Story by REDintern Carissa Tan.
Nanyang Technological University, Friday, March 6, 2015 — Sheer determination gave National University of Singapore (NUS) a hard-earned 5–4 win on penalties over Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in the semi-final of the Singapore Management University UNITEC Soccer Games (SMU-USG).
NTU displayed great teamwork right from the beginning, even relying on their defenders to launch attacks. In contrast, NUS had a more direct strategy of launching the ball forward to their strikers.
However, both teams were deadlocked through the first half. Possession alternated between both sides rather quickly with neither being able to hold on for long.
Impressive dribbling from strikers Chris Yip-Au (NTU #9) and Priscilla Tan (NTU #18) forced NUS to adopt a tighter man-marking system. This greatly hindered NTU’s attack as their strikers were unable to receive neat passes from their midfielders.
On the other end of the field, NUS attacking threats were swiftly diminished by outstanding NTU defending from players such as Ondrea Goh (#3).
Denise Chua (NTU #2), Sharda Parvin (NTU #7), Fatin Aqillah (NTU #10) showed impressive teamwork as they penetrated through the NUS team quickly with their triangle passing. Overall, NTU appeared to play as a more cohesive unit.
Despite a great display of chemistry by NTU, they were unable to pose many effective threats in the first half. NUS defenders were able to intercept most of the through-passes by NTU midfielders and lobbed them forward to their attackers. Consequently, NTU attackers were forced to shoot from far, which proved ineffective.
Just minutes before the end of the first half, a high ball from Priscilla Tan (NTU #18) just outside the six-yard box hit the goalpost and was cleared away by NUS defenders.
NUS were rejuvenated in the second half. Striker Teo Wee Shiuan (#10 ( #10 )) came on as a substitute and gave NUS more opportunities at goal.
However, both teams were unable to break the deadlock at the end of regulation time, forcing the game to go into penalties.
The deadlock was finally broken when Priscilla Tan (NTU #18) missed NTU’s fourth attempt. Siti Wan Nabilah (NUS #15) then scored the fifth goal for her team, sealing their hard-earned victory.
When asked about her team’s performance, NUS captain, Kasfira Hilka Rashid, felt her team did well, giving it their all right from the start. She commended her team for being determined in fighting for every ball.
With this victory, NUS proceed into the final to face Singapore Management University (SMU).
Score by half
NUS vs NTU
1st half: 0–0
2nd half: 0–0
Nur Shuhadah Bte Mohamed A G (#3), Nurul Asyiqin M Razali (#4), Clarissa Koh Cai Lin (#7), Sarah Long Shi Yun (#8), Ong Wei Ting (#9), Ang Lay Min Celeste (#14), Leo Huang (#16), Kasfira Hilka Rashid (#17), Tay Weijia Amanda Denise (#19), Chan Wan Wen Rochelle (#21), Woon Ling Melissa (#23)
Denise Adele Chua Hui San (#2), Goh Xin Yi Ondrea (#3), Jolene Cheng Joo Lynn (#5), Sharda Parvin Bte Abdul Latiff (#7), Yip-Au Hew Seem Chris (#9), Fatin Aqillah Bte Mohd Ridzwan (#10), Suria Priya (#11), Chan Yi Jun (#14), Priscilla Tan Hui Yee (#18), Beatrice Tan Li Bin (#22), Genevieve Lee Min (#23)
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