Lion City Cup Kicked Off With Singapore Tasted Defeats
Both Singapore NFA U-15 and U-16 were defeated by their respective opponent on the first day of the 25th Canon Lion City Cup. However, it will always be the NFA U-16, traditionally also known as
Both Singapore NFA U-15 and U-16 were defeated by their respective opponent on the first day of the 25th Canon Lion City Cup. However, it will always be the NFA U-16, traditionally also known as the ‘A’ team, which is going to grab all the attentions and highlights! With no exception, Singapore NFA U-16’s game against Arsenal which ended just hours ago was a typical exciting and close fight game.
NFA U-16’s Lionel Tan (no-5) and Syafiq Irawan (no-10) were quick to show their English counterpart that they meant business with their aggressive play and tackles. Although the Singaporeans were bringing the game to the English, it was the visitor who opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Arsenal’s Faiq Bolkiah (no-7) took advantage of Singapore’s goalkeeper’s misjudge and scored from close range to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead.
While Singapore was working hard in getting back to the game, all responsibilities could have been placed on the young shoulder of Singapore’s Irfan Fandi (no-17), son of famous Fandi Ahmad, unknowingly. At times, it seems like Irfan tried too hard and the team was not getting past the experienced Arsenal’s defence lead by number-3 Tolaji Bola and number-4 Ernest Okoh. Especially for Tolaji Bola, many times he was the one who started the entire attack from his left back position which had been causing some serious problems to the Singapore team. One to watch in the future indeed.
Second half, Singapore NFA U-16 adjusted the tempo and effort was finally paid off in the 60th minute. Defender Adam Hakeem (number-2) rose the highest to reach the cross from a set piece, Arsenal’s custodian, Harry Girling (n0-1) palmed the ball away but onto the on-running path of Irfan Fandi. Irfan made no mistake by slamming the ball into the roof of the net to send the entire Stadium into ecstasy!
However, Singapore’s celebration did not last more than 4 minutes. A goalkeeper’s blunder presented Arsenal’s number-6 and captain, Harry Donovan with an easy goal. Under the humid weather, Arsenal held on to the narrow 2-1 lead to the final whistle blown.
In the earlier match, Singapore NFA U-15 was beaten by a far more superior Brazilian team, SC Corinthians by 7 goals to nothing. Potential Top Scorer Award winner, Leonardo Rodrigues, Corinthians’ number-11, scored 4 goals while Wesley Duarte (no-4), Matheus da Silva (no-10) and Rafael Bilu (no-18) scored a goal each.
Photo by Canon Lion CIty Fb, Lieu Tong Leng (Red Card)