Women's ● Feb 21, 2006

ITE Women send out Cup warning


Reigning Women’s Challenge Cup champions ITE Women sent out a warning in Week 3 with a 2-1 win over FAS U19 – they are not about to relinquish their crown easily.


Goals from Sharifah Saibiah (10th minute) and Matsurah Kahad (45th minute) sealed the win for ITE over the weekend, with Azreena Maat’s 31st-minute goal proving only a consolation for the U19s.


The cohesion within the players is getting stronger. They’ve forged closer bonds and are playing tighter as a team together,” said ITE team manager Borhan Mydeen.


But the manager also had a caveat for the reigning champions. Not only are there more teams this year, a lot of them are playing better too, which in turn, makes it more challenging for us.


The point was well-taken by ITE keeper-captain Nur Fadhilah, who said: “Many teams have really bucked up in terms of standards. At the moment, we’re confident of qualifying for the semifinals but to advance further, we are going to have to work much harder.”


One of those challengers could be Arion FC, as the all-women club formed late last year recorded their first ever victory in competitive football on Sunday.


Despite falling behind to Nur Rashidah’s 27th minute goal for Malaysia U19, Arion was quick to reply through Jamie Oh’s equaliser six minutes later.


Yeong Sheau Shyan put Arion ahead three minutes from the break and Lim Shiya made it 3-1 with her effort after 50 minutes. Masturah Majid pulled one back for the Malaysians in the 74th minute but Arion held on to seal their first win.


Despite the victory, Arion coach Li Jing was of the opinion that her charges had actually performed better in last week’s 5-1 loss to FAS U19.


“Winning does not necessarily mean that you have performed better. We won this time because our opponents were not as strong as the FAS U19s,” she said.


“My girls were defeated last week but I felt that they really went all out and put to use everything that they have learnt and practised during training.


“As for the match against the Malaysian U19s, the difficult part for us was losing a few of our key players, such as defender Nicole Ong, to injuries,” added Li.


In other Challenge Cup ties played over the weekend, Sporting Westlake drew 2-2 with Nanyang Technological University and Malaysian side Negri Sembilan handed Tiong Bahru a 4-0 hammering.


Next matches:
22 Feb: NYPGA vs Paya Lebar Punggol FC (Nanyang Technological University, 7pm)
24 Feb: ITE Women vs Police FC (Serangoon Stadium, 7pm)
26 Feb: Sporting Westlake vs Tiong Bahru (Clementi Stadium, 5pm)