Story by Jiexin Neo/Red Sports. Photos by Lim Yong Teck and Louisa Goh/Red Sports
Jalan Besar Stadium, Monday, May 19, 2014 — Victoria Junior College (VJC) dashed Raffles Institution’s (RI) hopes with a last-minute goal to win 1–0 and retain their National A Division Girls Football Championship title. RI finished in third position last year.
Sara Merican (VJC #7) scored the winning goal for her team in the final minute of extra time.
RI earned a free-kick early into the game, but Lim Li Xian (VJC #10) headed the ball away. Li Xian (#10) cleared RI’s shots on several occasions to deny them any goals.
VJC dominated on possession in the first half but it was Louise Marie Lee (RI #3) who nearly managed to put the ball in the net. She got past VJC goalkeeper, Ho Yii Hwei (VJC #15), just before the halftime break, but her attempt was ruled offside to leave the sides tide at 0–0 heading into the second half.
In the second half, Elizabeth Jane Ong (RI #6) had a free-kick attempt go just wide of the post. She took another one just outside the box but goalkeeper Yii Hwei (#15) calmly saved it. She threatened VJC’s defence with several good runs but nothing came of it.
Li Xian (VJC #10) was instrumental in pacing her team’s attacks as she brought the ball into the RI half most of the time. She tried for a shot but goalkeeper Tan Pei Ling (#1) dived to save. Cheryl Lim (VJC #16) also connected on Sim Si Hui’s (VJC #3) throw-in once but her shot was over the crossbar.
Li Xian (VJC #10) then almost settled matters just before the second half ended but she hit the woodwork. In reply, Elizabeth Ong (RI #6) weaved past the VJC defense and almost scored the winning goal but her effort hit the crossbar.
With the game tied at 0–0 after regulation time, the game headed into extra time of two halves of 10 minutes each.
In the first half of extra time, Li Xian (VJC #10) tried to find Abigail Sim (VJC #11) right in front of the post, but RI’s goalkeeper Pei Ling (#1) got to the ball just before Abigail connected. RI on the other hand found it hard to attack as VJC dominated possession.
In the second half, Li Xian (VJC #10) limped with a leg cramp but still overcame her physical barrier whenever she got to the ball, consistently creating scoring opportunities for the team. Li Xian’s (VJC #10) efforts were finally rewarded in the final minute of the extra time. She took a free-kick for VJC and RI’s goalkeeper Pei Ling (RI #1) fumbled the ball. VJC’s Sara Merican (#7) took the chance to slot the loose ball into the net to seal the game with a 1–0 win.
VJC captain, Li Xian (#10), said, “It was very intense. I felt like both sides had equal chances and missed our scoring opportunities. We were lucky that the last shot went in. We had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season. There was a lot of pressure for us as the defending champions so we felt like we had to live up to our standards. So coming into this game we were very nervous, and sometimes the nervousness overtook us, but I felt that this game we came in and did our best.”
On defending their championship title, Li Xian (#10) added, “It feels really good to defend our title, I’m really really very proud of the team. We came so far and came together as a team, as a family, and played our best.”
Scoring by Period
VJC vs RI
First half: 0–0
Second half: 0–0
Extra time: 1–0
Final score: 1–0
Sara Merican (#7) – 1 goal
Victoria Junior College Roster
Siow Qiu Ying (#1), Sim Si Hui (#3), Kubo Yuri (#4), Ravina Nicole Mejia (#5), Sara Merican (#7), Siti Nabilah Binte Rahman (#8), Seet Xi Ning (#9), Lim Li Xian (#10), Abigail Sim E Xuan (#11), Pea Zuo Lin Jolene (#12), Sandy Yu Naing (#13), Ashley Chew Yue Lieng (#14), Ho Yii Hwei (#15), Cheryl Lim (#16), Shalinya Jeyabalan (#18), Cheang Ling Lin Rachel (#20), Halimatul Rosman (#21), Melissa The Kai Lin (#22), Nikki Suwanee Pereira (#23), Priya Varshini Ramesh (#24)
Raffles Institution Roster
Tan Pei Ling (#1), Chan Kai Lin (#2), Lee Shu Ying Louise Marie (#3), Chiew Wenqi (#4), Goh Yan Tong (#5), Ong Chu Yi Elizabeth Jane (#6), Evonne Gaw Chao Yi (#7), Vernetta Vivian Chai (#8), Amanda Kang Yu Chen (#9), Jaime Si Tho Jia Min (#10), Kirsten Ho En-Ting (#11), Sabrina Satli (#12), Tay Pui Chin (#13), Woon Xin Hui (#14), Tan Jin Ting Caludene (#16), Din Qiao Rou (#17), Chen Yuhan (#18), Ho Kylie (#20), Visweswaran Maanasa (#24), Beatrice Yip Kai Wen (#25)
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