National Team - Lionesses ● Apr 05, 2022
Lionesses hit six for first win in four years
Forward Stephanie Dominguez celebrates after scoring against Seychelles, 4 April 2022.
SINGAPORE, 5 APRIL 2022 – Lioness vice-captain Stephanie Dominguez was filled with nerves before their match against Seychelles, but one would be hard-pressed to tell from her display on Monday night.
The attacker put in a Player-of-the-Match performance at Jalan Besar Stadium, scoring the first two goals and grabbing an assist in a 6-2 victory on her 16th international cap.
“I feel amazing, especially (having played) in front of my friends and family,” the 23-year-old said. “It is a special moment for me that they could see it ‘live’. The team was helping each other out; we had the fighting spirit, and you could see that especially in the second half.”
The opening match of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Tri-Nations Series 2022 (Women’s), the ‘A’ international friendly was a historic moment as it marked the first time that a women’s football fixture was ticketed here – and 1,498 supporters were in the stands to roar the Lionesses on to their first win in four years.
Head Coach Stephen Ng praised the biggest local turn-out for a women’s game, saying: “For footballers, it is always a big motivation to have home fans cheering you on as it helps (build) pride. This is a good moment for women’s football, as a whole. On our part, as the (senior) team, we showed improvement in our performance, and I am very happy with their resilience today.”
The hosts were fired up on their first home fixture since March 2018 and after a bright opening, it was Dominguez who broke the deadlock by converting a rebound on 18 minutes after goalkeeper Mendy Gabriel slapped away midfielder Farhanah Ruhaizat’s attempt. Seven minutes later, London-based forward Danelle Tan played an intelligent through pass for Dominguez to place the ball calmly into the bottom right corner.
The Seychelles halved the deficit on the half-hour mark when substitute Alisha Matatiken played in Natacha Bibi to fire home, but the Lionesses returned after the break with renewed desire.
The pressure paid off on 52 minutes when Eastern Florida State College student Putri Nur Syaliza strode down the left and whipped in the perfect cross for Danelle Tan to divert in her second goal for Singapore.
Again, the visitors refused to lie down and Bibi pounced on a defensive lapse to unleash a stunning strike from range into the top left corner in the 71st minute.
Midfielder Dorcas Chu controls the ball, 4 April 2022.
But the Lionesses were not done. Barely 60 seconds later, substitute Dorcas Chu headed in Dominguez’s wicked corner for her first Singapore goal to make it 4-2.
Remarkably, there was more to come in added time. Brought on in the 83rd minute, Siti Nurerwadah took just nine minutes to cap a dream debut with a goal by intercepting a pass before blasting in an incredible shot from 30 yards. The 17-year-old told FAS.org.sg: “I did not think it would go through, but I saw the chance and wanted to try. I have been training with the senior team for two years but never made the cut until now, and I have been waiting for this moment.”
Four minutes into added time, Farhanah Ruhaizat was brought down by goalkeeper Mendy Gabriel and the resulting spot-kick was coolly converted by Tan for her second of the match.
There were many positives for the home camp as goalkeeper Beatrice Tan earned her fifth cap, while defender Syazwani Ruzi got her 10th. Along with Nurerwadah, defender Khairunnisa Khairol Anwar also made her international debut for the Lionesses.
Coach Ng, however, was keen for the team to keep their heads down and said: “Celebrate the win tonight with your family and friends but stay grounded and do not get carried away. This is the performance we want in Hanoi at the Southeast Asian Games. I am very proud of all of you – we got both the result and the performance today – and this is what we are going to continue building on.”
The Lionesses will next face Papua New Guinea in their second and final fixture of the Tri-Nations Series on Monday, 11 April. Tickets can be purchased at fas.org.sg/tickets.
Singapore: Beatrice Tan, Nur Syazwani Ruzi (Siti Nurerwadah Erwan 83’), Stephanie Dominguez (Ho Hui Xin 83’), Fatin Aqillah Ridzwan (Nur Izzati Rosni 46’), Nur Farhanah Ruhaizat, Danelle Tan, Putri Nur Syaliza (Dorcas Chu 60’), Ernie Sulastri (C), Khairunnisa Khairol Anwar (Nurhidayu Naszri 46’), Nur Umairah Hamdan, Dhaniyah Qasimah (Venetia Lim 83’).
Unused subs: Noor Kusumawati, Hazel Lim, Clara Lau, Nadhra Aqilah Saiful, Nur Afiqah Omar, Syafiqah Peer.