Singapore Recreation Club (blue) and Admiralty FC (black) overcame Sporting Westlake and Singapore Cricket Club respectively en route to the League Cup playoff finals, which Admiralty won 3-1 (photo by Jingyi/VOXSPORTS)
Admiralty FC have created history by qualifying for the Starhub League Cup as this year's competition saw one team from the FAS National Football League given a coveted place in the competition.
Breaking free early from the clutches of the opponent was Admiralty FC’s Helmi Mohamad who had his first chance to score the match opener on 6 minutes but SRC’s goalkeeper Phang Chin Guan was equal to his task to thwart his plan.
Another golden opportunity came at their doorstep with midfielder Masnashzreen Masturi darting forward to retrieve a ball that had slipped away from his teammate. An amusing sight of his leap over his teammate turned into an exasperating moment as his close shot came to naught when the balled sailed through the air and brushed against the top of the goalpost. It was yet another chance missed out by the Wolves.
The first goal came in the form of Singapore Recreation Club No. 18 Shaiful Fauzi who had converted the ball that had slipped from the goalkeeper's grasp into an easy first shot in at the bottom right corner of the goal which had been left empty, much to the surprise of the Wolves.
It seemed to be a never ending effort for Rozaidi Zainal's men when it came to achieving an early equaliser, but the 2012 NFL Division 2 Champions could not seem to get it. They continued to remain ruthless in getting what they wanted though.
Their rough interceptions were constant gateways for injuries and players being stretchered out of the field. Rough play had Singapore Recreational Club No. 25 Tan Yong Kai momentarily injured and Masturi replaced by midfielder Mathew Shiva at the 35th minute.
The opportunity to set the scores equal finally arrived at the 41st minute when Admiralty’s Jonathan Xu scored the first goal for his team.
The first half ended with a score of 1-1.
A header by SRC’s Azmi Ahmad at the 49th minute could have set a difference in the scores early into the second half, but history was not about to be repeated easily. The Wolves’ Nurhaizal Sufri, who had replaced goalkeeper Hazwan Halimi after he had attained a serious leg injury that had him being carried out of the field, immediately lunged to the left and made a spectacular save.
Proving their worth
The Wolves were on their way to proving their worth at the 57th minute as Azhar Baksin, seeing the advantageous position in scoring, gave a through pass which yielded Admiralty’s second of the day as the crowd erupted into a joyous roar for the Wolves. There was no stopping them from then on. They seemed to have been even more fired up by that goal, stubbornly refusing to let up their aggressive stance.
Eighty-one minutes into the game and the score remained at 2-1. There was no slowing down for either teams as each raced to reach their agenda; SRC to quickly push for an equaliser and Admiralty FC to ensure that that did not happen. A heart-stopping moment gripped the crowds as the Wolves' No. 4 Guntur Djafril sunk a shot into the net at the 85th minute which was sadly considered an off-side.
That hardly disappointed Rozaidi Zainal's men. Four minutes were added to the end of the second half and before the crowds knew it, a slight tap by defender Haziq Sudhir to the right side of the goal had Admiralty FC trouncing Singapore Recreation Club with a score of 3-1.