Story by REDintern Ethan Lou. Photos by Chua Yueda and Tan Jon Han/Red Sports
YOG-bound goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar gets to the ball to deny Shahfiq Ghani (U-18 #27) from adding another to their tally. The Under-18 team dominated game play to register a 4-0 victory over their juniors. (Photo 1 © Tan Jon Han/Red Sports)
Jalan Besar Stadium, Saturday, July 24, 2010 — The Singapore national under-18 national squad (U-18) beat the national under-15 squad (U-15) 4-0 after repeatedly exposing the defensive weaknesses of their Youth Olympic Games-bound juniors.
The U-15s drew 1-1 with the national under-17s last week and also beat Meridian Junior College (3-0) and St Andrew’s Junior College (2-1) in the run up to this game.
The match kicked off in a near empty stadium with the U-18s making the early attacks. Within four minutes, the U-18s made their first attempt through Delwinder Singh (#34). Although it went off target, the U18s continued with the larger portion of ball possession.
The U-15s played with ferocity and vigour with winger Jonathan Tan (#11) standing out in particular. But with the exception of the keeper, the squad’s small stature proved to be a major stumbling block as they were overwhelmed by the much bigger U18s.
In the 8th minute, Muhaymin Salim (#35) of the U-18s had a clear shot at the goal from within the penalty box but somehow the gods of football were not on his side and he missed from a narrow margin.
In the 11th minute, U-15 captain Jeffrey Lightfoot (#5) tripped U18 forward Stanley Ng (#39) but his resulting free kick was saved by U-15’s goliath of a keeper, Fashah Iskandar.
In the 18th minute, Dhukilan Jeevamani (U-15 #16) lost the ball in a dangerous position and the U-18s scored from a cross to forward Muhayim Salim to make it 1-0.
The U-15s showed some fine possession play from Amirul Iskandar (#8), Jonathan Tan (#11), Dhukilan Jeevamani and Muhaimin Suhaimi (#17) but could not make it count in the final third.
Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman of the U18s then took a long shot from well outside the penalty box but an alert Fashah Iskandar blocked it cleanly.
The U-15s then went to sleep in a span of four minutes as the U-18s score two quick goals. Some impressive passing saw Ignatius Ang (U-18 #33) scoring a second goal in the 45th minute. Three minutes later, it was 3-0 when Shamil Sharif scored with a long header from just inside the penalty box.
In the 51st minute, Hanafi Akbar (U-15 #10) had a free kick chance but his shot went over the goal.
Substitute Shafiq Ghani scored a beautiful fourth goal in the 60th minute and to complete the misery for the U-15s, they had Dhukilan sent off after a second yellow card.
Commenting on their defeat, YOG coach Kadir Yahaya said: “The match showed weakness in the team as they cannot just allow simple goals (like the first second and third). We can only accept the fourth goal.”
Elaborating on his team’s chances in the upcoming YOG, Kadir said: “It’s all up to the boys. They can play but they are nervous. If they are not nervous, we would definitely do better. We have a psychologist on board. I think they can cope.”
For information on the YOG squad fixtures, go to the 2010 YOG FIXTURES page
Muhayim Salim 18′
Ignatius Ang 45′
Shamil Sharif 48′
Shahfiq Ghani 60′
YOG (U-15) 0
U-18 Starting Lineup
Ng Jia Fa (#50, GK), Ali Hudzaifi (#26, captain), Delwinder Singh (#34), Arisman Arman (#43), Shakir Hamzah (#28), Ignatius Ang (#33), Justin Khiang (#45), Shamil Sharif (#36), Stanely Ng (#39), Muhaymin Salim (#35), Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman (#40).
YOG (U-15) Starting Lineup
Fashah Iskandar (#1, GK), Illyas Lee (#14), Syazwan Radhi (#3), Jeffrey Lightfoot (#5, captain), Dhukilan Jeevamani (#16), Jonathan Tan (#11), Amirul Iskandar (#8), Ammirul Emmran (#8), Hanafi Akbar (#10), Muhaimin Suhaimi (#17).
Jonathan Tan (U-15) tries to get past the U-18 defence. (Photo 2 © Chua Yueda/Red Sports)
For more photos, go to the next page