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National Football League Division 1
SKA vs Eunos Crescent FC
Date: 30th March 2019
Time: 5pm
Venue: Chua Chu Kang Stadium
Score: 4-1


SKA played their second match in the NFL Division 1 on the 30th of March 2019 against Eunos Crescent. The match, which was played at Chua Chu Kang Stadium, kicked off at 5pm, with SKA looking to build on their opening day victory. 

The opening few minutes of the match saw both teams exchanging possession of the ball but SKA soon started to dominate proceedings with some steady build up play. Balls were played in behind the Eunos' backline but the lack of a finishing touch meant the game approached the halftime whistle in a stalemate. However, 5 minutes before the end of the half, a dangerous corner kick whipped in by Shahrukh saw a desperate scramble at the goal mouth, and Shabir made no mistakes from 6 yards out when the ball fell kindly for him. SKA took a well deserved lead into the break. 

Eunos came out raring to go after the interval, pressing much higher up on the pitch and tackling harder than they were previously. An unfortunate tackle, however, saw one of their players being sent off just minutes after the restart. Eunos still pushed on relentlessly and were duly rewarded on 52 minutes when a mix-up in the SKA’s defence saw the ball sit up conveniently for their forward to strike home from 6 yards out. The equaliser came totally against the run of play but the Khalsa players were not going to let their heads hang. Minutes after conceding, SKA found themselves once again in the lead via a well placed finish by Shahrukh as he placed the ball beyond the reach of the keeper, after being played in by a well timed high ball from the back. Shahrukh then doubled his tally for the day at 60 minutes when a brilliant through ball from Ignatius saw him rounding the keeper and slotting home with ease. 3-1 to SKA and the game seemed all but over. 

SKA still were not done yet, and continued surging forward in search of a fourth goal to all but seal up the game as substitutes were introduced late into the match. Their efforts paid off when Taufik Jiahuddin placed a free kick from the edge of the penalty box into the back of the net, past the outstretched hands of the Eunos custodian. It proved to be the icing on the cake as SKA recorded their second consecutive win for the season, a 4-1 victory. The result sees them move up to the 2nd spot in the Division 1 table. All in all, another good performance and deserved result for the SKA Team!

- Ashwin Unnithan (21) 

 

National Football League Division 1
SKA vs Warwick Knights FC
Date: 23 March 2019
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Bukit Gombak Stadium
Score: 2-0

Khalsa Football kicked off their NFL Division 1 campaign against newly-promoted side Warwick Knights FC at the Bukit Gombak Stadium. The match, played under well-light floodlights, began with just as much fervour as one would expect. 

The first chance of the game, however, fell in favour of the Warwick Knights in just under 3 minutes. A corner that was headed down smartly for Hilmi Azman was struck way over the bar. Khalsa having survived that initial scare, got ahold of their nerves and started playing the ball around with much more assurance. Their efforts were well rewarded in the 34th minute when Khalsa opened the scoring via Ignatius Wang. A lofted through ball from Taufik Jiahuddin found its way to Shahrukh, who kept his composure to set up Ignatius for the finish, despite seeing his initial shot being parried by the Warwick Knights keeper. The Knights then went close on a couple of occasions, only to see their efforts go agonisingly wide due to some poor finishing. The Knights came closest to equalizing on the stroke of halftime, when a free kick that was floated in almost ended up in the back of the net, only to be cleared off the line by Krishnan. 

The second half began with a renewed vigour as both teams came out of the tunnel, raring to go. Substitues Oswind Suriya and Carman Koh combined well to conjure a chance down the right flank, but the resulting cross was well blocked and the ball drizzled out for a corner kick. Mathew Siva, who proved to be a real handful for the Warwick defenders throughout the tie, consistently beat the onrushing full backs, gaining Khalsa much ground higher up the pitch. Warwicks next chance fell to Nuri Irfan down the right flank but the resulting shot by Nur Hafiz Rezuan's was well-saved at the near post by the Khalsa goaltender Suhail Salim. Khalsa then went close to scoring on the 68th minute when Taufik Jiahuddin's free kick from outside the area thumped the crossbar. The deciding moment of the match came soon after on 80 minutes when Mathew Siva was needlessly brought down inside the area by a Knights defender, winning Khalsa a crucial penalty. Taufik Jiahuddin then all but sealed up the 3 points by cooly slotting home the resultant spot kick.

The Knights were not quite done as of yet and still surged forward in search of a goal that would bring the tie back into a balance. A free kick from Hafiz Osman rocked the crossbar and the Knights continued to pour men forward in search of that all elusive goal. It seemed as though their efforts were going to be rewarded when Afeez Zulhaikel's free kick sailed over the wall and flew towards the top corner but Khalsa custodian Suhail Salim pulled off a majestic save to keep the teams' clean sheet intact. The referee blew the final whistle soon after, much to the delight of the Khalsa contingent, players and supporters alike. Khalsa take home all 3 points in this explosive opening fixture between the two promoted sides with a well deserved 2-0 victory. 

- Ashwin Unnithan (21) 

 

 

NATIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE 2
Khalsa vs Tornados
Final Score: 3 - 1
Date: 16 March 2019, Saturday
Time: 7.30pm

Khalsa’s fourth match was against Tornados. In the first quarter, Khalsa was in complete control of the game. Tornados were unable to break out of their defensive area.  Unfortunately for the ladies, the first quarter ended without any goals, with the team struggling to perfect the finish.

The game continued into the second quarter with Khalsa dominating the attack once again. With many players pushed up, Tornados managed to break through the middle and scored a goal by beating Khalsa’s players and keeper on the goal line with their speed and a simple lifted ball in. The quarter ended with the team trailing by one goal.

In the third quarter, Khalsa continued the game with better composure and a rejuvenated hunger. The attackers and midfielders were fierce in their defending of the balls, cutting off Tornados building up of defence. The midfielders were getting the balls in the attacking half, leading to many chances for Khalsa. This proved to be advantageous and purposeful as Khalsa scored the first goal by a beautiful deflection by Marian after a ball was sent in by Rachael. Tornados managed to break through the middle once again. However, with the sheer determination and teamwork of the team, Khalsa managed to stop them in their tracks. Khalsa played more confidently as Natalia dribbled the ball all the way into the D, beating a number of tornados players on the way and delivered a ball to Nadia S who was ready in front of goal to finish it off. The quarter ended with Khalsa one up.

It was evident in the last quarter that team was still filled with desire for another goal to seal the win. Khalsa managed to score another goal with a ball sent by Natalia to Nadia S, who scored her second in the match. The victory was sealed with the team’s perseverance to keep the ball up in attack.

The women’s team claim their first and well deserved win of the season and they go in hunt for their next.

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE 2
Khalsa vs Tornados
Final Score: 1 - 1
Date: 16 March 2019, Saturday
Time: 6.00pm

Coming into the match against Tornados, the Khalsa team wanted to log in the second win of the season. The game plan was to build up the play and attack down both flanks. As the first match against Tornados was still fresh in the players' minds, they knew the opponent will be tough to break down. Getting penalty corners was the key to winning the match.

The first quarter started off with both teams being conservative. As expected, the Tornados team sat back at the half line, giving Khalsa team the space and time to move the ball around. There wasn't any significant action as both teams were still in first gear.

The tempo of the match picked up in the second quarter. Khalsa stuck to the game plan of attacking down the flanks and they even managed to draw a couple of penalty corners. Unfortunately, they were unable to convert the chances. Khalsa also had to be sharp and alert to deal with Tornados counter attacks down Khalsa's left flank. However, a lapse of concentration resulted in a quick counter by the Tornados team. Khalsa was unable to deal with the quick passing, and it resulted in Tornados scoring the opening goal. 

Being a goal down, Khalsa came into the third quarter with an uphill task. Tornados did not gave Khalsa an easy time, compacting the center of the field and giving Khalsa a tough time to penetrate into the D. Despite the challenge, the team stuck to the game plan and managed to win penalty corners. From one of the routine, Khalsa grabbed the equalizer from a sweep by Aloysius followed by a deflection by Faiq into goal. Game on!

With the match tied at 1-1, the match was up for taking by either of the two teams. Khalsa continued to push forward, winning countless penalty corners. However, the end product was lacking as the team were unable to capitalize on their chances. Unfortunately, for Khalsa, luck wasn't on their side and the match ended with a 1-1 draw.

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE 1
Khalsa vs SRC
Final Score: 3 - 1
Date: 16 March 2019, Saturday
Time: 7.30pm

Khalsa’s NHL1 team was looking to get back to winning ways after a tough loss to SCC in the previous game against a youthful SRC side.

Khalsa, once again, started the game on the upper hand with a quick barrage of attacks and an early short corner but failed to capitalize on their chances. Despite dominating possession the first quarter ended 0-0.

SRC started to grow into the game in the second quarter and had a few good chances of their own as well as a few short corners. Good saves from the keeper, Gugan, and some last ditch defending from the backline maintained the clean sheet. Khalsa managed to get their first goal from a penalty corner via Faiz.

The game was a tight match in the third quarter with SRC having multiple attacks down the right side. Khalsa encountered much difficulty in coming out of SRC’s full pitch press.

The last quarter was similar to the third with both sides having equal chances. After a scramble in Khalsa’s D, SRC managed to make things even. However, after a good attacking move, Khalsa regained the lead through Naveen. Khalsa started getting more chances and Ethan scored the team’s third goal, seconds before the game ended to make the score line 3-1. 

Overall a good win and performance by the team.

 

NATIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE 2
Khalsa vs Team HI
Final Score: 2 - 2
Date: 10 March 2019, Sunday
Time: 7.30pm

The Khalsa ladies played their third match of the season against team HI. The match started off at a high tempo due to the quick nature of the HI players. The opponents drew first blood through a string of short passes. Not long after, Khalsa managed to gain an equalizer through Nadia S because of the discipline and high press applied by the team against team HI.

Continuing into the second quarter, Khalsa managed keep the tempo high and was focused on winning every ball in the opponent’s half. Various attempts were made in attack and the team earned their well-deserved second goal through a direct shot by Myra. The game proceeded such that HI’s attempts at attack were constantly stopped by the Khalsa’s players, who stopped them in their tracks and broke their play with the tight man-marking and clever interceptions.

In the third quarter, HI was more composed compared to before and managed to bring the ball up through short quick passes and running quickly into the D, beating Khalsa’s players through their speed and 3D skills and ultimately scoring an equalizer through a lifted pass at the goal via a rebounded ball. Following that, Khalsa had a few tries at a goal and were unfortunate in being able to convert the attacks into a tangible goal.

The last quarter saw a change in the pace of the game. Team HI managed to intercept the balls that the team was working to bring up as they cut off the ball line options. The opponents were more aggressive in their attacks in the last quarter and almost scored a goal but the ball bounced off the post. Fortunately, Khalsa managed to clear out the ball immediately as more Khalsa players dropped into the defensive zone and the game ended with a tie.

From the match, it is evident that the team are not only holding on to possession but also making strides in attempts and shots at goal. It is also clear that the ladies were putting into practice what they have worked on during training. However, the team needs to improve the defensive aspect of the game. The team have their training plan sorted as they go into their fourth match against Tornados.

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE 1
Khalsa vs SCC
Final Score: 5 - 0
Date: 10 March 2019, Sunday
Time: 4.30pm

Following an opening victory for their first game with many positive takeaways, the SKA NHL 1 men’s team was excited as they moved into their second match. The match started off under the blazing sun and the heat played a vital role in testing the teams’ abilities. 

SCC started the game at a high tempo with the first goal going in quickly. The first of four quarters saw both teams with equal possession. SCC forwards were aggressive with their press, charging at Khalsa's 3-man-defence which placed a lot of pressure on the defenders. It was difficult for Khalsa defenders to build the play out of the defensive zone. The second goal came as SCC played the ball down their right flank and took a shot right in front of the Keeper. It was unfortunate as the team conceded yet another goal with a ball deflected off one of the defender's stick and rolled into the goal. 

In the second quarter, SCC grabbed their third goal of the game with a well worked penalty corner. Khalsa's number 1 keeper, Gugan, made a good save but the ball rebounded off, bounced and went into the goal. Khalsa started to pick up the game with better composure on the ball. However, just as that happen, the sudden frantic movement and lack of composure caused the team to have a high turnover rate, losing the ball to SCC very easily. 

Khalsa conceded their fourth goal in the third quarter due to successive penalty corners being conceded. Despite the score line, Khalsa team tried to penetrate SCC's defending half with several one touch hockey but SCC's defence stood strong with every wave of attack. 

In the final quarter, another defensive error allowed a SCC player to be left completely unmarked in Khalsa’s defending zone in the D, allowing him to tap the ball in. This allowed SCC to bag the fifth and final goal for the game. Khalsa players were disappointed at the end of the sixty minutes experiencing their first and an extremely painful loss of the season. The frustration of not putting away their chances was seen on the faces of all Khalsa players. 

Khalsa were ousted from the top of the table by defending champions SCC, which was evidently visible through the lack of understanding of the tasks and roles of some of the players in their new formation. The Khalsa players vow to bounce back stronger in the next game against SRC.

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE 2
Khalsa vs Barkerites
Final Score: 3 - 1
Date: 10 March 2019, Sunday
Time: 3.00pm

Khalsa headed into Sunday’s match with a determined attitude to finally get their 3 points. Today’s was Khalsa’s first game in the afternoon, where the scorching hot sun proved to be an extra challenge for both Khalsa and Barkerites. 

Khalsa started strong in the first quarter by taking the first lead. The team managed to defend Barkerites high pressure attack and started a counter. The ball went to Aaron Tay, who hustled with the opponents when Khalsa was on the counter. Despite that, he managed to make a reverse pass to Haikal, who made a spectacular cross, on the run, to Fongwai who then deflected the brilliant ball to the far corner of the goal post which represented the forward line’s first goal of the season!

After the first goal, Khalsa became a bit sloppy in the defence, leaving men unmarked, giving Barkerites the opportunity to keep the pressure on the team. After countless attempts in attack, the opponents finally managed to breakthrough. Barkerites managed to get the ball to their centre forward, who dribbled pass our last man, Gabriel Yong, and scored the equalizer. 

The third quarter got heated when Aaron Tay managed to get dribble pass the opponent’s right back but the right back decided to play dirty and shoved Aaron Tay from behind. With the team witnessing this, the men were extremely motivated to prove the opponents wrong and show them that khalsa weren’t a team to be messed with. This led to our prominent attack on the right side where Fong Geng sent his signature cross into the D and Faiq managed to tap the ball making it slip in between the keepers legs. 

With the momentum on their side, the team attained a short corner shortly after their second goal. The ball was pushed precisely to fong geng, who then blasted the ball to the near post which sealed our victory on Sunday.

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (DIVISION 1)
Match Day 1: Khalsa vs Tornados*
Final Score: 3-0
Date: 2 March 2019, Saturday
Time: 7.30PM

Khalsa’s League 1 team started off their campaign against Tornados on the 2nd of March. The team,  managed by Mr Manminder Singh and coached by Mr Paramjit Singh, was looking forward to a good start to get their momentum going after a loss in their last pre-season friendly.

Khalsa started the match with the upper hand, patiently building up from the back, dominating possession. In the first quarter, both teams had few chances but Khalsa eventually broke the deadlock after a string of quick passes and an excellent finish by Faiz.

In the second quarter, Khalsa continued to dominate possession but failed to capitalize on the opportunities. Tornados began to grow into the game and had their fair share of chances which were stopped by a compact and effective backline. Khalsa drew a second with a cheeky deflection by Kent.

In the third quarter, Khalsa had a quick counter attack which led to a 1 v 1 situation. A penalty stroke was awarded after Bazil was taken down by the Tornados’s goalkeeper.  Khalsa further extended their lead with the penalty stroke via team captain, Prem Singh. With 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter , Khalsa had 2 green cards and were under a barrage of attacks and short corners but great saves from the national goalkeeper, Gugan, who maintained a clean sheet for Khalsa.

The fourth quarter was an equal fight but both teams failed to strike. Khalsa failed to convert their one and only Penalty Corner of the game and the game ended 3-0 to Khalsa. That being said the NHL 1 men’s team now look ahead to their next match against SCC with more confidence and belief.