Police Sports Association have reached the FAS Women’s Challenge Cup final after eking out a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Young Women in Sunday’s semi-final.
The match was initially scheduled for the day before and with Young Women trailing Police SA by two goals from the first leg.
In Saturday's initial game, Young Women were determined to not buckle without a fight, dominating the game from kick-off and forcing a litany of saves from Police SA goalkeeper Ubrina Tock.
In the 22nd minute, Young Women managed to score through an unmarked Kamaliah Hashim, who ghosted past the static PA backline to bullet a firm header past Tock after Lim Li Xian swung in a brilliant free-kick.
The weather soon took a turn for the worse and the referee decided that it was too dangerous to maintain play with lightning alerts being raised. The match was then abandoned, with the semi-final re-scheduled to the following day.
After a day of postponement, both teams were raring to go on Sunday.
For the re-scheduled match, both sides defended stoutly right from kick-off, and fought tooth and nail for every loose ball.
Police SA had a great chance in the 11th minute when Mastura Jeilani showed good awareness to notice Abirami Naidu sprinting down the left channel. Naidu ran clear to cross in for Mariah Noor, but Young Women’s goalkeeper Noor Kusumawati came out to snatch the ball away from Noor at the crucial moment.
The first-half then peppered out with no shots on target from both sides, as the teams struggled to break down each others’ defence, resorting to long shots from distance.
The second-half started just as how the first-half ended with both teams scrapping it out for the ball.
Chances were few and far, and Young Women were beginning to grow impatient as time was running out for them.
Young Women's impatience clearly told in the 57th minute, when Noor was fouled by Young Women defender Siti Rosnani just six-metres out from the box. The free kick was easily converted, although Kusumawati should have done better as the ball slipped between her hands to give Police SA the lead in this match.
With 33 minutes remaining, Young Women seemed to lack the inspiration they showed on Saturday, as they probed around to no avail.
In the 85th minute, defensive mistakes further cost Young Women dearly.
Left-back Cheryl Chan tried to deal with a long ball in Young Women’s own half, but miskicked the ball. Jeilani quickly latched onto to the ball and aimed a shot for the bottom far corner but Kusumawati got down quickly to block the shot out for a corner.
From the resulting corner Police SA scored their second goal, as Marin Filatova crossed the ball in, and it was seemingly going into Kusumawati’s arms but she yet again spilled it into her own net.
The game ended five minutes later, and the jubilant Police SA side celebrated their advancement to the finals.
Police SA’s coach Azmi bin Othman was relieved the team managed to give a good performance after being let off despite going 1-0 down in the abandoned match.
“Basically yesterday we were not ourselves, they [Police SA] got panicky very easily,” he said.
“But after some briefing, and I told them to do some reflection at home, today we came back fresh, and started a new game.“
Police SA will now face Tanjong Pagar United FC in the FAS Women’s Challenge Cup Final on November 25 at Jalan Besar Stadium after Tanjong Pagar beat Combined University Team 3-0 in their second-leg match to qualify for the finals on an aggregate of 8-1.