By REDintern Ismail Farhan Bin Anuar
Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore, Wednesday, June 27, 2012 — The Singapore Under-15s were trounced 6-0 by a physically superior Manchester City Under-15 side in the Canon Lion City Cup.
Singapore U15s had started the match as underdogs, and with an uphill task of having to defeat Manchester City in their match and the tie-breaker shootout to stand any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. In the end, it proved to be too difficult for the young Cubs and they were outclassed by their stronger opponents.
However, what they lacked in terms of skill, strength, stamina, and experience, they made up with a performance full of courage and determination. This is because, despite being labeled as the Singapore U15s, the team is made up of boys from the National Football Academy’s under-14 squad.
Despite what the scoreline suggests, the Singapore U15s actually were matching the Manchester City players for the first 10 minutes of the game. The forwards Hami Syahin and Jordan Chan were working hard to pressure Man City high up the pitch, not giving them the time and space to build-up from the back.
Unfortunately, Singapore U15s’ midfield weren’t as effective in their defensive work, and they were soon pushed back closer toward their own half.
The Singapore U15s’ resistance finally broke when City captain Thomas Holland lobbed a pass over the static Singapore U15 defence in the 14th minute for Joseph Nuttall to calmly slot the ball past Singapore U15s goalkeeper, Kenji Rusydi.
The 6’2″ Joseph Nuttall was causing a lot of problems for the Singapore U15s defence as he stood at least a head taller than the tallest Singapore U15 defender. The Singapore U15s defence were also often caught ball-watching, and it was not long before they were punished again by an incisive pass from Deri Corfe to release Joseph Nuttall one-on-one with only the keeper to beat. Nuttall rounded the keeper with ease to make it 2-0 on the 30th minute.
Things got worse for Singapore U15s when Marcus Wood picked up a loose ball from 25 yards and then unleashed an unstoppable piledriver past the helpless Kenji Rusydi to make it 3-0 in the 37th minute.
The second half did not go any better for the Singapore U15s. City had most of the ball while Singapore U15s were struggling to nick the ball off them. Whenever the Singapore U15 won possession, they lost it almost immediately.
City continued to create chances with ease and scored two goals in two minutes as Aaron Namane and Lukas Nmecha buried their shot past substitute keeper Adib Hakim in the 47th and 49th minute. By now, it was damage-limitation time for the Singapore U15s with City leading 5-0 with still about half an hour left to play.
Substitute Joe Hardy then made the Singapore U15s’ misery complete when he dribbled past the entire Singapore defence before dinking a shot past the onrushing Adib Hakim to make it 6-0 in the 56th minute.
Despite going down with such a humiliating scoreline, the Singapore U15s will come out from this match with some invaluable experience and will hopefully know what to expect when they represent Singapore again next year.
The Singapore U15s head coach Nazri Nasir said: “I would like to congratulate Manchester City. They outplayed us in many areas, especially in the physical department. In the second half I made some changes and at 3-0 down it was going to be hard for them to come back.”
“But I think they still gave their all still, they tried to fight back and never gave up. It will be good experience for them to learn from this,” Nazri added.
Manchester City U15s head coach Scott Sellars said: “I’m really pleased with the performance and also two of the goal-scorers are only 13 years old. I think the Singapore side is a very young team, and physically we are ahead. And I think that made the difference tonight.”
In an earlier match, Ajax beat Porto 3-1 to earn their place in the semi-finals against Manchester City.
Singapore U15s 0 Manchester City 6
Man of the Match
Singapore U15s Starting Lineup
Kenji Rusydi(GK) (Adib Hakim 41’), Rusyaidi Salime (Abdul Azim 58’), Shahrul Affandy (C), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Hami Syahin, Jordan Chan, Danish Jefri, Amer Nazri, Syukri Bashir (Royston Tan 64’), Haiqal Anugrah, Syahrul Sazali (Fadzyl Misawal 35’)
Substitutes: Adib Hakim, Fazyl Misawal, Danial Shafiq, Prakash Raj, Abdul Azim, Mikhail Ramdan, Royston Tan
Manchester City U15 Starting Line-up
Daniel Grimshaw(GK), Adam Robinson, Joshua Murray, Charles Oliver (David Brooks 52’), Aaron Nemane, Thomas Holland (C), Jospeh Nuttall (Joseph Hardy 50’), Callum Bullock (Cameron Humphreys 41’), Ryan Ellison, Deri Corfe (William Patching 41’), Marcus Wood (Lukas Nmecha 41’)
Substitutes: Bradley McDonagh, Cameron Humphreys, Yvan Wassi, David Brooks, Joseph Hardy, Lukas Nmecha, William Patching
Date: Friday, June 29, 2012
Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium
Semi-Final 1: Ajax Vs Man City, 6pm
Semi-Final 2: Vasco Da Gama Vs Singapore U16s, 8.45pm