By Koh Yizhe/Red Sports
Nanyang Polytechnic’s star captain Indra Sahdan (in blue) scored a brace as he led his team to their first victory of the POL-ITE Football Championship with a slim 2-1 win over ITE. (Photo 1 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Republic Polytechnic, Wednesday, October 14, 2009 – A brace in the first half from national striker Indra Sahdan Daud was enough to seal a 2-1 win for Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) over an experienced and skilled Institute of Technical Education (ITE) side in the Polytechnic-Institute of Technical Education (POL-ITE) Football Championship.
The national skipper rounded the ITE goalkeeper to score his side's first in the 14th minute. He then doubled NYP's lead from the spot in the 33rd minute after he was brought down in the box.
Although they controlled the match completely in the second half, ITE could only pull one back with a penalty in the 56th minute. They would count themselves unfortunate as they hit the post in the second half while camping in NYP's half.
"We were lucky!" exclaimed NYP's coach Sudiat Dali, releasing a sigh of relief. "ITE are a very strong side with very experienced players, and they would count themselves very unlucky. They had quite a few chances, and maybe with a little bit of luck, they could have won."
Just like the coach mentioned, it was no walk in the park for NYP. They were very much on the back foot during long periods of the match. After taking the lead, they had to contend with pressure from ITE with #14 terrorizing NYP's defense.
NYP's goalkeeper was called into action to keep out #21's shot, before Indra gave NYP some breathing room with his spot kick. ITE, however, continued to dominate the match and half-time couldn't have come sooner for NYP.
Much of the same followed in the second half with ITE having majority of possession. Despite pushing NYP to their limits, they failed to find the equaliser.
Indra was reduced to a mere spectator as supply to him was totally cut off.
Coach Sudiat felt this was due to the lack of match fitness.
"For a lot of these players, this is the first time playing so their fitness level is a bit low. That is why we were very slow in the second half. Another reason might be because they are nervous."
"Indra played well and contributed two good goals," commented Sudiat on his star player's performance. "But he has to learn to come back to defend. In the second half, when the players were tired, there was no supply for him. He has to get the ball."
"I also have a few players that are playing for S.League clubs. I hope get them back during the next match."
Indra also gave his views about the victory.
"As a striker, it always feels good to score! We have secured our first win so that is great!" reflected Indra after the match.
"I definitely have a good team here with me. If they play to their full potential and everybody plays their part, we will be very good. I have only been to two or three training sessions so I am not so gelled with the team. Hopefully as the matches go by, I'll be able to play as part of the team," said the NYP captain.
NYP will hope to build on this win against Temasek Polytechnic on Tuesday. However, they will be without the services of Indra as he is on international duty with the national team in Vietnam.
Shiam Jerome Rajagopal ushers the ball into his goalkeeper’s arms, away from the lurking Muhd Khairulhin Bin Mohd Khalid. (Photo 2 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Muhammad Zulfadhli Bin Suzliman curls a freekick towards goal. (Photo 3 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Muhd Khairulhin collects the ball in the NYP penalty area. He was a menace to NYP with his powerful presence in the box. (Photo 4 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Muhd Khairulhin attempts to control the ball while defenders close in on him … (Photo 5 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
… but he lost control and allowed the ball to roll away from him. (Photo 6 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Kamarul Shobir Bin Abdul Rahman slides in to stop ITE’s forward from progressing further. (Photo 7 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Pirakaash Chinna Kumar (in blue) jumps up to challenge a header. (Photo 8 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
Indra sends the goalkeeper the wrong way with the penalty in the first half … (Photo 9 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
… then Muhammad Zulfadhli Bin Suzliman does the same in the second half for ITE. (Photo 10 © Koh Yizhe/Red Sports)
N.B. If you recognise the players in the photos, please let us know their names in the comments section and we'll update the captions. Thanks.