Jalan Besar Stadium, Tuesday, May 8, 2012 — Raffles Institution (RI) grabbed a last-minute winner in injury time to beat Meridian Junior College (MJC) 1-0 in the A Division Girls’ Football Championship final, taking home their first ever title.
MJC had been touted as the favourites to win after they defeated four-time defending champions Victoria JC 2-0 in the semi-finals. However, MJC had trouble in their finishing against RI’s resolute defense and they ultimately paid the price when RI managed a successful counter-attack, with Koo Hui Fen (RI #23) scoring a goal with just one minute left in injury time.
For the first 10 minutes of the game, both teams were largely locked in midfield. MJC had an early corner in the 5th minute but nothing came out of it.
In the 13th minute, MJC captain Abigail Tan (#7) took a shot but sent it safely into the hands of RI goalkeeper Choo Yun Ting (#1). MJC continued to have several good opportunities but simply had trouble connecting and either saw the shot saved or dispossessed.
In the 24th minute, MJC had another opportunity to score from a corner but a miskick by Angeline Tan (MJC #5) meant that the match remained goalless till the half-time whistle.
MJC made a double substitution at half-time with T Suganthi (#10) and Nur Fitri (#23) coming on for Jemima Lee (#11) and Ola Elsaid Ahmed Abdalla (#14). MJC pressed forward right from the whistle and were awarded a corner 30 seconds into the half.
RI goalkeeper Choo Yun Ting (#1) pulled off a save to prevent MJC from getting on the scoresheet.
In the 38th minute, RI had a chance at goal when Koo Hui Fen (RI #23) made a dash down the left flank to fire off a shot which ultimately went wide.
MJC dominated the second half and were constantly in RI’s defensive half. RI threw all their players back to defend with their defensive row forming up to nine players at a time. MJC however still had many attempts on goal which constantly tested the RI goalkeeper. Yun Ting (#1) was called upon to save several shots from MJC.
In the 58th minute, MJC had the best of chances to score. Angeline Tan (MJC #5) fired off a shot which bounded off the RI goalkeeper’s hand but MJC were unable to tap in the deflected ball.
It seemed like just a matter of time that MJC would score judging how they were constantly in RI’s defensive half but the goals did not come by the end of 70 minutes. With two extra minutes given, the match seemed like it would be heading into extra-time.
MJC were made to pay for their failure to convert as a momentary spark saw RI embark on a quick counter attack. With just one minute left, Koo Hui Fen (RI #23) found herself in a one-on-one situation with MJC goalkeeper Stella Goh (#1). She subsequently slotted the ball past Stella (MJC #1) to rapturous cheers from the team and their supporters.
With time running out fast, MJC tried to counter attack but they had no chance to equalise, allowing RI to take home the championship title.
RI 1 MJC 0
Koo Hui Fen (RI #23) – 70+1′
Choo Yun Ting (#1, GK), Tay Wen Hui (#4), Chen Yu Ying (#5), Cai Ruixin Stephanie (#7), Samantha Tan Si Tong (#10), Tran Thi Thai Khue (#11, Captain), Nanthini Kumararajan (#14), Cheng Lynn (#15), Heng Su Yun (#19), Koo Hui Fen (#23), Ang Lay Min Celeste (#24)
Reserves: Chew Chia Shao Wei (#3), Low Ying Xin (#6), Yong Zhixin Esther (#8), Tina Shen Yu Ting (#9), Tan Hui Min (#13), Tey Hwee Ting Vanessa (#17), Tan Shi Yin (#18), Chiew Wenqi (#20, GK), Zheng Jia (#22)
Goh Jia Ying Stella (#1, GK), Angeline Tan Wei Ee (#5), Seah Yang Wenn (#6), Tan Teck Min Abigail (#7, Captain), Ong Wei Ting (#8), Fatin Aqillah Bte Mohamed R (#9), Lee Xin Yi Jemima (#11), Ola Elsaid Ahmed Abdalla (#14), Amanina Bte Affan (#18), Abigail Yeap Kar Hui (#21), Nur Atiqah Bte Rizawan (#22)
Reserves: Lim Jia Qi Victoria (#2, GK), Nadira Bte Kamaludeen (#3), Yong Hwee Jun (#4), T Suganthi (#10), Yong Kai Yun Agnes (#12), Humaira Bte Ahmad (#13), Siti Nurfarahin Bte Abdul R (#17), Tham Kai Rong (#19), Nur Fitri Chang Hui Mei (#23)
MJC captain Abigail Tan (#7) is a face of dejection as RI celebrate their goal. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
For more photos, go to the next page.