Women's ● Mar 22, 2006

No consecutive Challenge Cup title for ITE Women’s team


The quest for their consecutive Women’s Challenge Cup title came to an end, as defending champion ITE Women’s fell 0-3 to the FAS Young Women in the semi-finals held last weekend.


Their opponents were clearly in fine form, bagging all three goals in the first half. Tina Nasmi put the FAS Young Women one up in the 14th minute; followed shortly by Luo Jian Zhen (22nd minute) and Chen Cai Ying (36th minute).


ITE Women’s team manager Borhan Mydeen expressed slight disappointment after the match, but praised his girls for their valiant performance.


“Of course I’m a little disappointed that we are not able to hold on to our title this year,” said Borhan. “Nevertheless, I must say that even though we lost, my girls did very well. They were kind of jittery and nervous in the first half, but in the second half, they really held their own against the FAS Young Women.


“They are all very young girls, with an average age of 16 and 17. During the semi-finals, they faced a team of ‘older sisters’ who have much more experience on the field, many who are part of the national team.


“Given more time to train and hone their skills, I’m sure they will be able to do better. We’ll definitely try harder next year.”


In the FAS Young Women’s camp, as they prepare themselves for the finals this Saturday, Coach Abdullah Noor feels there is still room for improvement.


“My players are all hardworking and disciplined, but during the semi-finals, I noticed that they lost focus in the second half, after scoring three goals in the first. This is something that should not happen because they have to put in their best effort for the whole game,” said Abdullah.


The FAS Young Women will meet Bishan Arsenal, who defeated Paya Lebar Punggol 6-2 in their semi-final match, in the Challenge Cup final.


Abdullah reckons both teams stand a 50-50 chance of winning. “For any final, there are no favourites. It all boils down to the performance that day. The team that does better and manages to take its chances will win the game eventually.”


The Women’s Challenge Cup final takes place this Saturday, 25 March 2006, at Jalan Besar Stadium. Kickoff time is 4.30pm. Guest-of-Honour President S R Nathan will grace the event. Admission is free.