25th Canon Lion City Cup 5th Place Play-Off: NFA U16 vs NFA U15

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The Singapore NFA U16 team defeated their local counterparts – NFA U15, 4-1 to finish 5th in the Canon Lion City Cup.

An Adam Hakeem header in the third minute of play gave the NFA U16 an early lead.

Eight minutes later, the U15 drew level when Adam’s younger brother Amer Hakeem played a long ball out from defense for forward Syukri Bashir to volley home past U16 goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad.

The NFA U16s continued to dominate proceedings. Midfielder Shafie Muliantoh’s curling free-kick was gathered comfortably by Adib Nur Hakim in the 29th minute. Irfan Fandi was a constant aerial threat and had a chance when a long ball out found him, but his touch to bring the ball over Adib was too heavy.

Then in the 36th minute the U16′s lead was restored when Syafiq Irawan’s first time volley found the net.

Irfan would then play a part in the next goal for his team. Collecting captain Gareth Low’s free-kick, Irfan’s well measured side-footed cross found Andin Addie and the latter made no mistake with an open goal at his mercy to put his team 3-1 in front.

U16 defender Lionel Tan completed the rout in the 66th minute with an easy tap-in after Adib spilled Amiruldin’s powerful free kick.

The last chance of the match came in the 75th minute. NFA U15 captain Shahrul Affandy’s blistering free-kick missed the top left corner of the goal.

After the match, NFA U16 coach Robin Chitrakar gave his final assessment of his team’s overall performance in the Canon Lion City Cup.

“I hope to okay more opponents like these. We grew and improved as a team after each match. We have to get this kind of international exposure.”

One NFA player from each Singaporean team was also voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

The U16′s Gareth Low was voted as their best player. The midfielder provided energy and tenacity in the middle of the park and led his team well.

“I did not expect to be voted MVP. It was good experience. We learn more about European and South American teams and their tactics,” said the 16 year old midfielder.

Forward Hami Syahin was voted MVP for the U15s. Both boys will be sent to a top European youth academy for a short training stint sponsored by Canon.