From Friday 4th November until Sunday 6th November, the Alice Smith School hosted the SEASAC Division 2 football. Our talented young team consisting of 1 Year 8, 6 Year 10, 3 Year 11 and 2 Year 12 students in a predominantly Year 11-13 competition set out with the goal of remaining competitive all weekend and the aim of finishing in a medal position come Sunday.
We started strongly on day one, with an early goal from Jess to settle the nerves. Despite an equalising free kick from NIST, we continued to control the game, with Ana commanding her penalty box in goal and excellent defensive displays from a combination of Niamh, Sofia and Ellie ensuring that NIST were limited in their attacks. A stunning hattrick from Gabi secured a 4-1 win.
Next up was ISY and after a long break which included lunch, we were a little sluggish and found ourselves 1-0 down before Kailey got the equaliser shortly before halftime following a great low cross from Sophie. After discussing a few issues the girls increased their pace, started passing and moving the ball well and communicating with each other. They played superbly well to score 4 second half goals including a great finish from Lauren after a one-two pass with Lily down the left wing to win the game 5-1.
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Our final game of the day saw us go head to head with the only other unbeaten team BSJ. The gathered crowd of students, staff and parents were witness to an exciting end to end game. After a 1-1 first half draw we found ourselves 3-1 down early in the second half but fought back with goals from Sophie and Gabi only to concede a goal from a free kick to put us 4-3 down with a few minutes to play. We continued to pressurise the opposition and just a minute from time Leila played the ball out wide to Jess who took a touch, looked up and hammered the ball over the goalkeeper's head and into the roof of the net from just outside the box to the delight of the home crowd! That hard-earned point put us top of the table on goal difference after day one with 7 points, ahead of BSJ in second, also on 7 points and UWC E in third on 6 points.
Day Two started against our local rivals MKIS and it was great to see our corner routines in training pay off as Jess crossed two corners in which were slotted home by Gabi and then Kailey to earn a comfortable 2-0 win and guarantee a place in the semi-finals with one group game remaining. We then faced UWC E in our final group game and were unlucky to find ourselves 2-0 down at half time following a fairly even match. After conceding a third early in the second half we fought back with a goal from Gabi but unfortunately the game finished with a 3-1 loss. In such a close top three this result sent us from first to third in the group with BSJ on 13 points, UWC E on 12 points and KLASS on 10 points, meaning a semi-final match-up against the team that we had just lost to.
The girls started their semi final in a focused and determined frame of mind and dominated the first quarter of the match. Unfortunately we fell behind from a free kick and then quickly conceded a second. The players displayed great strength of character to continue to dominate the game and their relentless pressure eventually led to a penalty which Jess calmly placed into the bottom corner of the net with 5 minutes to play. We came close to scoring time and again but some great opposition goalkeeping kept us at bay and the game finished with a 2-1 loss despite the players giving it everything and deserving a place in the final.
Day Three was the chance for the girls to put their previous day's disappointment behind them and still finish the tournament with a medal in the third/fourth playoff v NIST. All 12 players gave it everything one last time and their commitment and dedication earned us a 3-1 half-time lead with goals from Jess and two from Gabi which included a stunning strike into the top right corner from just outside the box. A late goal from NIST made for a nervous finish but the girls kept their composure and some great forward dribbles on the ball from Tara and Lily ensured that the ball stayed in the opposition half and the girls earned the bronze medal with a 3-2 win.
Congratulations to all the girls on their fantastic team performance, they did everything that I asked of them and played some excellent football over the course of the 3 days, scoring 20 goals in 7 games! I am sure that as a team they will continue to progress over the next year and I’m looking forward to us coming back even stronger for SEASAC 2017 and aiming for promotion back to division 1. Finally I’d like to say a huge thanks to the parents whose support and encouragement was superb throughout the 3 days and really gave their daughters a moral boost as they cheered from the sidelines. Now we’re looking forward to our final tournament of the season and aiming for another medal in the BISP soccer 7’s!
U19 Girls Football Coach
KLASS started Day One against their local rivals Garden International School (GIS). After a tight first half with some half chances to both teams, GIS took the lead and then quickly doubled it going to win the match 2-0. Their second match was against their other local rivals Mont Kiara International School (MKIS). Klass recovered well from defeat in their first match to get a fantastic 7-1 victory. This was a mesmerising performance from KLASS who took their game to the next level, and their biggest win in the whole tournament. The final game of Friday's schedule was against The International School of Yangon. It was a tough game for KLASS who found themselves 3-1 down in the first half. But through sheer determination, we made it back to 3-3 before ISY made the most of their chances and managed to win the game 6-4.
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KLASS started the second day knowing that they needed 2 wins from their 2 group games to give them a guaranteed place in the semi-finals of the competition, and cruised to a 5-2 victory over RIS. The last group stage game was against British School Jakarta. The winner of this game would finish 3rd in the group avoiding having to play the 1st place team in the semi finals. It was an end to end open game with lots of chances for both teams. KLASS managed to snatch the victory with a 3-2 win allowing them to set up a semi-final tie against ISY.
After losing to ISY on the previous day, KLASS knew that they had to be at their best to beat a strong & solid ISY team. After a 10 goal thriller in the previous game, all eyes were on this semi-final to be exciting and it didn't disappoint. After an out-of-this-world goal from Kevin Wenzel with a silky touch and a beautiful volley in the bottom corner, KLASS put the game beyond sight to win 4-3. However, all the plaudits go to goalkeeper Seb Moss who time and time again pulled off lightning reaction saves which allowed them to hang on to the victory and progress through to the final.
The final saw two home teams face off in a playoff to gain promotion to Division 1, the local derby final between KLASS & GIS. GIS had powered through the tournament so far without losing a game and were in top form. KLASS had battled their way to the final with sheer determination and fighting spirit. KLASS took the lead with a powerful strike from Jacob Reddings, however GIS quickly responded going in 2-1 at half time. In the second half the game came to light with KLASS taking a direct route in sending balls into the box and creating havoc for the GIS defence. After a long range strike from Roan Brinkhorst to score the game finished 4-3 to GIS. The boys put in a huge effort and can be very proud of their performance.
Click here for this week's full issue - 11th November 2016