yeli showed calm composure after he was put through by a mishit backpass to chip the ball into the back of the net. Pratheep then showed he can go better by putting a brace past the keeper with a finishing that any top striker would be proud of. The team could have gone further ahead, except for some wonderful keeping by the HomeWest keeper and some lax finishing by the KKZ players.
If they needed a wake-up call however, they got one as a counterattack saw a harmless cross played into the box. Theva went down after a challenge from the Homewest forward and with the referee seeing nothing wrong, the Homewest number 7 gleefully tapped into an open net.
KKZ desperately wanted to avoid a repeat of the first leg, where they led HomeWest claw back into the game and Victor made sure that the team would head into the halftime break with a 3-goal cushion as he was in the right place at the right time to complete the excellent work by Manjan and Safar. 4-1 at halftime. The relaxed mood of the halftime belied the mess that was to occur in the second period.
Knowing that the game was effectively over when Victor scored his second goal of the game with a neat strike from just inside the box, the team started chasing for goals. Passes went awry and positionals awareness was discarded as the team played with a complete lack of discipline not seen for very long. To make matter worse, Victor, a veteran who should have known better, got into a squabble with the opponent centreback that saw both men get red-cards. It marked the end of an evenign for the KKZ forward who earlier got into an argument with his manager also. Kamikaze however did manage to score two more through Hevy and conceded a penalty to bring the eventual scoreline to 7-2.
Haravin, who was the captain of the day did not mince his words as he admonished Victor, " He is one of the oldest players in the team and should have known better to control his actions taking into the context of the league situation. His argument with the gaffer was unacceptable as well. But Victor has served us long and the emotional outbursts are just another part of his game that he has to improve. As a team, I thought we played well today. 7-2 is an excellent win, and we added another +5 to the goal difference, so that's good. The negatives will be worked on as a team and we will finish off this league in a high."
Team Manager Seelan, however emphasised more on the positives. "Well, I thought it was an ok game. We were magnificent in the first half. Faizal was unplayable, Safar and Pratheep made excellent contributions. It was good to see Nesh back in top form and that lad brings us valuable experience at the back. Shivaanan will most definitely be offered a full contract with the Seniors and so it was a good game. But we have to retain focus and make sure the ugly side of our game does not rear its ugly head every now and then."
Kamikaze now head to the final league game with a hefty 15 goal cushion over La Forza who will be playing HomeWest. Unless Ginga throws a massive surprise on Kamikaze, the title is coming to the boys who never say die.
Squad: Theva, Nesh, Prem, Dinzo, Haravin, Shivaanan, Fazail, Pratheep, Safar, Aravin Yeli, Victor, Hevy, Safar, Haresh, Manjan
Goals: Aravin, Pratheep (2), Victor (2), Hevy (2)
Assists: Victor (2), Safar, Hevy, Shivanan, Dinzo
Final Score: HomeWest United 2 - 7 Kamikaze FC