Feb 2014 - Semi Finals Day Match Report

Semi Finals Day Match Report

 


Sat 8 Feb, 2014Description: http://lwuserimages.s3.amazonaws.com/20140202003927_52f623e6df908.png

Alhumdullilah by the grace of Allah, we are now nearing the completion of the third season of the Atfal Football League. The penultimate match day saw the 2 semi finals of the AFL proper, and also the Plate semi final match ups take place.

Plate Tournament

The evening started with the semi final games in the Plate taking place, with the fixtures being Baitun Noor A vs Tahir B and Baitun Noor B vs Middlesex. There was a strong presence for the Baitun Noor Region in the Plate, however this would prove to be the final stop for them, with the A team going down to Tahir B 2-1 and the B team struggling to get a team together and having to forfeit the game, handing Middlesex a 3-0 victory and passage into the final.

AFL Semi Finals

With games running concurrently, there was nonstop action on both pitches with all 4 teams possessing the talent and capability to emerge victorious in their respective games and secure their ticket in the final. In semi final 1, Muqami came racing out of the blocks and made their early pressure count taking a comfortable 3-0 lead into the half time break with 2 goals from Mubariz Dogar and 1 from Mutarraf Ahmed. Perhaps thinking that their place in the final was all but secured, or perhaps it was an inspirational half time team talk from the Masroor team manager Umar Bhatti, but the second half told a totally different story with Muqami looking like a shade of the team in the first half and Masroor starting to finally find their feet in the game. A brave and spirited fight back saw Masroor pull back 2 quick goals from captain Atif and Wajahat to leave the deficit at one, however they just could not find that extra gear and grab that all important equaliser. Perhaps they had left themselves too much of a mountain to climb, but Muqami held on to go through to the final victorious with a 3-2 win.

Semi final 2 pitted arguably the two teams of the tournament against each other, with Baitul Futuh A squaring off against Tahir A. A tie that started off as a cagey affair, Tahir A quickly grew in confidence and exerted their dominance on to the game. Tahir A threw everything they had whilst playing some neat interchanging football, but they just could not put the ball in the back of the net and take the lead. Baitul Futuh A, who were unfortunately robbed of their most influential players, were being pinned back in their half, but at the same time showing great fighting spirit in keeping the game on a level playing field and heading into half time with the scoreline at 0-0. The second half saw a bit more adventure from Baitul Futuh, offering more of an attacking threat and making the Tahir defence work to keep their clean sheet intact. This however left them prone to a very strong counter attack from Tahir. With a place in the final at stake, this now topsy turvy tie took a crucial turn, when Tahir A won a penalty just over half way into the second half. With just over three quarters of this tie being completed a single goal could well have been all that was required to secure this semi final, however the crucial spot kick was saved by the goalkeeper, keeping Baitul Futuh still in with a chance of getting to the final. Ultimately, the missed penalty did not prove fatal, as with a matter of minutes left, a defence splitting through ball was executed to perfection and the Tahir striker, Haseeb made absolutely no mistake in dispatching the ball past the keeper and with that, any hope Baitul Futuh had of reaching the final.

With the conclusion of last night’s fixtures, I am now pleased to say that our Final Day shapes as follows:

Plate Final: Tahir B vs Middlesex

3rd Place Playoff: Masroor v Middlesex

AFL Final: Muqami A vs Tahir A

Congratulations to those teams who were successful in reaching the final, and commiserations to those unfortunate not to make it.

The final will insh’Allah take place on Sunday 2nd March time TBC

Jazaka’Allah for all your cooperation thus far during this, season 3 of the AFL and as ever, I humbly request that you keep both the AFL and us as a committee in your prayers.

Wasalaam,

Muzaffar Bajwa

AFL League Secretary

 

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