A game of missed chances, poor concentration, a lapse in defense, miss passes, and match fitness ended in defeat as Alonzi punished PSC in the last minute to win the game. The game can only be described as September blues as several team members failed to tick and do the minimum to ensure a win. Maybe it’s the missing coach during the week, the changing weather patterns, the imminent lack of watermelons at the halfway break coupled with the lack of bottled water that assured the September blues as the team failed to kick in from the onset. Buffalos controlled the game from the onset testing Donarumman who captained the side for the first time. It was imminent that something was a miss as the team failed to make the free-flowing passes that we are used to. A game where Parklands were second best and always chasing game would be remembered for the errors and missed chances that prevented a win.
Babu for the umpteenth time proved that water is wet, and had a right to complain to the team about the results. Exposed at times, he made several point-blank saves that kept the team in the game but today wasn’t the day. As the captain, he was outspoken directing team members on position and trying to up the tempo and it was a great letdown for not coming out with a win in the game. Despite the own goal there is no longer doubt about whose PSC Out of Town starting keeper.
Gitau continued to show his versatility at the back being solid and making marauding runs with his crosses creating chances in the game. In the second half, he was switched to center back and slotted in like a jigsaw puzzle. Against tough opponents, Gitau joined Babu and Johnny in being the players who turned up for the match.
Waire was the busier of the fullback, facing very fast tricky wingers but he had his one trusted answer; it has worked before, it has always worked, and he will take no prisoners. If tackling was an extreme sport then he would be the champion. Serving tackles like potatoes in a Kikuyu dish, he was effective in neutralizing any significant threats that were brought. His goal-saving tackled cut a goal-scoring chance but earning him a yellow card instead. He lives to fight another day.
Steve and Lenny continued their partnership, at this rate it should be registered as a marriage and a certificate issued to finish the center back debate. Even though they appeared to struggle at the quick tempo and short passing of Buffalo they were impenetrable able with their only undoing being unable to link up passes with the midfield. However, even this came to pass as the team grew into the game. They pushed the opponents to use the wings and rather had a quiet game. Coincidentally it became the first game that both players were subbed off; Lenny a tactical sub while Steve gave in to the demands of the body detailing the importance of the watermelons in refreshing key players at halftime. P.S. The new boots didn’t disappoint Steve.
Zlatan, Johnny, and Mwai played in midfield against a five midfield defense which proved a challenge. The task proved difficult as not only did the defense receive significant pressure but the strikers were significantly isolated. However, the midfielders battled and after the first few minutes, shocks grew into the game. Zlatan controlled the midfield playing 6 and tried to create a rhythm in the team. Misplaces from the defense coupled with the pressure from the opponent did not make his work easier. He however contributed significant passes and showed that he can operate as a deep-lying midfielder. After a decent day's work, he gave way to Abu to continue the good work.
A game to forget for Bassanga as nothing clicked his way, everything we know he is and capable of providing the team was there; hard work, aggression, tackles, passes but somehow nothing worked his way. Maybe it was the boots, maybe it was where he slept, maybe it wasn’t just his day or maybe it was the thought of no watermelons that had put him off his pace. The 90-minute man was substituted as the coaches grew patient with waiting for him to pick up the pace. But it was a blessing in disguise as he came back on for injured Steve to marshal the defense and bring urgency to the game. However, with mother lack not on his side, his tussle with Alonzi which he wins 100% of the time ended with him on the back foot. The ball eager to misbehave slipped over his boots, while his boots also gave way as he slipped allowing Alonzi to slot in the back of the net. Please return to your normal pregame ritual to return, we need the mojo back.
If Zlatan put on a standard performance in midfield, and Bassanga a substandard performance, then Johny put on a masterclass performance. Eager to make the runs to support in attack and also tracking back in defense, he ran himself dry, and even after he could only sweat salt the coaches refused his request to be subbed off. Providing a man of the match performance despite the off day in the office for the team he was a trusting light with two goals and an assist.
Ogochee and Tiger were called up to supply the crosses from the wings and they made their shares of runs. With Buffalo operating with wingbacks, they had to drift back to assist in defense with Tiger finding himself at a loss resulting in a heavy burden for Gitau. However, he made up for it with an attacking hustle once beating the keeper only for his right leg to prove it can only climb the bed. With only the goal to beat, and untrusting of his right leg, he struggled to turn, and when he eventually brought his leg to be, he miscued the ball drawing a Covid-19 curve over the bar. Always determined, always fighting, he made up for his error, winning the ball in the flanks turning his man in and out, and setting up Johnny with only the keeper to beat.
Sisco trusted to lead the line had a quiet game, deprived of the balls that he is used to be feed on. Having turned a defender he had a shot go wide of the mark but was in the right position to tap in Johnny’s weighted pass into the net. He also forced the goalkeeper into a point-blank save in the second half but still, the beast in him was missing when the team needed him the most.
If the team had a difficult game, the subs had one to forget. Ericko however, proved a nuisance to the opponents increasing the pressure on the left-wing. He was unlucky to have his shot blocked by a defender having beaten the goalkeeper. Furthermore, he won the penalty that resulted in the third goal for PSC. He was, however, guilty of missing a couple of chances much to the furor of the coach and the bench. Karani also brought life to the wings, bringing in a couple of crosses but was unfortunate to have a greater impact. However, as he continues to regain match sharpness a lot is expected. Izo was more effective in the midfield but even he was overwhelmed by the excess opponents operating in his space. Abu had a quieter game also failing to click with the unfamiliar midfield partners and the long balls from the opponents that starved the midfield of any action. Lefty had a more enjoyable afternoon attacking and supporting Ericko and was unlucky to not get at least an assist. A return for Mitch in fullback was not overwhelming seeing him complete all his passes and tackles. However, questions of his fitness persist as he struggled in covering up some of the runs from Buffalo.
In a game that the turbo failed to pick, the better team won, but a wake-up call was received. There is hope for a victory in the next game and further hope that the hugely missed watermelons would be back to motivate the players at halftime.