Singapore: SCC topple Chenab in penalty shootout |
June 26, 2005
Eddie dos Passos
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By Eddie dos Passos/Singapore Hockey Federation
Singapore Cricket Club showed why they are a force you cannot ignore after they destroyed Chenab Hockey Club?s dreams of reaching the men?s Premier League final in a gritty penalty shootout at Delta Sports Complex today.
Emerging 2-2 after extra-time which failed to decide an outcome, SCC held CHC off for a penalty showdown, with captain and goalkeeper Christopher de Souza blocking out the one shot necessary to hand victory to his club.
In the other semi-final, defending champions Singapore Recreation Club had a fight on their hands before emerging 5-1 winners over shell-shocked Jansenites to make it an all Padang final next Saturday.
De Souza was simply over the moon with his team?s performance after they stormed back in the dying minute to level the score to 2-2 off an Ng Kok Chin field goal.
?We came here picturing ourselves in the final. We played like we wanted to be in the finals,? said de Souza. ?When a team goes into a match like that it is hard to beat them and we ran for every ball and gave 100 percent to the team and each other.?
He was simply in awed at how his teammates raised their game up another notched as the lead seesawed between SCC and Jansenites with Owen Jones opening SCC?s account with his sixth minute solo effort.
They held that lead into the break, saw it erased by a Md Zilkarnain Azmin 41st minute equalizer, and then Chenab looked like they were in the driving seat as they grabbed the edge off a Mirnawan Nawawi penalty conversion nine minutes later.
But that was as close as they got as SCC battled back and took the game to extra-time and the eventual shootout.
?I have three words ? resilience, resilience and resilience. I think we performed best today compared to the last 10 league matches,? he said. ?Chenab is a good side and both sides owed it to each other for playing fair, clean and honest hockey. There were no cards and that is the way hockey should be played,? he said.
One very encouraging sign was the emergence of strong vocal support from the SCC camp, whose supporters cheered on nearly every decision even though they lacked general knowledge of basic hockey rules.
Singapore hockey needs more vocal support and now SCC fans will have more to cheer with their side progressing to the final.
Chenab?s Simon Yeo was at a lost for words to described how they fluffed their chances with a minute to regular time but admitted it may have been the lost of inspirational playmaker ?Mike? Manindarjit Singh from Malaysia, who was unable to play after fracturing his arm from their last game.
?Without Mike it was a big blow as he can control the game. Having said that, SCC played extremely well today. We were so close to winning this game and lost at the final stage,? Yeo said.
Yeo conceded that their defeat was really ?a lack of concentration? and that the gap between teams had closed down.
?There was a lapse in concentration but it is not that we are falling behind but rather the oppositions are picking up their game at the right time, I have to give full credit to our opponents,? he said.
SRC may have won the game but they were made to earn it, but on a sad note, the team were without their regular goalkeeper today ? Lawrence Lee as he attends to personal affairs for his father, Paul Lee, who passed away last Monday, age 65.
The SRC players pinned swatches of black cloths to their jerseys as a sign of respect and dedicated the victory to the senior Lee?s memory.
?We dedicated the win and saddened by the news of his (Lawrence) father?s passing and will leave it up to him if he wants to play in the finals,? said Edwin Tan, SRC captain.
He said he was encouraged by SCC?s making it to the final and it would be the second time these two Padang clubs meet this season, the first was at the National Sixes which SRC won in March.
Jansenites captain Gobinathan Krishnamurthy was elated despite the defeat, saying his youngsters pulled through a very difficult game and that he hoped they would be selected to senior national duty as a reward for their hard work this season.
?To reach the semi-final of the play-offs is not an easy achievement with our young squad and hopefully our players will gain national team selection as they played above their level leading to today?s semi-final,? said Krishnamurthy.
SRC?s superiority told as they scored all field goals through Sunil Prasad (6th), Arif Ali (42nd), Nordin Manaff (59th), Kelvin Lim (65th) and Dexter Kang (68th) while Jansenites had to settle for a consolation off a Krishnamurthy 39th minute penalty corner.
Men?s Premier League semi-finals full results at Delta Sports Complex:
1. Chenab Hockey Club 2 (0-1 h/t) Singapore Cricket Club 2, SCC went onto beat Chenab 5-4 in penalties.
2. Singapore Recreation Club 5 (1-0 h/t) Jansenites 1
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