The Amaanah Lions 1st Team needed a late goal to steal a point against Long Run FC in the season's third game.
Coming off two comfortable victories, the Lions 1st team were understandably confident going into Sunday's game with mid table Long Run FC. With six points from six this season, and a yield of eleven goals, the Lions had already set themselves up as the team to beat.
Despite this form, starting the game with just eight players was a dangerous strategy. With absences in the squad for potential college visits, and last minute transport issues, the team took the field three men short. Under pressure from the outset, midfield and defense did well not to concede. Late arrivals brought the Lions up to full strength after thirty testing minutes, setting up a busy finish to the first half.
Amaanah opened the scoring on thirty five minutes, when striker Khalid Abdulkhalik, the league's top scorer, found himself in space just inside the box and drilled home low into the bottom right hand corner. The offense should have added a second just minutes later, with an unnamed 41 year old striker flashing a free header just left of the post.
The Lions' advantage was all to brief, with Long Run scoring twice on the break just a few minutes later to take a 2-1 lead into half time. Lions Coach Chakir Cherif had more tactical options, with the team at full strength, and the Lions looked better organized after the break.
The second half was a slower, more even affair with both teams struggling to take charge of midfield. Each team added a goal, and Long Run held onto a 3-2 lead into the dying minutes, thanks in part to a saved penalty and some strong goalkeeping.
But as the clock ticked over into the last minute, Archit Neopane broke loose on the left, and his low drive into the far right corner gave captain Abdul Rahman Hussain the point his team deserved, after a battling sub-less performance.
Amaanah Lions are away to Zaman FC on October 14th at 12.00pm.