Story and photos by Jared Khoo/Red Sports.
Tampines-Meridian Junior College, Monday, May 14, 2019 — Victoria Junior College (VJC) emerged clear victors from their semi-final match after thrashing Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) 4-0. Last year, VJC defeated Meridian Junior College — now merged with Tampines Junior College to form Tampines-Meridian Junior College — in the A Division Boys’ football final to win the title. This semi-final win against NYJC grants them another chance to seize the title again this year.
“I feel like it was a good game performance and we really showed that teamwork and hard work can bring us through anything,” said VJC captain Jeremy Loke (#4).
VJC scored one goal in the first half to gain a slight lead, thanks to Haikel B Zaini (VJC #11).
Both keepers performed exceptionally well. In the fifth minute, Nanyang keeper Shane Lau (#1) caught a shot mid-air after a VJC corner kick into the box. At the other end, VJC keeper Wong Yi Hong (#1) also made impressive saves. At one point, he dove to one side, barely managing to deflect a ball into the post, where it bounced out towards the sideline.
At the end of the first half, the game was still quite close with the score at 1-0. But it was all set to change in the second half.
Just six minutes after play resumed, Haikel scored another goal to double VJC’s lead. Unfortunately, in the 63rd minute, the lightning warning system was activated, and the game was temporarily stopped.
When the game restarted, VJC immediately sprang into action. Six minutes in, the referee awarded VJC a direct freekick after an NYJC player fouled one of his opponents. Umar B Sharin (VJC #10) took a shot and scored a beautiful, top-right corner goal, increasing VJC’s lead to three.
Despite the overwhelming odds, NYJC never stopped trying to overcome their deficit. However, their efforts were in vain. In the 75th minute, substitute forward Oliver Lim (VJC #2)’s sealed the win with a shot that sneaked past the Nanyang keeper, marking the game’s fourth and final goal.
“I’m not even an actual striker, so the fact that (coach) played me up there was a bit surprising in the first place. He just wanted me to press down the opponents,” explained Oliver.
“And that’s actually my first shot, like, in the whole competition. I’ve never had a shot — much less on goal — I’ve never had a shot before. So that was just, like, I couldn’t even explain it if I wanted to.”
As the winners of this semi-final match, VJC will face the winners of the other semi-final, St. Andrew’s Junior College, in the final match on Friday. NYJC will compete against Tampines-Meridian Junior College for the bronze medal on Thursday.
VJC vs NYJC
Muhammad Haikel B Zaini (#11) — 2 goals (23′, 46′)
Muhammad Umar B Sharin (#10) — 1 goal (69′)
Oliver Lim Zi-Hern (#2) — 1 goal (75′)
Wong Yi Hong (#1), Oliver Lim Zi-Hern (#2), Mukadam Afaan Sameer (#3), Jeremy Loke Tze Han (#4), Akmal B Adli Yashir (#5), Joshua Ho Yong Jin (#6), Adam B Johan (#7), Philip Koshy (#8), Amir Hafiq B Rohaimi (#9), Muhammad Umar B Sharin (#10), Muhammad Haikel B Zaini (#11), Muhammad Imran Ashry N Azhari (#16), Sirhan Muzaffar B Jani (#17), Simeon Ng Zhi Quan (#18), Artemus See Wei Jun (#19), Gene Goh Junyi (#20), Tang Yi Xun (#21), Premathilaka Janith Akurugoda Gamage (#22), Ian Pang Jie Wei (#23), Wang Yike (#24)
Shane Lau Jia Hao (#1), Gabriel Lee Jie Le (#2), Ching Kwun Hei (#3), Xavier Teo Hao Xuan (#4), Breen Liam Wei-Shan (#6), Javier Chua Zhi Cong (#7), Marcellinus Jerricho (#8), Vasileios Zikos Chua Ming Xun (#9), Shaked Shalev (#10), Rohith S/O Ravichandran (#11), Jared Ee Rong Jun (#12), Muhammad Rayhan B Buhari (#14), Julio Agustin Punsalan Tan (#16), Neo Wei Yang (#17), Gareth Yeo Wei Jun (#18), Justin Chai Ming Hui (#19), Leandros Michel (#20), Ahmad Redha B Mohamed Zaindudin (#21), Chan Yong Hwee (#23), Shaun Lai Xue Le (#25)
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