On 31st January, ELS Penang took on neighboring Han Chiang College in an exciting game of soccer. The match started late at around 6:50in the evening. The ELS team, dressed in orange, were an international phenomenon. Players came from many countries, including Malaysia, Japan, China, Thailand, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The local Han Chiang College team looked a little more organized in their white jerseys as they warmed up for the match. Nevertheless, what ELS lacked in discipline, they more than made up for in spirit.
The first half of the match was slightly uneventful. ELS goalkeeper, Ashraf Farag from Libya made some excellent saves, while Libyan striker Muatazz A. Bashir, made some spirited attacks on the opposition’s goal (despite being the oldest player on the pitch!). However, it was not until the second half (following a spirited team talk from captain Muatazz and manager Teacher Lutfur) that the ELS assault really took off.
With enormous energy, Thailand’s Abdulmalik Tahea ran up the field and blasted the ball into the Han Chiang net, scoring a great goal for ELS. The joy following the goal was lessened, however, as three ELS players, including Abdulmalik, were injured. Furthermore, as time wore on, it began to get dark. As light failed, Han Chiang managed to knock a couple of balls into the ELS net. Soon play became impossible in the darkness, and ELS sportingly conceded a Han Chiang win.
Despite the injuries and disappointing loss, everyone was in great spirits after the match. The game had been a wonderful example of international cooperation and ELS can feel proud of their players and their sporting efforts on that day.
On 18th February, as Chinese New Year continued, ELS Penang enjoyed the local festivities with a colorful lion dance. The skillful dance was performed by students from neighboring Han Chiang high school. The young troop from the high school students drummed loudly, as two golden lions danced from room to room, blessing the inside of the building, following Chinese tradition. Following this excitement, ELS students got to enjoy the sight of the lions ‘eating’ lucky mandarin oranges, and spelling ‘Happy New Year’ and ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ with the leftovers. It was a fascinating cultural experience that everyone, from all countries, could appreciate.
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