Whilst other teams had timidly surrendered the opportunity to be named invincibles for the season, Singapore Football Club maintained their unbeaten record, with a 2-1 win over St. Andrews on Saturday.
Arriving at a sweltering hot St. Wilfrid’s Sports Complex, Coach Mo Yasin was buoyed by a very strong starting line-up.
The new signing of Casteels Tzu Ming upfront added another dimension to SFC’s attacking options, whilst at the back he had been able to call upon Nasri Suhaimi, to add some additional defensive vigour between the sticks.
The first half started as SFC had expected, with St. Andrews happy to sit back. This resulted in Alvin Bierley and the returning Tejas Sarna seeing plenty of the ball in the opening skirmishes.
Up front Andrew Hutcheon, despite the wolf whistles from the opposing Scottish fans, was the first to go close as he tested the St. Andrews keeper. Meanwhile, the twinkled toed Desmond Sim was a constant menace down the left flank, as he frequently got the better of his opposite man.
At the back, the reassuring regular centre half pairing of Lane and Huang remained settled with St. Andrews not registering a shot on target.
As the first half continued, and the temperature continued to rise, it started to have a knock-on effect on SFC, as players started to hurry their passes and looked less assured in front of goal. Numerous chances started to go begging.
In the 35th minute, the door was finally opened as Tejas Sarna finished clinically from just inside the penalty area as he rounded off nine pass move for SFC.
As the second half began, Mo Yasin wisely used the full squad at his disposal and introduced fresh legs to proceedings. The industrious pairing of local favourite Din and Owen Monaghan firmed up the middle of the park for SFC, whilst out wide Nico Anstee and Saatwik Kaul continued to offer Tzu Ming and Hutcheon plenty of opportunities.
Finally SFC added a second. Alvin Bierley combining well with debutant Tzu Ming, who promptly moved the ball neatly out of his feet, before dispatching a well-placed shot in to the bottom corner.
SFC 2 St. Andrews 0.
With the game entering the last fifteen minutes SFC started to tire in the extreme heat, and in turn the game became more stretched. Singapore FC’s keeper Nasri was forced in to an excellent save, as he dived at full stretch to his left to parry a shot away.
Eventually however, St. Andrews managed to claim their goal. Taking advantage of a rare mistake in the SFC backline, the ball was cleared, but only found the feet of an attacking Scotsman. The ball was quickly crossed to the back post, where the Saints No.9 needed no second invitation and headed firmly in to the net.
SFC 2 St. Andrews 1.
Despite St. Andrews’ best efforts to find a late equaliser the SFC defence held firm and that was the last excitement of the game as it concluded 2-1 to SFC.
For SFC another significant step forwards as they remain unbeaten with 5 games remaining.
Next up, second placed Purple Monkey Banters FC, sitting just one place above Singapore FC.
Man of the Match: Casteels Tzu Ming