BY RYAN LIM
The game was forced into penalties after both teams were inseparable at 1-1. Singapore Selection managed to overcome Selangor Selection despite being a goal down and having a player sent off.
Selangor Selection opened the scoring in the 18th minute after a stunning long range strike from R.Gopinathan. Stanely Ng equalised for Singapore Selection 13 minutes from time.
Singapore Selection edged the penalty shootout 4-3, with Syazwan Buhari making the final save to secure the win.
Syazwan was in high spirits after the game, and said: “It feels great, it boils down to the team’s hard work. This win is a team effort, it is not just me. The penalty is of course the goalkeeper’s job, but at the end of the day, the team fought hard to get back the one goal. And then defended well to go all the way to the penalties. I just had to do my job as a goalkeeper in the penalty shootout.”
When quizzed on his mindset during the shootout, he added: “I was just enjoying the moment, soaking in the atmosphere. You don’t always get to play in front of this kind of crowd. Penalties depend on luck, and I guessed the right way.”
Singapore Selection coach, Philippe Aw commented: “Definitely hard-fought. We started well with that chance from Ken (Ilso), and had that gone in it would have been very different. Otherwise, when we went down to 10 men, I think the 10 players and the substitutes that went on did fantastic.”
“We didn’t just hoof the ball up top and lose possession. What was important is that we kept the ball, we played short passes which are very difficult to defend on this pitch. At 1-1, it was already a victory for us, it wouldn’t matter even if we lost the shootout, because the 10 men had done a fantastic job to equalise.”
With the team 1-0 down at half-time, the coach revealed what he told his players.
“At half time we said that we are not playing badly," Aw added.
"We are creating chances. The goal that we conceded was just because of a physical challenge that we lost out. We told the boys that back in the S-league, when we challenge an opponent, we can keep it. But here, they are physically tougher. Patrick Ronaldinho is so tough that you cant knock him off. So we said to play quicker, get the passes going and we can create something.”
|REPORT: Selangor Selection 1 (3)-(4) 1 Singapore Selection|
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