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Sports School Lionhearts Finish Strong In U18 League
2019 FAS Centre of Excellence Under-18 League
By Gail Chia
Senior Executive, Strategic Communications
Pictures courtesy of Angelique Woon, mother of Dylan Christopher Goh Hsien Chun
It was David and Goliath match-up in the 2019 FAS Centre of Excellence Under-18 League game on 3 September 2019. Team Singapore Sports School – the youngest team in the U18 tournament comprising Secondary 4 and 5 footballers and one IBDP Year 6 student-athlete – was slated to meet Tampines Rovers FC U18 – current leaders in the league – in their penultimate game of the 12-match competition. Each team is allowed three overaged players up to 20 years old in the tournament.
Sports School’s footballers kept their lines to put up a strong defence against their older and stronger opponents, some of whom are Sports School alumni. With about 10 minutes left on the clock, Secondary 4 student-athlete Mohamed Sham s/o Syed Mohamed, substituted in just 10 minutes earlier, sent the ball past the Stag’s goalkeeper to score for Sports School. The younger team displayed strong defending and resilience to ward off increasing pressure from the Stags in the closing stages to earn a clean sheet at full time.
Both teams met again on Singapore Sports School’s Field on 6 September. Muhammad Imran s/o Mohammad Zakariah scored with a sumptuous volley from the far post delivered by Ong Yu En who took the free kick. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Sports School’s encounters with the Stags followed a recent victory over Home United U18, who were ranked second in the seven-team League. Their first meeting with HUFC concluded with Sports School conceding three goals with none scored. However, the tables were turned on 30 August as the underdogs went one up on their opponents to win the return match at 2-1.
The match took a turn in the second half of the game when Glenn Ong Jing Jie equalised for Sports School in the 64th minute. But with 12 minutes to go before regulation time, the team pulled another stunner. Sports School was defending a corner when Yu En gained possession of the ball and launched a swift counter attack, sending the ball upfield to Sham. From the flanks, Sham ghosted past two defenders before crossing it into the box where it was met by a sprinting Glenn who fired it into the net to score a brace which proved to be the winning goal.
Team Sports School performed creditably at the 2019 COE U18 League, notching five wins and two draws in 12 games. The League kicked off on 3 May and is expected to end in October.