On Monday the 11th of November 2013, the U11 Raha Raptors played a football match against the Gems students at Gems American Academy. The match started at 3:30 PM and continued until 5 PM and was played in two halves; games one and two. Game one was played by Raha’s C team versus Gems B team, and game two by Raha’s B team versus Gems C team.
It was an enthusiastic play from the Raha players, not only because they were attentive, and kept a keen watch on the tactics of other teams that played on the ground, but also because they collaborated well with one another. It was evident that they studied the weaknesses of players such as the goal keeper, as one player arrived to the conclusion saying “I think the goal keeper is not good at his kicks so we must try keeping the ball low during shots.” They had frequent and properly angled passes to one another, to restrict the opponents of taking possession of the ball and one of their trump cards was their ability to dodge the ball between their legs as an opponent attacked. They also occasionally used their body to block players behind them, as they received a passed ball and their teamwork is also to be gratified, due to their frequent shouts like “Hey,” “Here.”
The game did have some blemishes, for example, the Raptors captain agreed that their team needs to train the players to use more ground space so that they can dodge the ball freely and avoid having the opponents to block them, i.e. “Having players at ends,” as described by one player, when asked. However, at this young age, this can be set aside, but surely something to work on in the future, as they refine their skills further. The Raptors also said they had done a bag load of practice, and this is evident through their pyrotechnic display.
For all that the teams thumped around for, the goals scored were not many, and the first game resulted in a draw, with a score of 0-0. In the second game, the dazzling play of the Raptors in team B left Gems dejected, as a player Rashid from Raha, shot a clean goal, resulting in a score of 1-0 in favour of the Raptors, about 12 minutes into the game. This ended in a joyful win for the Raptors, and adding to this wonderful atmosphere, the numerous glittering faces of parents who came to pick up their children towards the end of the match. Overall, they deserve a complimentary high-five. Well done Raptors!