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Sporting Lisbon Won Inaugural NexLions Cup

The exciting Sunday started with NexLions Cup 3rd/4th placing game between Singapore Youth Selection vs Manchester United U-19 at Jalan Besar Stadium.  Manchester United started the game brightly while they took on Singapore’s defence right from

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The exciting Sunday started with NexLions Cup 3rd/4th placing game between Singapore Youth Selection vs Manchester United U-19 at Jalan Besar Stadium. 

Manchester United started the game brightly while they took on Singapore’s defence right from the first whistle blown. Although Singapore defended well, the physically strong English team managed a few shots on goal with their excellent position play, and of course quick one-two passes. 

However, despite Singapore being labelled as the underdog for this game, Singapore had the first laugh as they were awarded a penalty when the goalscorer, Sahil Suhaimi, himself was brought down by United’s defender, Declan Dalley. Sahil made no mistake by sending United’s keeper, Pierluigi Gollini the wrong way. Singapore taken the lead.

Singapore’s celebration was short-lived as Singapore’s defender Shakir Hamzah turned one of the crosses from United’s midfielder, Mats Dahli into its own goal. Mats Dahli was on the highlight 3 minutes later again when he scored to give United its first victory and clinched the 3rd placing medal.

According to United’s coach, Paul McGuinness, their players were struggling with the jet lag and the humid weather. The fresh legs which he had brought in definitely contributed to the victory.

The final game saw Sporting Lisbon U-19 lifted the inaugural NexLions Cup after beating Liverpool U-19 2-0 in front of 3,850-strong crowd. Both teams went into half time break with no goal despite Sporting clearly dominating the entire first 45 minutes. To disappoint the Liverpool fans further, Sporting repeated what they did against Manchester United in their very first game by scoring in the very first minute after the kicking-off of the second half. Midfielder Luka Stojanovic’s goal put Sporting 1-0 up.

The game got heated up while Liverpool attempting to find their game and tempo back. However, it was all game over for the English team when substitute Luis Cortez exchanged a quick one-two with his team mate before scoring the second goal for Sporting as well as the final goal to confirm Sporting’s victory in the injury time. 

When Sporting’s coach Abel Ferrerira was asked if he was surprised that his team has won the tournament, he said: “It is you that is surprised, not me that my team won. I’m very proud of my players and my staff. This tournament is fantastic and the people here ar enice. For me and my players, we want to come back again next year to defend our title.”

NexLions Cup 2012 – Final Standing

(1) Sporting Lisbon  (2) Liverpool  (3) Manchester United  (4) Singapore Youth Selection

Most Valuable Player Award – Edelino Ie (Sporting Lisbon)

Coach Abel Ferreira’s Interview with Junpiter Futbol, Click Here

Photo: Football Association of Singapore (FAS)

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