By Chan Hui Mui/Red Sports

cassandra soh singapore vs namibia netball nations cup

Cassandra Soh’s outstanding shooting in the game could not prevent Singapore’s first loss in the Nations Cup to Namibia. (Photo courtesy of Netball Singapore)


Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Tuesday, December 4, 2012 — After two victories against Malaysia (44-42) and Republic of Ireland (54-34), Singapore lost 51-58 to Namibia on the third day of the 7th Nations Cup.

Singapore played Namibia in last year’s Nations Cup and won that match 53-43.

“We played well in the second half. However, if only we could have display that performance in the first half, the result might have been different. We took awhile to adjust and we could not find our flow. Furthermore, the shooting percentage could have been slightly better in such a tight game,” said Singapore co-captain, Jean Ng.

Singapore’s attackers struggled to find their footing in the first quarter while the Namibian defenders dominated and forced several unforced errors.

Singapore shooters had 11 attempts to Namibia’s 19 in the first quarter and our girls trailed 9-14 after the first quarter.

Cassandra Soh, 22, came on as Goal Shooter and made a difference for Singapore at the attacking end. However, our shooters’ dismal 69% accuracy could not match Namibia’s 89% shooting accuracy.

Chen Li Li, playing in the Goal Keeper position, was constantly being pulled out for obstruction which allowed the ball to be sent into the shooting circle immediately, letting the defensive effort go to waste. Singapore trailed 20-30 at the end of the first half.

Singapore made some adjustment to the lineup, with Nur Aqilah Afiqah coming on in Wing Defence and Jean Ng moving from Wing Defence to Goal Keeper. The adjustment made an impact and Singapore went on a 7-2 run to start the second half.

However, Singapore could not maintain their momentum, allowing four unanswered goals from Namibia. Singapore regained their momentum but our defensive efforts were not enough to create sufficient turnovers to narrow the deficit.

Singapore entered the final quarter trailing 35-45 while the home crowd continued to cheer on our girls. The girls in red refused to admit defeat, putting up a stunning performance in the final quarter as they sank 16 goals out of 19 attempts (84%). However, time ran out for Singapore and our girls lost 51-58.

“The game came alive for Singapore in the second half. We were a bit still in our attack in the first half but we had a great flow in the second half. We had sharper drives and more change of directions (which helped the flow of attack),” said Singapore technical consultant, Kate Carpenter.

“Cassandra did well at the attacking end, probably one of the best games I have seen so far. She shot well today. Overall, we did not have as many turnovers as we wanted. This is because Namibia players have great ability and they were very patient with their play.

“Looking forward for tomorrow game against Tanzania, we need to reduce unforced errors and create more turnovers, particularly in the centre third. Also, we need to stop giving away the ball too easily, such as obstructions,” added Carpenter.

Singapore, Namibia, and Malaysia all have identical 2-1 win-loss records. Singapore will need to win their next two matches, against Tanzania and Sri Lanka, to qualify for the final.

Day 3
Tanzania 67 Republic of Ireland 24
(Half Time: 30-12)
Sri Lanka 66 Malaysia 73
(HT: 30-41)
Singapore 51 Namibia 58
(HT: 20-30)

Day 2
Namibia 65 Sri Lanka 69
(HT: 32-37)
Singapore 54 Republic of Ireland 34
(HT: 29-16)
Malaysia 36 Tanzania 61
(HT: 17-32)

Day 1
Singapore 44 Malaysia 42
(HT: 19-22)
Namibia 58 Republic of Ireland 25
(HT: 35-10)
Tanzania 67 Sri Lanka 51
(HT: 33-29)