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Since his childhood days, Amir had lived alone with his grandpa and the two of them shared a very special relationship. They were always seen together and seemed inseparable. Both of them had a common passion - football.

Amir was the smallest of the class when he entered secondary school. Although he loved football, he was only selected as a reserve player as he was not good enough and was also considered too short. He was always sitting on the substitute's bench watching the game. However, as a determined person, Amir always hoped he would be given a chance to play when he became a senior.

All through secondary school he came early for all the games, but remained a substitute throughout the five years. Amir was very envious of the other players who were all very much better than he. In his free time, Amir would be watching videos of great football matches to improve his skills. Determined to become a better player, he asked for extra tips from his coach. Not wanting to disappoint him, the coach agreed but knew it would not make any difference. Using the tips he had learnt, he practised regularly. His faithful grandpa would be in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him. The coach and his teammates were very impressed with his grandpa.

When Amir went to college, he decided to try out for the football team there. Everyone was sure he would not be selected, but he proved them wrong. He made the team but again as a reserve. The coach admitted that he kept Amir on the reserve list because he had always put his heart and soul into every practice. Besides, his dedication inspired the rest of his team. The news that he had been selected thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest telephone to call his grandpa. The old man was equally excited. Each time Amir's team played, he made it a point to be there. The persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college but still he never got to play in any matches.

It was the end of his senior football season and, as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before a match, the coach met him with a message. Amir read the note and he turned pale. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to his coach, "My grandpa ... died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?"

The coach put his arm gently around his shoulders and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son. And don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday. Take care."

Saturday arrived, and the game was not going too well. In the second half, when the team was two goals behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the changing room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon after his grandpa's death.

A whistle sounded. A player was injured and had to be taken off the field. A substitute was needed. Amir boldly approached the coach. "Coach, please let me play. I have just got to play today," Amir pleaded.

The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in such an important game. But Amir persisted and, finally feeling sorry for him, the coach gave in. "All right," he said. "You can go on."

Before long, the coach, the players and the spectators could not believe their eyes. This unknown little reserve, who had never played in the team before, was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied at 2-2. In the closing seconds of the game, Amir took control of the ball and raced past three defenders. The cheering was thunderous. Amir had scored the winning goal! The fans were overjoyed. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. It was indeed a sweet victory for Amir.

Finally, after the team had showered and left the changing room, the coach noticed Amir sitting quietly in the corner all alone. Approaching him, the coach patted his shoulders and said, "Amir, I can't believe it. You were fantastic! How did you do it?"

Amir looked at the coach and with tears in his eyes said, "Well, you knew my grandpa died, but did you know that he was blind?" He swallowed hard and forced a smile. "Grandpa came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!"


Answer the following questions using complete sentences



a) From paragraph 2, give one reason why Amir was chosen only as a reserve player.

b) From paragraph 3, why did the coach agree to give Amir extra tips ?



From paragraph 4, how did Amir feel when he was selected as a reserve player ?



a) From paragraph 5, what news was conveyed in the message ?

b) From paragraph 7, why do you think the coach and the other players were surprised to see Amir ?



a) From paragraph 9, why was the coach unwilling to allow Amir to play in such an important match ?

b) Which word in paragraph 10 has the same meaning as 'deafening' ?

c) From paragraph 11, why do you think Amir was sitting all alone in the corner ?



What kind of man was Amir's grandpa ? Give one quality and provide a reason to support your answer.


Based on the passage given, write a summary of:

* Amir's effort to achieve success in football after he became a reserve player, and

* how he surprised his coach on the day of the important match

After Amir had been chosen as a reserve player, he ...

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a) Amir was not good enough.

b) The coach did not want to disappoint Amir.



Amir felt thrilled when he was selected as a reserve player.



a) The message conveyed the news that his grandpa died that morning.

b) They were surprised to see Amir because they did not expect him to be back so soon after his grandpa's death.



a) Amir was the worst player, hence the coach had no confidence in him.

b) The word 'thunderous' in paragraph 10 has the same meaning as 'deafening'.

c) Amir was probably thinking about hsi grandpa.



Quality: Supportive. Reason: Although he was blind, he made it a point to be at all Amir's games and practices to lend him moral support.


After Amir had been chosen as a reserve player, he would watch videos of outstanding football matches to improve his skills. He asked for additional tips from his coach and used them in his regular practices. In college, he remained a substitute but put his heart and soul into every practice and never missed any practice. His dedication inspired everyone. One the day of the important match, he surprised his coach and his teammates when he appeared so soon after his grandpa's death. he pleaded with his coach to let him play. Finally, the coach agreed and Amir surprised everyone as he played. He did everything right and his opponents could not stop him. He took control of the ball, raced past the defenders and scored  a triumphant, winning goal. (130 words)


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Comprehension 1


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