A jubilant Women's Floorball team posing with Singapore flag - Photo Credit: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee / Action Images via Reuters
A packed crowd at the ITE College Central on Sunday witnessed Singapore winning gold in both men’s and women’s floorball.
Both teams beat Thailand in their finals but in very contrasting fashion.
While the men cruised to a convincing 9-0 victory, the women emerged victorious after a thrilling penalty shoot-out.
The contest ended 3-3 after normal time and neither team were able to score in the ‘sudden death’ extra-time.
Singapore won 2-1 in the shoot-out, thanks to successful penalties from Jill Quek and Natalia Wee while goalkeeper Fariza Begum performed brilliantly saving four out of the five penalties.
“I just wanted to do my best in front of the home crowd and for my family. Not forgetting my team mates who had played a very hard game. I guess we really deserved that win,” said a beaming Begum.
Singapore forward and Captain Wynne Tang said the win was a victory for real team-spirit.
“We are a good team and we draw strength from each other, not just one person playing the main role. We are constantly giving each other encouragement and hanging out together off court and on court so the chemistry is really good. That helps us play better,” she said.
Thailand had scored first through Sunaree Thoengkhunthod in the 11th minute, but that advantage lasted just three minutes, as Yeo Xuan got the home side back on level terms.
Singapore began the second period in aggressive fashion, creating plenty of pressure and got their reward with an Ong Hui Hui goal.
But the Thais also showed plenty of spirit and determination and clawed their way back into the game when Thanaporn Tongkham scored in the 10th minute of the second period.
The crowd sensed victory when Debbie Poh put Singapore back in the lead only for the Thai team to respond strongly again, levelling the match up and forcing ten minutes of extra-time, in which neither side could score.
Then came the shoot-out drama and gold for Singapore.
“I think the Thais were very aggressive and they were constantly looking to score. I think our experience helped us have a slight edge over them and we were able to keep cool and play our game,” said Tang.
The passion of the Singapore fans was evident to see and forward Laura Tan hopes that the enthusiasm for the sport can continue beyond the excitement of the SEA Games.
I think it really helps boost the profile of Floorball and because it was not televised or streamed, it meant more people came here to watch. It will help Floorball grow as a sport in Singapore.
“It has been growing well for the last two years but the SEA Games has given us a platform to build further - to showcase what we have and what the sport brings.”
Team Singapore Men's Floorball Team Celebrates Win - Photo Credit: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee / Action Images via Reuters
The men’s team did not score until a minute before the end of the first period when Rashid Jalaluddin struck but it was one-way traffic after that.
Alvin Tan doubled the advantage two minutes after the restart and then Abdul Hadiz Zubir and Lim Jian Hong added two more in the second period to make it 4-0.
Singapore went on the rampage in the third period with five goals — Siraaj Ramadhan scored twice and R. Suria, Mckenrick Lim and skipper Syazni Ramlee all found the target.