Marcus, sent off in last year's final, scores winner to dethrone MJC
For a year, Marcus Tang has been saddled with guilt. The Victoria Junior College (VJC) centre back was sent off for a second yellow card in last year's Schools National A Division boys' football final against Meridian Junior College (MJC).
That proved costly as his team lost 3-1.
Yesterday, the 18-year-old turned from zero to hero after scoring with a lunging volley in injury time to give his team a 1-0 win over the same rivals in this year's A Division final at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
It was VJC's first title since 2013 and ended MJC's four-year reign.
"The whole year, people have been mocking me for what happened (last year)," recalled Marcus, a Year 2 student.
"I told myself to work harder for today's final and words cannot describe what just happened. I've been waiting for a year for this, it's truly redemption.
"When I scored, my legs were already cramping up but I used all my energy to run around the field and, when I saw my friends cheering in the stands, I couldn't be prouder of my team and my school."
The two teams were evenly matched in the tense 80-minute encounter and it looked like neither could break the deadlock.
Then came Marcus' moment of atonement. A VJC free-kick created chaos in the opponents' penalty box. An MJC player mistimed his header and the ball fell straight to a VJC player, who passed to Marcus to volley past the goalkeeper.
The drama did not end there. The VJC supporters were still celebrating when MJC's Kaung Htet Lu found the net a minute later. But, to VJC's relief, the goal was disallowed due to a foul on goalkeeper Kevin Wong.
The referee then blew the final whistle to spark delirium among the VJC supporters.