Women's ● Apr 25, 2010

WPL Week 3: Young Women notch first win of the season

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David Y. Frey
info@fas.org.sg

 

Unfazed by the heavy and sodden pitch, Young Women notched their first win of the season convincingly as they defeated Bishan Arsenal 3-1 at Serangoon Stadium on Saturday.

 

At the start of the game, Women’s Challenge Cup 2007 Runners-up Bishan Arsenal looked set to extend their unbeaten streak in the Premier League as they came into the match as favourites. Young Women had suffered a huge 4-1 setback in their last encounter with Bishan Arsenal. And with only three changes to the side, Bishan Arsenal seemed all certain to repeat that performance. The outcome, however, proved to be otherwise.

 

Only three minutes into the match, Bishan Arsenal found themselves a goal down. A long raking pass found Ellyana lurking on the right flank totally unmarked. She collected the ball and made a diagonal run into the penalty box. The challenge came too late as the diminutive midfielder placed a well-measured shot into the far corner of the net. 1-0 to Young Women.

 

A minute after, Bishan Arsenal survived another scare when Siti Nurkhairunnisa unleashed a furious shot from 20 yards out only for Norhayati to tip over the crossbar.

 

The first real attempt on goal by Bishan Arsenal only came in the 13th minute. Nurafny Yulianti tested the Young Women custodian, Erlinawaty, with a low drive to the right of goal which she palmed away to safety.

 

And in the 16th minute, Luo Jian Zhen ran intelligently to latch on to a through pass to break free from the Bishan’s defence. Determined to get a goal out of this, the Chinese forward advance towards goal only to be impeded by a well-timed tackle from Ovah Marie.

 

Searching for that equalizer, Bishan Arsenal continued to press hard. Their efforts nearly paid off in the 18th minute when a sloppy clearance by Roslindah gifted Bishan Arsenal a chance to level the score. Nurafny Yulianti reacted first to the free ball and squared the ball backed into the box, finding Doceline completely unmarked eight yards from goal. Surprisingly, the powerful Cameroon forward missed when it was easier to score.

 

A couple of minutes later, Vanessa saw a gap in the red’s defence and squeezed a through ball to the last third. Nurafny was the player to finish off the move with only the keeper to beat. However, some good goalkeeping from Erlinawaty kept her team’s lead intact.

 

Finally, the game was back on level terms when Bishan Arsenal scored from a corner in the 22nd minute. Huraizah’s corner into the 18-yard box reached Doceline who passed with her first touch to Nola. From the six-yard mark, she made no mistake as she slotted the ball into the back of the goal.

 

Bishan’s onslaughts in the second quarter forced the coach to made a tactical change to strengthen the defence. Roslindah made way for Kamaliah, so that Nurkhairunnisa could be shifted down to toughen the defence.

 

Young Women nearly reinstated their lead when Norhayati mishandled a cross from Kamaliah. Luo Jian Zhen was determined to make the keeper pay for her mistake, but she slipped to let Bishan Arsenal walked away unscathed.

 

Nine minutes before the half time whistle, a perceptive cross from Sun Jie fell nicely for Jian Zhen to convert into goal. This was not going to happen as Ovah tracked back to put in a superb block for the game to end 1-1 at half time.

 

The second half started off with a free kick awarded to Young Women 23 yards from the goal line on the left. Set piece specialist Azean skillfully curled the ball into goal despite the keeper’s full stretch effort.

 

The home team’s set pieces were becomingly dangerous when Jian Zhen connected with the free kick taken by Sun Jie, only to head narrowly wide.

 

The tactical change by Young Women’s coach paid dividend in the 14th minute when Siti Nurkhairunnisa produced some wonderful defending to obstruct Doceline’s shot on goal.

 

In the 30th minute, Young Woman was presented with an opportunity to extend their lead when Luo Jian Zhen ghosted past 2 defenders to release a well-weighted pass for Kamaliah to finish. Unfortunately, she could only muster enough to shoot into the keeper’s arm much to the frustration of her coach.

 

Alicia delivered a pinpoint cross to Ovah who chested it down nicely. Seeing the keeper off her mark, she tried a hopeful long-range strike that went agonizingly wide.

 

Thereafter, it was one-way traffic with the leading team wanting to take the game beyond their opponents’ reach. Sun Jie surprised the Bishan Arsenal’s defence with a clever pass to Yue Gui. Staying onside, she brought the ball into the box and thundered home an unstoppable left-footed strike. Yue Gui’s strike in the dying minutes clinched the three points for her team.

 

At another match at Clementi Stadium, it was all one way traffic as Arion Women’s cruised to a 4-0 win over Paya Lebar Punggol. With Paya Lebar camped in their own half following an early injury to their Chinese centre back, Cui Nana it seemed only a matter of time before Arion would take the lead.

 

After some tentative finishing, Yeong Sheau Shyan settled Arion’s nerves to score their first goal of the season. A more relaxed second half performance saw Arion wrack up the score with Lim Shiya, including one direct from a corner, and substitute Regina Tan getting the goals.

 

 

Standings:

WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE 2007 WEEK 3  

Teams  P W D L F A GD Pts
Arion Women’s FC 3 1 1 1 4 1 3 4
Young Women 2 1 1 0 3 1 2 4
Tiong Bahru FC 1 1 0 0 4 3 1 3
Bishan Arsenal FC 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1 3
Police FC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SAS ‘A’ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
UWC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Paya Lebar Punggol FC 2 0 0 2 3 8 -5 0