Coming off the back of an impressive 6-0 victory over Chungchan Normal University on Nov 3, the RIASA team were looking to get another win in their second group game of the China International Junior Football Championships.
The student-athletes certainly weren’t showing any signs of fatigue from the previous day’s game – scoring 4 goals in the opening 15 minutes. Within a minute of kick-off, Immanuel Kinuthia continued his appetite for scoring with a good finish off an assist from Dean Phillips (1-0).
3 minutes later, De Leiderkerke converted with a characteristically cool finish (2-0). On the 6 minute mark, Nathanial Stewart opened his scoring tally to give RIASA a 3-goal lead (3-0). To finish the barrage of early goals, Kinuthia was back in the 15th minute to set himself up for a hat-trick after an assist from Colin Clarke (4-0).
That hat-trick came to fruition in the 34th minute for ‘Manu’ Kinuthia, who didn’t look like easing up on the goals any time soon (5-0). Following another goal from De Leiderkerke in the 38th minute (6-0), RIASA went into the half-time break with an impressive 6-0 lead.
Time to relax? Not for these student-athletes.
Within the minute, Colin Clarke opened his scoring account with an early goal assisted by speedy winger, Victor Davis (7-0). In the 50th minute, left-back Cole Heard had the chance to extend the side’s lead with a penalty kick but did not succeed in beating the Hong Kong Goalkeeper.
Immanuel Kinuthia made sure that the scoring wasn’t over just yet, with another goal in the 53rd minute, created by an impressive recovery run from Sol Griffin (8-0). Just 3 minutes later, Nathanial Stewart grabbed his second of the game, again, assisted by Sol Griffin (9-0).
RIASA waited a long 12 minutes (long for this team!) before Immanuel Kinuthia grabbed his 5th goal of the game in the 68th minute, firmly putting him as top goalscorer in the squad and putting the scoreline into double figures (10-0).
Nathanial Stewart secured his hat-trick in the 73rd with what is being hailed as the goal of the tournament due to the impressive build-up play leading to the clean finish (11-0). Just a few minutes before the full-time whistle, Dean Phillips tied up the scoring for the day with a goal from a swinging corner – saying afterwards “I’ve been trying to do that for months!”.
Well if there was ever a game to try it, it was this one.
Onto Group Game 3!