Etoile FC vs Sengkang Punggol FC

February 17, 2010

Heart wrenching. Absolutely heart wrenching for the young Dolphins as they conceded a goal in the final seconds of the game to allow Etoile to tie it up at 2-2. The score definitely reflected the overall performance of both team but i feel that the Dolphins definitely deserved the 3 points instead of the 1 which they are getting.

My biggest fear before the game was how the Dolphins’ physique dwarfed those of the Etoile players. But thankfully, what the Dolphins lacked in the physique department, they more than made it up with their full-hearted performance. Despite being under pressure early on, the Dolphins stucked to their gameplan of passing the ball on the ground instead of just hoofing the ball upfield. There were really some neat interchanges between the players which had me gushing my praises.

But the star of the first half was undoubtedly Fadhil Salim. He made a string of top class saves to keep the score level. The highlight of those saves was definitely the one which he fisted away a point blank Frederic Mendy’s header and denying him again on the follow up. His handling of all the crosses being put into the box was also very good. One area which the Dolphins suffered last season was in the goalkeeping department but in Fadhil, i think Sengkang has finally found a reliable custodian to count on.

Moussa Keita then stunned the majority of the home crowd when he latched onto some hesitancy from the Etoile defence before sprinting through and slot it pass the keeper with the outside of his right boot. Absolutely coolness. Good to see him opening his account for the season. Hopefully, its the start of flow of goals for him. The Dolphins go into the break 1-0 up with majority of the crowd stunned.

Etoile came out of the second half with all guns blazing and it wasn’t long before Frederic Mendy scored the equaliser. But the Dolphins did not give up and came close to scoring a few times, notably Shahir’s header which the Etoile keeper managed to get a fist on it to keep it from going in. At this moment, you can sense that the next team that is going to score is the Dolphins. And they dult obliged in the 78th minute when Murphy releases Jordan Webb down the right and he raced into the box before putting it past the Etoile keeper from a tight angle for his 3rd goal in 3 games. Deserved second for Sengkang Punggol.

And this moment, you know that Etoile is going to throw whatever they have at the Dolphins. And the Dolphins pplayed their heart out in defence. Making sure they were first to every second ball and went in whole heartedly into every challenges. The Dolphins were proving they were more than a match for their bigger sized opponents in the physical battles. But alas, the ending was not to be as with what was the last kick of the game, Verschave scored from a lapse in the Sengkang’s defence. Absolutely heart wrenching for Aide’s young team.

But it was a impressive performance nonetheless. Shahir Hamzah and Sim Li Ming, 2 rookie centrebacks were pretty impressive in defence. Although they struggled in the opening exchanges to deal with the height of Mendy but they grew in statue as the game wore on. Both of them can really hold their heads up high based on this performance. Fadhil was my man-of-the-match despite conceding 2 goals. Murphy was again impressive in midfield although he needs to stop giving away careless balls in the middle. Jordan Webb is proving to be a real gem after scoring for the third consecutive game. Moussa Keita held the ball up front and opened his account for the season. Mamadou came on and was his usual tricky self. Faizal and Jalal again had good games.

As for Etoile, i still think they have yet to really gelled as a team. But they did show some nice touches and neat interplays. Their defence is suspect to the bouncing balls though and the defenders conceded possesion many times when they were faced with the bouncing balls. Frederic Mendy did not impress me at all. Yes, he scored. But other than that, he was struggling against a rookie defence and falling over at every dribble till the crowd in the stand was stupid frustrated with his inability to stay on his feet. If Etoile had a better striker, they would have won the match as their midfield was definitely impressive.

Once again, gutted for Aide and his young charges. But i hope they can pick themselves up and carry this performance into the game against Beijing next week in the League Cup.

4 Responses to “Etoile FC vs Sengkang Punggol FC”

  1. wreckidigidy Says:

    Lucky we meet Etoile at this stage cos I reckon they ought to be better going into the season but the Dolphins really show we ain’t pushover….
    Now I must got to Yishun Stadium to support them next week.

  2. Matthew Says:

    Nice write up….!

    It will be bonus if you’ve peektures!

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