On another humid day, the Raiders kicked off the match against an enthusiastic Tri-Hai FC. The first chance of the game came for Tri Hai with a cross from the right side into the Raiders’ box. However, Khang anticipated the cross and managed to parry the ball away to Ramos, who calmly cleared the ball up the line. The Raiders’ first chance of the game fell to Big Ben, who received the ball a few yards outside the Tri-Hai box; however, his shot was scuffed and went well wide of the goal. Soon after, a second chance came when Kristian made a great run up the left side and crossed the ball into the box for Big Ben. However, Ben’s first-time shot was parried away by the Tri Hai goalkeeper, who made a quick save.
After five minutes of Tri Hai dominating possession but not really doing much with it, Kristian played another short pass into Paulo, whose quick and skilful shot flew marginally over the bar. The next two chances came to Tri Hai, but Khang denied them with two great saves. The Raiders were the first team to draw blood as Big Eric came on as a sub, skinning two Tri-Hai players with his first two touches of the game and playing a perfectly weighted ball over the top to Big Ben. Big Ben took two touches and was a little slow to get a shot away, but the Tri-Hai keeper came slightly outside of the box and committed a handball. Big Ben took the free kick and placed the shot perfectly on target, only for the ball to be saved by the Tri-Hai keeper, but Paulo was there to eat up his porridge, calmly placing the ball into the back of the net on the rebound.
The second goal came from Tri Hai, as their midfielder played a low ball through the middle, and the striker placed the ball first time into the bottom corner with his left foot. However, the Raiders quickly struck back, with Big Eric gracefully spinning the Tri Hai winger and placing a perfect ball into Raychenco at the back post. I had my doubts if Ray would finish it, but he thumped the ball into the roof of the net. Two minutes later, Eric and Paulo displayed a masterclass in midfield, demonstrating the art of two touches. The midfielders could only stand and watch as this could only end one way. The display was polished as Paulo ended the move by playing a ball through to Big Eric, who calmly took the ball around the Tri Hai keeper with his right foot and placed the ball into the net with his left, and that was all she wrote for Tri Hai.
Overall, it was a solid display from the Raiders team, and a massive shout-out to the Raiders’ defense, which was solid the whole game. Now, onto the Saturday game at 6 p.m. to smash the Saints.