Domestic Competitions ● Nov 02, 2023
Preview: FA Cup semi-finals showdown after pandemic hiatus
Fans of local amateur football will be able to look forward to two exciting games this weekend as the FA Cup competition reaches the semi-final stage.
The historic cup competition which started in 1996, made a return in 2023 after being briefly halted for three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Singapore Cricket Club (Photo Credit: Singapore Cricket Club)
Semi-Final 1: Singapore Cricket Club vs Yishun Sentek Mariners FC
The stage is set for an intense battle as Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) faces off against Yishun Sentek Mariners FC at Serangoon Stadium on Saturday 5th November at 7pm. Both teams have previously won the prestigious trophy, with Singapore Cricket Club clinching the title back in 2009 and Yishun Sentek Mariners emerging triumphant in 2018.
Chang Guo Guang, a star player for the Singapore Cricket Club, has been in scintillating form, claiming the top scorer title for Singapore Football League 1 this season with an impressive tally of 12 goals. Meanwhile, Yishun Sentek Mariners’ valiant performance secured them the 2nd runner-up position in the same league this season.
Despite preparations for the semi-finals having been hampered by the weather conditions, SCC Coach Steven Tan is upbeat about his side’s chances in this Sunday’s match-up. On his side’s chances to reach the final he said, “In a cup game, every team starts equal, the team that stays disciplined and takes their chances will have the advantage.”
Yishun Sentek captain, Zulkiffli Hassim is counting on his team’s close-knit unity to provide the desired outcome. “The preparations for the game have been good. Our bonding on and off the pitch is very strong and we know each other quite well as most of us have been playing together for many years. We are looking forward to the upcoming semifinal and we will do our best for the game.” added the 37-year-old veteran forward.
Yishun Sentek Mariners FC
Singapore Khalsa Association
Semi-Final 2: Singapore Khalsa Association vs South Avenue SC
In the other riveting semi-final clash on the same day, Singapore Khalsa Association (SKA) will battle it out with South Avenue SC at Woodlands Stadium 7 pm. The Singapore Khalsa Association enters the semi-finals on the back of a remarkable season, having claimed victory in the Challenge Cup and Singapore Football League 1. Their sights are now firmly set on the elusive treble, adding an extra layer of intrigue to this encounter.
South Avenue SC, on the other hand, demonstrated their prowess by securing the runner-up position in Singapore Football League 2 this season, earning them a well-deserved promotion to Singapore Football League 1 for the upcoming season.
While his team has been emphasizing fitness, ball control, and set pieces in preparation for the upcoming match against South Avenue, SKA Coach Sukhvinder Singh believes that his side has added motivation to achieve success in the competition. “Yes, we are chasing the treble, but we are also playing to win and to fulfill the wishes of a fallen teammate, Karthik Raj. We give our 110% every game to bring that little joy to his family because that is the least, we can do. We will continue to give our all to ensure that Karthik Raj’s parents can step onto Jalan Besar and lift the trophy on his behalf.”
South Avenue assistant coach Ali Imran is hopeful of an upset for his team in their clash against their higher-ranking opponents. “We will be playing the SFL1 Champion and obviously they will be on top of us, and we will be the underdogs on Sunday. However, I think both teams have got the edge to outdo one another in a one-off cup game.”
Football enthusiasts and fans alike are poised for a compelling battle in both semi-finals as the four teams vie for a coveted spot in the FA Cup final later this month.
Fans will be able to watch the matches LIVE at the stadiums free of charge.
South Avenue SC (Photo Credit: South Avenue SC)