A 'farewell' to forget
Playing under school banner for the last time, Siglap boys fall to killer goal
There was more than a tinge of sentimentality for Siglap Secondary's B Division footballers.
For it was the last time they would be playing for their school.
As of January next year, Siglap will be merging with Coral Secondary due to falling cohort demands.
Such a feeling should spur you. But it can also break you. And Siglap suffered the latter.
They had dominated the National Schools' B Division semi-final at SAFRA Tampines. But one lapse saw them failing to make the final, losing 1-0 to Hong Kah Secondary School.
Defending champions Hong Kah found just one crack in Siglap's defence and, from that, they poached the winning goal.
Hong Kah's Shahrulnizam Mazlan capitalised on the only big chance.
He sped past the centre backs and beat goalkeeper Yeo Wen Bin for the killer goal in the 65th minute.
Siglap were stunned, but they refused to lie down.
They kept the pressure up and had a chance to take the game into extra-time but were denied by a goal-line save by Hong Kah skipper Muhammad Nurdanial.
Said Nurdanial: "I knew that he was going to for the far post and, thankfully, I managed to get there in time."
Siglap were crestfallen. But their head coach Fabio Fantecelle, 42, tried to lift their spirits.
"It's very heartening to see my boys give of their best and come so far in the tournament," he said. "My boys worked really hard today, and played well against an experienced and strong side like Hong Kah."
In an earlier match, Tanjong Katong beat St Gabriel's Secondary 4-1 to secure their spot in the final.
Tanjong Katong's Muhammad Syafiq scored the opener in the second minute and found the net again in the 23rd while Banbury Lee got the third eight minutes from the break after a diagonal cross left the opposing goalkeeper rooted.
Haiqal Assyiddiq went on to seal the deal with a fourth in the 45th minute before St Gabriel's grabbed a consolation goal six minutes later.
The final wll be played at the Jalan Besar Stadium at 4.40pm on Wednesday.
St Gabriel's face Siglap for the third-placed play-off at 3pm.