F-17's Russell leaves Youth World Cup opponents in tears
F-17's Russell's five-minute cameo leads U-11 team to last-gasp win over IFK
He cried when he missed his father or was left out of the starting seven yesterday.
But 10-year-old Russell Tan, who lives in the United States, was the one inflicting tears on opponents IFK Stocksund in their Gothia Cup Group 6 opener yesterday.
In a lively five-minute cameo that led to the F-17 Academy Under-11s' stoppage-time 3-2 win over IFK, his elegant stepovers also drew gasps from the crowd at the Valen pitch.
From being a one-man wall defending an IFK free-kick, he launched a counter-attack that ended with Aryan Bahadur Chetri's dramatic winner with the last kick of the 40-minute match.
Russell told The New Paper: "I was sad, but coach Jahsh (Ruzzman) explained that he wanted me to come on and make an impact, and I'm happy that I did."
With the match played on a field a quarter of the size of a regular pitch, it was an end-to-end affair that saw Aryan's fourth-minute free-kick and Febryan Putra Pradana's 15th-minute long-range effort cancelled out in the first half, before Aryan's late clincher.
F-17 U-11s coach Jahsh said: "Our opponents were unfortunate with the disallowed goal and they were sporting about it. But, overall, we pressed hard and matched the bigger opponents physically."
It was a good day for the F-17 Academy, whose U-13 side also won their Group 20 opener by beating Karra KIF 2-0 at Kviberg.
Goalkeeper Dylan Goh made a big save early in the 11-a-side match, but that was the only time the F-17 U-13 were tested in the 40 minutes.
The Singapore side were left frustrated after seeing three shots by Vasileous Chua, K Dashan and Ilhan Fandi Ahmad cannon off the posts in an eight-minute spell that also saw Marc Tan's effort cleared off the line.
But they finally broke through in the 19th minute when the Greece-born Vasileous finished off a sweeping move with Dashan and Ian Pang contributing to the build-up.
They killed off the game when the impressive 14-year-old midfielder Khairul Karim, one of two overaged players permitted along with last man Zamani Zamri, blitzed one in with six minutes left.
"We were unlucky not to score more earlier, but it feels good to score and I hope to experience this rush again in the upcoming games," said Vasileous, who was born in Greece to a Singaporean dad and Greek mum, and moved back to Singapore two years ago.
- The New Paper's trip to the Gothia Cup is facilitated by the F-17 Academy.
Gothia Cup selected results
A total of six football schools from Singapore - F-17 Academy, ESPZEN Soccer School, International SA, JSSL Arsenal Singapore, Shoot Football Academy and Turf City Football Club are represented at the 2015 Gothia Cup
- Group 13: ESPZEN Soccer School (1) 0 Kullavagens BK (Swe) 7
- Group 15: ESPZEN Soccer School (2) 0 ACOS Treviglio (Ita) 2
- Group 6: F-17 Academy 3 IFK Stocksund (Swe) 2
- Group 19: International SA (1) 1 JDFS Alberts (Latvia) 0
- Group 20: International SA (2) 5 Blau-Weis 96 Schenefeld 2 (Ger) 0
- Group 16: JSSL Arsenal Singapore (1) 5 Blau-Weis Schenefeld 1 (Ger) 2
- Group 18: JSSL Arsenal Singapore (2) 1 FC Chambly (Fra) 4
- Group 10: Turf City Football Club 7 Finlandia-Pallo AIF (Swe) 0
- Group 28: International SA 5 Orby IS (Swe) 1
- Group 32: JSSL Arsenal Singapore 4 Bollnas GIF 2 (Swe) 0; JSSL Arsenal Singapore (1) 3 JDFS Alberts 2 (Lat) 0
- Group 5: Shoot Football Academy 0 Glumslovs FF (Swe) 11
- Group 20: F-17 Academy 2 Karra KIF (Swe) 0
- Group 24: International SA 0 IFK Goteborg (Swe) 4
- Group 11: JSSL Arsenal Singapore (1) 4 VFL Westercelle 0
- Group 10: JSSL Arsenal S'pore (2) 0 TSV Uesen (Ger) 0
- Group 27: International SA 5 Mjolby AI/FF 2 (Swe) 1
- Group 43: JSSL Arsenal Singapore 0 BK Hacken 1 (Swe) 2
G12 CATEGORY (GIRLS)
- Group 3: JSSL Arsenal Singapore 3 Alvangens IK (Swe) 0.