St. Andrew’s Junior College, Friday, May 10, 2013 – Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) held favourites Victoria Junior College (VJC) to a 0–0 draw to top their Round 2 group in the National A Division Football Championship.
For the first time this season, VJC, who have scored a championship-leading 29 goals, did not find the back of the net.
The 0–0 result left Victoria Junior College in second spot on goal difference, with ACJC having scored a goal more with six goals in Round 2. Both teams finished with identical 2-0-1 win-draw-loss records.
With both teams through to the semi-finals already, the game was to determine who would finish top of the group. Since yellow cards are carried through to the semi-finals, ACJC opted to rest four starters while VJC played without their best player Zachary Delf (#6) to avoid losing any key players to a suspension from a second yellow.
“I think we started off a bit shaky, but we played to instructions that our coach set for us, so that was good. Our defence held steady,” said ACJC vice-captain Bryan Lim.
It was a game that saw VJC do everything except score as they dominated possession. It was ACJC though, that threatened to score first. A sweet cross in by Ngen Ge Liang (#16) was met by Lin Bo (#20) but the latter’s header went straight into the waiting arms of VJC goalkeeper, Horatio Ho (#13).
That was ACJC’s only chance of note in the first half as VJC poured forward looking for their opening goal. VJC’s first clear chance came from an individual effort by Muhammad Deferdauz bin Noordin (#7). Deferdauz tore past three ACJC defenders from the left to get to the goal line but his final shot was well saved by ACJC goalkeeper Bryan Lim (#1) at the near post.
Deferdauz then missed a sitter when a cross came swinging in and he found himself at the end of it. With the goal at his mercy, he directed it over the bar.
Bryan Lim, who had a man-of-the-match performance for ACJC between the posts, then saved his team twice more – first from a Dominic Ho (#19) shot from outside the box, then from a close range effort by Nicholas Yong (#9).
Both teams trooped off a rain-slicked pitch at half time with the score at 0–0 but it could so easily have been 3–0 for VJC.
VJC continued to dominate possession in the second half but it was ACJC who got the first real chance of the half. Matthew Wong (#10) got in a shot but goalie Horatio Ho saved.
Deferdauz ran at the ACJC defence again and he made enough space for himself to get a shot off at the edge of the box but his shot hit the side netting.
With time running down, VJC threw on Zachary Delf and the substitute almost scored with his first touch. His back header was heading goalward but Bryan Lim’s acrobatic save saw him tip it over for a corner.
“It was a free kick which came into the box. Our centreback and Zach challenged for the ball and I didn’t really see the ball much but I saw it go above me so I just swung my hand,” recalled Bryan of his save.
It was the last significant chance of the half and the draw means table-toppers ACJC will play Raffles Institution in one semi-final while VJC will have to take on defending champions Meridian Junior College in the other. Both semi-finals will take place on Friday, May 17.
“I thought we played well even though we had an important player (Zachary Delf) out. We played well, we constantly pressed them, we were there in their half, we had scoring chances,” said Pritesh Kamani (#5) who took on the reins in midfield.
“Our main player was out, so they decided to give me a chance. So I hope I did alright. I usually play left back. I had a chance. I think it went well. Just disappointed we didn’t get a win out of it,” added Pritesh.
For Bryan Lim, whose save gave ACJC a clean sheet, the team and the result mattered the most.
“I’m just happy for the good result for the team and we topped the table. The team comes first,” said a modest Bryan.
For details of the semi-final fixtures, go to: 2013 National A Division Boys’ Football Championship – fixtures and results
VJC 0 ACJC 0
Bryan Lim (#1), Muhammad Aqil bin Mat Noor (#2), Darren Ezekiel Deveraj (#3), Okky Aryanto Tok (#4), Reuben Yeo (#7), Matthew Wong (#10), Jerry Ng (#11), Nicholas Ng (#12), Muhammad Shafiq bin Jalauddin (#13), Timothy See (#14), Marc Lee (#15), Ngen Ge Liang (#16), Samuel Lie Ming Khong Kartadjaja (#17), Muhammad Farhan bin Supian (#18), Kong Zhen Yong (#19), Lin Bo (#20), Gulam Irufan (#21), Boris Ratu Wee (#22) Darwish Ruzain bin Ridwan (#23), Melvin Siow (#25)
Toh Jun Ze Clarence (#1), Zubair Abdullah Bin Mazeli (#2), Muhammad Firdaus bin Asri (#3), Lim Jun Quan (#4), Pritesh P Kamani (#5), Zachary James Delf (#6), Muhammad Deferdauz bin Noordin (#7), Wee Cheng Hao Ryan (#8), Nicholas Yong Chung Wai (#9), Muhammad Ammar bin Mohamad Fazali (#10), Rohit Kumar Singh (#11), Koh Jin Kai (#12), Horatio James Ho (13), Ryuju Osamura (#14), Bradley Gan (#15), Leow Hong Wei Clarence (#16), Aw Wen Hao (#17), Nicholas Low (#18), Dominic Ho Wee Keong (#19), Yeoh Lai Hsin (#20)
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