The Lion City Sailors Women’s team recorded a resounding 8-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Sunday (25 June) evening to go top of the 2023 Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) table.
They now lead the 10-team WPL table with 16 points, one ahead of Albirex Niigata (S) who dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Police Sports Association in a concurrent match. Hougang United are close behind in third with 14 points.
This was the largest-ever winning margin for the Sailors Women and it brought a little smile to forward Nur Izzati Rosni, who starred with a clinical hat-trick.
“We have struggled to score goals this season and to fix that, we’ve been working hard on ways to penetrate opponents’ defences and create chances in training – and it paid off today,” said the 24-year-old. “It is a very nice feeling to convert many of our chances into goals.”
Izzati opened the floodgates for the Sailors as early as in the third minute when she headed in a rebound after the ball was parried away by Balestier’s custodian Tan Eng Chiu.
The Sailors doubled their advantage through a Madison Telmer tap-in on 17 minutes, this after being set free on the right wing by a brilliant Lila Tan pass.
Wide forward Miray Altun extended the lead to three in the 45th minute, unleashing a scintillating shot that curled beyond the reach of the outstretched Balestier goalkeeper.
The Sailors carried on in the same vein in the second half, slamming a plethora of goals past Balestier.
18-year-old Miray turned architect in the 48th minute with a well-crafted pass that found Izzati, who put the ball into the back of the net with consummate ease.
Even after four goals, the Sailors were still not done.
The irrepressible Izzati was determined to claim her hat-trick, and did so in lightning fashion. Clean through on goal, she slotted past the Balestier custodian in the 62nd minute.
Izzati was jubilant after the game and gave credit to her team.
“It is an amazing feeling to score three goals and I’m really happy, but this is a team effort, that’s for sure – from the goalkeeper to defenders and the forwards, everyone,” said Izzati, who is now up to six goals for the season – three behind Albirex’s league-leading scorer Kana Kitahara.
“Scoring goals involves all of us: to win the ball, to make the crafty pass, and then to score. As an attacking player, it is my duty to help the team by putting the ball in the back of the net, but this is a whole team effort.”
In the 70th minute, Madison scored her second on the night, pouncing to block a Balestier defender’s pass before providing an instinctive finish, for the Sailors’ sixth goal of the evening.
Substitute Chloe Koh then came on to great effect, the 16-year-old providing a pair of assists to her older teammates. First for Lila’s 83rd-minute goal, and then to help Julia Farr score what was her first ever Sailors goal in the second minute of injury time.
Chloe was one of six 16-year-olds who took to the pitch against Balestier, alongside Tia Foong, the pair making their debut for the Sailors’ women, while Ardhra Arul Ganeswaran was included in the Sailors WPL starting XI for the first time.
The Sailors Women will take on Geylang International on Saturday, 22 July at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium when the WPL resumes after the international break.