Women's ● Feb 13, 2006

Arion undeterred by debut defeat


Singapore’s first all-women football club Arion FC have vowed to remain uncowed despite a debut defeat in the Women’s Challenge Cup.


Arion, formed late last year, fell to a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the FAS Young Women in their first-ever competitive match on the weekend.


“We definitely have the teamwork and the spirit, but we will have to work on our technique and tactics on the field to do better in future matches,” said Arion midfielder and Singapore international Lim Shiya.


Going behind to Luo Jianzhen’s 21st minute opener for the Young Women, Arion were in dreamland when Yeong Sheau Shyan equalised just six minutes later.


But the Young Women’s greater cohesion and experience showed and they wrapped up the match with goals from Noor Azean Adam (37th minute), Tina Afrida (56th), Chen Yue Gui (57th) and Luo’s second in injury-time.


Looking at the match on Sunday, I felt the girls did well on the whole, especially in the first half. In terms of technique, they were on par with their opponents, said Arion coach Li Jing.


However, when it came to the second half, their fitness pulled them down and weakened their play. They will need to increase their fitness levels to last them through the whole 90 minutes.


A gulf in standards between Arion’s starting eleven and their bench was also apparent. “Our first team are all experienced players in football, but many among our substitutes are enthusiasts who have just picked up the game not too long ago,” said Li.


With training, hopefully they will be able to play better and better as our squad strives towards further heights.


In other Challenge Cup games over the weekend, it was goals galore as Malaysian side Negri Sembilan hammered Nanyang Technological University 4-0, Bishan Arsenal whitewashed Tiong Bahru 7-0 and Paya Lebar Punggol handing Police FC a 5-1 defeat.


Next matches: 18 Feb: ITE Women’s vs FAS Team Under-19 (ITE Bishan, 5pm)
18 Feb: Sporting Westlake vs Nanyang Technological University (Dunearn Secondary School, 5pm)
19 Feb: Police FC vs NYPGA (Police Academy, 5pm)
19 Feb: Tiong Bahru FC vs Negri Sembilan Women’s Team (Clementi Stadium, 5pm)
19 Feb: Arion Women’s FC vs Malaysia Under-19 (Clementi Stadium, 7pm)