By REDintern Ismail Farhan Anuar
Meridian Junior College, Friday, May 11, 2012 — St Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC) avenged their defeat by Victoria Junior College (VJC) in the semi-final of the National A Division Boys’ Football Championship last year by beating them 4-2 penalties after the game ended 1-1 after extra time.
Stand-in captain Muhammad Syafiq opened the scoring at the first meaningful attempt on goal by SAJC, and Mohamad Shijudeen replied with a goal at the stroke of half-time to bring VJC back on level terms. Both teams had chances to seal the game, but could not add to their goal tallies after a combination of luck, poor finishing and fantastic goalkeeping from both sides.
The game started at a frenetic pace, with both sides nervous and having difficulties keeping possession of the ball. A hopeful long ball was cleared hurriedly by the VJC goalkeeper and from the resulting throw-in, Muhammad Syafiq curled in a vicious right footed shot into the left corner of the goal.
Muhammad Syafiq continued to be a thorn in the VJC defence, dictating play from midfield by creating chances and putting in strong challenges when not in possession. SAJC continued to pressure VJC, with Foo Ce Rong using his pace to get behind the VJC defence and cross from the byline, only for VJC captain Khairul Anwar to make an important goal line clearance. SAJC’s defence was also solid, clearing their lines and keeping the backline tight.
VJC started to take control of the match. From a throw-in in the final third of the pitch, Mohamad Shijudeen tested the keeper but the SAJC keeper was alert and tipped it over to safety. It was a warning which was not heeded by SAJC as a similar chance later was smashed in by the same player again to bring VJC back into the match. The half ended at 1-1 with all to play for.
The second half started in a similar fashion. SAJC were faster off the blocks and 15 minutes into the second half, VJC survived a major scare. Samuel Kong controlled a loose ball in the box and tried to curl it into the top right hand corner of the goal, only to hit the woodwork with the VJC goalkeeper completely beaten.
Perhaps inspired by their fortune, VJC dominated the rest of the match with Santosh Magar, Hieng Pheak Kdey and Shen Hao combining brilliantly to create chance after chance but were let down by poor finishing.
During extra time, many players were visibly exhausted with their repeated requests for refreshments from the bench. Players were also going down with cramps and some were struggling. Extra time ended without any real chance created from both sides with the final score remaining at 1-1.
During the penalty shootout, VJC captain Khairul Anwar missed the first penalty and he looked visibly distraught as his teammate consoled him. Tan Zheng Yee then missed the crucial fourth penalty after he skied his shot over the bar to send SAJC through to the final.
SAJC teacher-in-charge Roland Lee downplayed his team’s chance in the final against Meridian Junior College (MJC), who beat Anglo-Chinese Junior College 4-0 in the other semi-final.
“MJC won their [semi-final] match 4-0, so we will be facing them in the final. They are the defending champions, and favorites to win the competition. As you can see, we also experienced a lot of casualties during this match. VJC is a quality team, but we hit the bar and their keeper also made a point blank save in the second half.”
When asked on his opinion of the stand out player of the match, the coach was inclined to credit the whole team.
“The whole team played well together. This is a young team, with many beginners, but they were determined to reach the final. Before the game, they pledged to give SAJC a team in the final because (the other sports teams in SAJC) had been knocked out at the semis.”
SAJC 1 VJC 1 (SAJC through to the final after beating VJC on penalties 4-2)
Muhammad Syafiq (#10) 2’
Mohamad Shijudeen (#14) 39’
Mitchell Chan Chun Kiat (#18) – scored
Tan Hong Ting (#23) – scored
Phua Xian Rong Esmond (#11) – scored
Muhammad Syafiq (#10) – scored
Khairul Anwar B Mohd Mashren(#15) – missed
Shen Hao (#7) – scored
Hieng Pheak Kdey (#9) – scored
Tan Zheng Yee(#8) – missed
Gabriel Teo (GK), Lim Joel (#9), Shamir Robinson (#20), P Vinoth (#16), Foo Ce Rong Solomon (#8), Bishesh Sherchan (#4), Muhammad Syafiq (#10), Miitchell Chan Chun Kiat (#18), Samuel Kong Wei Heng (#6), Marcus Chua Poh Leng (#5), Muhammad Khairuddin (#7)
Phua Xian Rong Esmond #11 in for #16, Tan Hong Ting #23 in for #20, Tan Jin Cheng Jeremy #22 in for #8, Nikhil Khattar #14 in for #4
Tan Hong Ting #23 takes armband during extra time.
Horatio Ho (GK), Santosh Magar (#10), Muhammad Ammar B Mohamad Fazali (#11), Hieng Pheak Kdey (#9), Shen Hao (#7), Ho Ren Yi Jonas (#13), Mohamad Shijudeen B Bajar (#14), Tan Zheng Yee (#8), Khairul Anwar B Mohd Mashren (#16), Lee Si Yuan Paul (#17), Wilbert Lim Foong (#5)
Pritesh P Kamani #6 in for #5, Muhammad Deferdauz B Noordin #12 in for #11, Wee Cheng Hao Ryan #2 in for #14
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