National Teams – Age-group ● May 01, 2023
Singapore U16 national women’s team ends AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign with a loss to Bangladesh
Mulan Ayliffe (jersey number 8) dribbling past Bangladeshi defender Nadia Akter Juti (jersey number 17), 30 April 2023.
SINGAPORE, 1 MAY 2023 – While the Singapore Under-16 Women’s National Team may have suffered a 3-0 defeat against Bangladesh in their final game of the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2024 Group D qualifiers, the future does appear bright for this squad as they look to pick themselves up from the disappointment of not progressing to the next round.
Right from the outset of the match, favourites Bangladesh started out aggressively, putting pressure on Singapore’s defense. The Young Lionesses responded gamely as they fought hard to ward off Bangladesh’s attack and limit their scoring opportunities with goalkeeper Nurul Illyanis making several impressive saves. Midfielder Nahwah Aidilreza was in a particularly feisty mood as she showcased her defensive prowess by executing a couple of sliding tackles which thwarted the opponent’s attacks and regained possession back in Singapore’s favor.
Singapore came close to scoring as Mulan Ayliffe dribbled deftly past Bangladesh’s defence and shot just outside of the penalty area. Her attempt however, fell short as Bangladesh goalkeeper Songgita Rani Das saved the ball.
Goalkeeper Nurul Illyanis (yellow jersey) attempts to block the penalty shot from Bangladeshi forward Sauravi Akanda Prity (jersey number 20), 30 April 2023.
A critical moment arrived in the 21st minute, when Seri Nurinsyirah adjudged to have committed a foul on Bangladesh’s player of the match, Sauravi Akanda Prity, in the penalty area. Seri was awarded a yellow card and Prity herself stepped up to take the penalty which she slotted in despite Nurul’s valiant diving attempt.
Singapore continued to make a concerted effort to level the scores, knowing that they needed only a draw to progress. Madeleine Sophie dribbled into the heart of the opponent’s defense and released a left-footed shot which was promptly saved by Rani Das.
During the closing moments of the first half, striker Chloe Koh was involved in a collision which resulted in a leg injury. She was forced to sit out for the remainder of the game as her place was taken by Sharifah Nur Amanina at half-time.
As the second half got underway, Singapore was determined to level the score with Bangladesh and began pressing higher up the pitch. However, their efforts suffered a second setback when Nurul received a yellow card after being deemed to illegally prevent Prity from getting the ball in the penalty zone in the 55th minute. Prity stepped up once more and duly despatched her shot as Bangladesh assumed a 2-0 lead.
Defender Ardhra Arul (jersey number 3) in action, 30 April 2023.
Shortly after the second goal at 63th minute, a header from Thuinuye Marma placed the ball perfectly to Mst Sultana Akter, who followed up with a looping shot that sailed towards the net. Nurul’s attempt to tip the ball over was unfortunately not enough as Bangladesh scored their third and final goal of the match for an unassailable lead.
Despite the loss, Singapore Coach Falida Aikaterini was proud of her team’s display and efforts over the two games. She said in the post-match conference, “This team has made immense improvements since they came together, and they have much potential that is yet to be fully developed. I am excited to continue working alongside them and to help them achieve their full capabilities. This tournament is a good stepping stone for these girls to hone their skills and we will come back stronger next time.”
Singapore U16: Nurul Illyanis (GK), Ardhra Ganeswaran (Nadila Danisha 65′), Yasmine Zaharin, Irsalina Irwan, Seri Nurinsyirah (Tia Foong 65′), Joan Mulan Ayliffe, Chloe Goh (Sharifah Nur Amanina HT), Madelin Sophie Lock (Charlotte Chong 78′), Qarissa Putri, Natasha Naszri, Nahwah Aidilreza (Cara Chang 40′)
Unused subs: Nur Alysha (GK), Nur Izairida Shakira (GK), Liyana Rickit, Yuvika Suresh, Anna Vaswani, Nurul Aqilah, Nisreen Aziz.