Lucas sparks Tanjong Katong football win
In a tense final, Tanjong Katong Secondary pipped Hong Kah Secondary 1-0 to the National B Division Boys' football crown, with Lucas Ng's early headed goal the difference at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday.
After a shock first-round exit in the nationals last year, Tanjong Katong were determined to make amends this season, and duly delivered against the defending champions in front of 1,200 fans.
Head coach Khadir Khamis, 30, said experience made the difference, after starting nine Secondary 4 boys in this season's team.
"I felt that the Secondary 3s were not ready yet, especially in terms of maturity and confidence," he said.
"After watching how they (Hong Kah) played, I knew they had difficulty defending set pieces and we made the extra effort to work on them.
"I also emphasised discipline and I'm glad it worked out well, especially in the last 20 minutes."
Lucas scored the winner via a dead ball in the 14th minute, converting a set-piece routine that Tanjong Katong had practised the day before.
It was the 15-year-old centre back's first goal of the season.
"Simply put, we did not rise to the occasion in the first half," said head coach of Hong Kah, Mohamed Zainudeen, 47.
"The boys might have been overwhelmed by the number of people here.
"Most of the team, even our NFA boys, whom we counted on, were sitting back and did not push on enough."
In an earlier match for third place, Siglap Secondary beat St Gabriel's Secondary 5-3 in extra-time, thanks to a four-goal salvo by skipper Mohd Shahrul.