The Lion City Sailors got back to winning ways last night (3 August) as they secured a 4-0 win over Balestier Khalsa in the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL).

A four-goal blitz in the last 30 minutes of the second half – courtesy of Danelle Tan, Nur Syazwani Ruzi, Dorcas Chu and Nur Izzati Rosni – ensured the Sailors picked up all three points against the Tigers.

However, the match was once again marked by the Sailors needing to overcome a deep, defensive line that Balestier used to great effect to keep their goal from being breached in the first half.

It did not help that the match – which was previously postponed due to cases of Covid-19 in the Balestier squad – was re-arranged to be held on a weekday, which meant that many of the players went to the match directly after work or school.

“A few players looked tired and sluggish even during the warmup as they were rushing in from a day of school and work,” explained coach Yeong Sheau Shyan. “So there was definitely some uncertainty as to whether we could put in the type of performance that was needed to get the three points.

“The girls knew what we needed to do better following our last match (a goalless draw with Tanjong Pagar United), but it wasn’t well executed in the first half. I was pleased to see the change in approach by the players after the break, so overall, I’m very happy with the win.”

The result means that the Sailors now have a three-point buffer at the top of the seven-team WPL standings, between themselves and second-placed Tanjong Pagar.

With half the season played, the Sailors women remain the only team in the league yet to taste defeat. While this augurs well for the Sailors’ title ambitions, Sheau Shyan was quick to emphasise the need for her players to remain firmly on top of their game.

“The three-point lead that we currently have doesn’t mean much, as I expect the second half of the season to be much tougher,” Sheau Shyan mused. “Our biggest challenge is still to find a way to overcome the compact block, without compromising our own defence.”

While the Sailors have a bye in this weekend’s round of WPL fixtures, they will not be sitting idly by. Instead, the team will travel to Malaysia for a practice match and sharing session with their counterparts from Selangor FC.

And Sheau Shyan is excited for what her team will be able to glean from this trip.

“This trip is going to be very interesting. We are pitting ourselves against a top team in the Malaysian women’s league, and it will give us an idea of how our playing style works when the opponent comes out and attacks us,” she said.  

“We aren’t looking for results. We just want to gauge what our starting point is, as well as learn and improve from the experience.”