ESPZEN Sunday League Season 20 Division 6
Paix FC vs Kamikaze FC
It was a wait that took 9 years in coming. And for a long while, the weather looked like it was going to prolong the realisation of a dream. But on a day like this, with a squad pumped up to deliver and a manager waiting to stamp his class, even the weather was not going to be a dampener.
Kamikaze kicked off their first ESPZEN league match at 1pm at Meridian JC. The pitch was declared playable by the referee, however puddles of water meant that KKZ could not look to play their famed passing game. Nevertheless, the team adapted well to the situation and began with a confidence that befits a team looking to take the league by storm.
The Manager lined up his squad with a tactic to attack and put the opponents on the backfoot and for large periods of the first half, his team played the role to a tee, albeit with a lack of luck in their finishing. That was to be rectified, however, when Safar shimmied past 2 defenders to layoff for Youth Sensation Shivaanan, who showed the crowd exactly why his manager trusts him, by delivering an unstoppable first-time shot into the top right-hand corner.
That goal, seemed to have eased the pressure slightly for the team, with the opponents creating no notable chance in the first half. Things changed in the second-half though, as the hardworking PAIX players sniffed opportunities to level the game. It was thanks to the water-tight defence, and the hardworking midfield who worked brilliantly as an unit that the score stayed to the advantage of KKZ. The game was still too close to call, but a moment of brilliance from Hevy changed it all. A lobbed chip from Safar seemed too close to the keeper but Hevy kept pressing on and his pressure paid off as he managed to nick the ball past the keeper and roll it into an empty net. At that moment, the game was over.
True enough, the pitch started clearing up and Kamikaze were able to exert better control and passing all over the park. Their dominance paid off as two, absolutely delightful goals from their wing wizards Pratheep and Barathi capped off an emphatic 4-0 win.
"Winning the first game always gives a good buzz around the dressing room. But it's important to take one step at a time. I'm not a person who looks too far ahead, and neither do I stay contented with the past. I always stay rooted to the present and focus on the task at hand, and I believe my team does the same too. There were very good goals scored today and I believe we can build on this form for the next game," said Manager Jayaseelan in his post-match interview.
Achieving this dream was a result of the collective efforts of an entire clan of brothers. Kamikaze has only realised part of the dream as of yet. When the season ends, they will look forward to carrying the pride of a successful season in ESPZEN Division 6.
Squad: Pratip, Suresh USPO (c), Prem, Kishen, Haravin, Mohaan, Shivaanan, Gerard, Safar, Pratheep, Victor, Jayraj, Ashraf, Haresh, Barathi, Hevy
Goals: Shivaanan, Hevy, Barathi, Pratheep
Assists: Safar (2), Gerard
Final Score: PAIX FC 0 - 4 Kamikaze FC