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January 6, 2020

A perfect 10 for Tamil Eelam

West Papua score 2 to Tamil Eelam’s 10 in The Hague

West Papua’s second international match in two months saw them take on Tamil Eelam in The Hague on 21 December 2019, on a day more suited to sitting at home with your feet up than watching a CONIFA World Football Cup qualifier.

Only around 20 hardy souls turned up in time to watch the early kick-off, and they were rewarded for their presence when Tamil Eelam took the lead with less than a minute gone, Senthuran Uthayasuthan heading in a cross from the left at the far post.

Tamil Eelam wasted no time in attempting to double their advantage, with Nirunthan Sivananthan and Ninon Pasharajeshdavan coming close before Uthayasuthan struck again after eight minutes, running on to a cheeky chip over the West Papuan defence before, in one movement, chesting the ball upwards and heading it over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the empty net.

West Papua continued to face intense pressure from Tamil Eelam, and were fortunate not to fall further behind as shots continued to rain in on Bobbie Burger’s goal; Sharavarnaan Uthayasuthan shrugged off a challenge from a defender and curled in a shot which only just went the wrong side of the crossbar, and then Steven Sacayaradj unleashed a free kick from 25 yards out which was spectacularly kept out by Burger.

West Papua finally had a shot on goal after 24 minutes, when Miguel Lantveld’s free kick from just outside the left-hand angle of the penalty area flew inches over the bar. On the half hour, teammate Malvie Savage had a good chance to put his team on the scoreboard when he was presented with a good chance inside the box; he spurned it by badly snatching at the ball, and sending it high and wide of the Tamil Eelam goal. Coling Scintje almost managed to do what his two teammates failed to do – score – but he would not have known much about it, as he was on the end of a clearance from a Tamil Eelam defender, which ballooned off him and almost into the right-hand top corner of the net.

The West Papuans were enjoying their best spell of the match so far, and deservedly scored after 37 minutes. A lovely goal it was, too; a precise through ball was met at full speed by Rudi Geil de la Guz, and he proceeded to deftly chip the ball over Jerome Marusicin and into the bottom corner to shouts of joy from everyone in the West Papua technical area.

Five minutes later, it was the Tamil Eelam support’s turn to make some noise when Niranthan Sivananthan picked up the ball from a corner kick, and his shot flew straight and true through a packed penalty area into the top corner to make it 3-1. It was a goal of real quality, and it was followed by two more in the space of a minute right before half time.

A flowing move down the right involving Mayooran Chelliah and Sivananthan led to the latter nipping in at the near post and toe-poking the ball past Berger, and, seconds later, Senthuran Uthayasuthan completed his hat-trick by leaving a defender in his wake as he burst into the penalty area before side-footing the ball under Berger for his hat-trick and his side’s fifth goal.

The second half began with both teams showing a fair amount of attacking intent before normal service was resumed in the 51st minute when Uthayasuthan struck yet again after receiving a delightful pass which threaded through the West Papua defence, releasing him into reams of space; he ran on to stroke the ball past the substitute goalkeeper from 15 yards out.

Teammate Nirunthan Sivananthan was still hunting his hat-trick, and he came close to claiming it when his shot from the left-hand side of the area flashed across goal and just wide of the far post. But a seventh goal did follow, just a few moments later; a deftly-taken free-kick floated into the West Papua box and was chested down by Steven Sacayaradjy, who was standing unmolested in a crowded penalty area. He wasted no time in half-volleying the ball into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.

The tempo of the game slowed considerably as both teams made substitution after substitution, with West Papua using a rotation system which saw players being substituted only to reappear on the pitch a matter of minutes later. In between times, Kasthuran Chelliah’s dangerous low cross was centimetres in front of Vithurshan Vigneswan’s frantic lunge with the goalkeeper stranded.

Mayooran Chelliah, who was a member of the Tamil Eelam squad which took part at the 2018 World Football Cup, scored Tamil Eelam’s eighth from the penalty spot with 20 minutes left after Sharavarnaan Sivananthan was felled in the penalty area by Waikuma Peintury; Sivananthan’s penalty just evaded the reach of the substitute goalkeeper and arrowed into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

The goals kept coming, but West Papua did not give up, and Geil de la Guz began a personal battle with Tamil Eelam goalkeeper Marojan Srirajan which lasted for most of the last quarter of an hour. Srirajan was in the right place at the right time to deal with de la Guz’s rasping free kick which parted the Tamil Eelam defensive wall.

The duo’s duel was interrupted by a counter-attack which resulted in a ball into the West Papua penalty area which found Kasthuran Chelliah clear, but he stumbled as he was about to shoot and ended up scuffing the ball wide.

Geil de la Guz then had the chance to add to his side’s goal tally following a coming together of his teammate and a Tamil Eelam defender in the latter’s penalty area after 80 minutes, which resulted in referee Kees Ekelmann pointing to the spot. Unfortunately for West Papua, Geil de la Guz saw his penalty saved by Srirajan.

West Papua did grab a second goal three minutes later, but it will be a goal that Srirajan will prefer to forget. Kila Toilaila’s shot was delivered at a perfect height for Srirajan to make a fairly routine save, but the Tamil Eelam custodian contrived to fumble the ball and could only watch as it looped over him and dropped under the crossbar and over the line.

West Papua continued to press, but Tamil Eelam counter attacked and were awarded a penalty for handball with Samuel Taria lying prone at the other end needing treatment for a wrist injury. Thomas Thevesahayam slotted home the spot-kick, leaving the goalkeeper static. Geil de la Guz went on a run on the left-hand side, cut into the Tamil Eelam area and beat a defender with the tidiest of shimmies before curling the ball past Srirajan.

The ball beat the goalkeeper, but it came off the inside of the post, much to Geil de la Guz’s dismay, and this was compounded a minute or so later when Mayooran Chelliah broke down the right-hand side on a counter attack, performed a one-two and crossed the ball in to namesake Kasthuran, who beat a defender on the edge of the six-yard box before cutting inside and firing the ball into the back of the net to bring up a perfect 10 for Tamil Eelam just prior to Ekelmann blowing the final whistle.

It was an accomplished display from the Tamil Eelam side, who were the better team for most of the 90 minutes, and a performance that followed on from their 5-0 demolition of East Turkistan in Paris seven days earlier. West Papua may have conceded 10 goals, but it was a vast improvement on their display against East Turkistan, when they lost by eight goals to two; they were much more coherent, they never let their heads drop despite the mounting goal tally against them, and they created more chances. Positives for both sides after 90 minutes, then, but the points went to Tamil Eelam.

WEST PAPUA: 1 Bobbie BURGER (1 A N OTHER), 2 DAVID, 3 Stefanus SAPIOPER (15 Samuel TARIA), 7 Miguel LANTVELD, 19 Mansonai AP, 10 Jassin AKOUDAD (14 Coling SCINTJE), 12 Rudy GEIL DE LA GUZ (20 Kila TOILAILA), 17 Malvic SAVAGE (25 REVELINO), 21 Waikuma PENTURY, 22 Dennis BOATENG, 24 Lionel GIATHO

TAMIL EELAM: 1 Jerome MARUSICIN (29 Marajan SRIRARJAN), 2 Ninon PASHARAJESUDAVAN, 3 Sharavarnaan UTHAYASUTHAN (14 Virashan ANANDARAJAH), 6 Steven SACAYARADJ (9 Kasthuran CHELLIAH), 7 Mayooran CHELLIAH, 13 Sharavarnaan SIVANANTHAN, 15 Keerthihan KALAIALAGAN, 16 Nirunthan SIVANANTHAN, 18 Senthuran UTHAYASUTHAN (12 Vithurshan VIGNESWAN), 20 Kisanthan NAGARASA, 21 Thomas THEVASAHAYAM

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By Robin Toal

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