In a sensational display of attacking prowess, the Lion City Sailors Women’s Team secured an emphatic 10-0 victory against Tiong Bahru FC on Saturday (5 August) in the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL). A young Sailors starting 11 dominated every aspect of the game at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium, leaving their opponents struggling to cope with their relentless attacking pressure and cohesive gameplay.
The win – coming off the back of an early brace from Josephine Ang and a Nur Izzati Rosni hat-trick – saw the Sailors solidify their position at the top of the 10-team WPL standings, with 25 points from nine games. They are now five points ahead of second-place Albirex Niigata (S), who could close the gap when they face Tanjong Pagar United on Sunday (6 Aug).
Staying true to her pre-match words, Head Coach Yeong Sheau Shyan handed starts to a total of five Under-16 girls – including Cara Chang and Chloe Koh who were given their first starts of the season.
The floodgates opened in the 23rd minute through one from that quintet as Josephine converted the rebound from Chloe’s shot to find the back of the net for her first-ever WPL goal.
“We had possession from the start but that possession didn’t initially turn into goals, but we started switching the ball a little bit quicker and played more penetrative passes. And after Josephine scored, I think we just got into the flow,” said Sailors midfielder Ho Hui Xin.
“And when the next goal and next goal came in, we started to gain momentum.”
Just two minutes after Josephine’s opener, the Sailors doubled their lead with Miray Altun stroking the ball into the left side of the net to score for a fourth successive game after Madelin Lock played a beautiful pass that beat the entire Tiong Bahru backline.
Josephine was not done yet, finding the back of the net again in the 26th minute, this time off a precise Cara pass.
Izzati – who came on for the injured Madelin – wasted no time making her presence felt alongside Josephine. She scored the Sailors’ fourth goal of the night in the 38th minute after controlling a Josephine pass and beating the Tiong Bahru goalkeeper.
Emerging after the break, the Sailors picked up right where they left off.
Izzati, on fire, scored her second goal just two minutes into the second half, drilling the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. And Cara was the provider for this goal with her penetrating pass.
In the 60th minute, Izzati bagged her hat-trick with a powerful shot from some 25 yards out that nestled in the top left corner of the Tiong Bahru goal.
That brought the 24-year-old’s goal tally up to nine for the season as she closes in on Albirex’s league-leading scorer Kana Kitahara (12 goals).
Second-half substitute Lila Tan got in on the action soon after her introduction, weaving her way through the opposition defence before slotting the ball home from outside the penalty box in the 75th minute.
Nur Syazwani Ruzi (77th minute), Tia Foong (81st) and Ardhra Arul Ganeswaran (86th) all got their names on the scoresheet in the last 12 minutes of the game, adding to Tiong Bahru’s woes and bringing the final score to 10-0.
Tia’s maiden strike and Josephine’s goals also meant a total of 14 different players have scored for the Sailors in the WPL this season.
Despite the double-digit scoreline, Hui Xin believes her Sailors can continue to improve.
“Just the willingness to pick the ball forward a little bit more and just having the guts to bring it forward, instead of playing horizontally across, these are some areas we can improve on,” she said after the game.
Josephine, who scored her first two goals for the club on Saturday, was visibly delighted, but like her more experienced counterpart, Hui Xin, could see where she must improve.
“It was a bit shaky for me initially because this was only my second start and I was feeling a bit nervous. But after I scored my first goal, I felt like I got in flow, more confident and calm in front of the goal,” said the 16-year-old. “I’m glad that I got a second goal too, but this doesn’t stop here, I am eager for more.”
“I hope to play more in the upcoming games, and for that I know I have to train harder. I need to play the ball faster and improve on my decision making skills too.”
The Sailors’ next WPL assignment will be at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Sunday, 13 Aug, against fourth-placed Police Sports Association.