Domestic Competitions ● Nov 25, 2012

Tanjong Pagar United emerge victorious on penalties to clinch FAS Women’s Challenge Cup trophy


Despite dominating for almost the entire 90 minutes and creating a load of chances, the Police Sports Association Women’s  fell to Tanjong Pagar United Women’s team, losing 5-4 on penalties, after the match ended 1-1 at full-time.


In fact, led by Mastura Jeilani, who bossed the midfield against a Tanjong Pagar side missing star player Miku Sakurada, the Police SA should have scored at least three goals to wrap up the game by the time their opponents equalized in the 76th minute.


Nuriah Noor opened the scoring in the 40th minute for the uniformed side, after a fumble from Mastura’s freekick by Jaguars’ custodian Tan Eng Chiu allowed the no. 14 to stab home the ball. That had atoned for her earlier sitter, when she missed an open goal five  minutes earlier from two yards out after her striker partner Michiyo Katsura had unselfishly set her up.


16 minutes after the break, it was Nuriah who tormented the Tanjong Pagar defence once again. This time, she latched onto a loose ball before cutting in, but her shot was well saved by Tan.


But reaching the third quarter mark of the game, Luo Jian Zhen showed a sign of things to come, when her cross from the left channel found substitute Tina Afrida, but the former Singapore International totally missed the target.


A minute later, Luo decided to take matters into her own hands. Awarded a freekick just right outside the penalty box on the right side, the No. 11 daringly went for goal, and was duly rewarded as the ball went in off the post with Police SA goalkeeper Ubrina Tock left rooted to her spot.


It was also a well-deserved goal for the 26-year-old, who had been the best Jaguar player on the night.

By the time Referee Syed Ibrahim blew his whistle, the ladies from Police SA had looked down on confidence, which showed in the penalty spot, when in the sudden death, a feeble attempt from Nurashidah Rashid allowed Tan to make the most comfortable save, securing the Jaguars a league and cup double as well.


Speaking after the match, Tanjong Pagar United head Coach Tan Kah Chua explained that the girls’ performances were not up to mark due to lack of training. “My girls are all working adults, and it is hard for us to come together and have a training session.


“However, they showed character to hold on and go on to win the game. I’m really happy, especially with (Luo) Jian Zhen, who carried the team on her back today. We showed today as well we can cope as a team without Miku Sakurada, who had gone back to Japan for a holiday.”


In the earlier 3rd/4th placing match played between the Young Women and Combined University team, the Young Women trounced their opponents 4-1 to clinch the bronze medals. Goals from Noor Fatin Afiqah (41′), Kamaliah Hashim (60′), and Nazartul Shehnaz (64′) set the Young Women on the way, before Tan Jia Jia pulled one back for the Combined University in the 74th minute. Nurul Khairiah then wrapped up the win with a 40-yard stunner in the 82nd minute.