Rachel Chan's 83rd minute winner gives Tiong Bahru FC maximum points and inflicts Still Aerion's first league defeat of the season
Still Aerion captain Stephanie Gigette Dominguez (blue) escapes the attentions of Tiong Bahru FC's Louisa Lim down the flanks. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG
Singapore, 12 June 2022 - Tiong Bahru FC extended their unbeaten streak to three games in the 2022 Deloitte Women's Premier League after Rachel Chan’s 83rd minute goal secured a 1-0 win against Still Aerion on Sunday’s WPL clash at Yishun Stadium.
Despite losing star players Wang Zhenzhu and Winette Lim during the game, Tiong Bahru FC held on and retained second spot in the table, remaining just two points adrift of league leaders Tanjong Pagar United.
Tiong Bahru FC players celebrate Rachel Chan's 83rd minute winner. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG
While both Lawrence Lee and Hyrizan Jufri’s sides had opportunities to break the deadlock in the first period, Tiong Bahru FC enjoyed the lions share of chances but were unable to capitalise on them.
Still Aerion goalkeeper Nurul Faizah’s reflexes were tested time and again as Tiong Bahru piled on the pressure, asking questions of the Aerion defence with through passes that carved open the rearguard on multiple occasions.
Tiong Bahru's Rachel Chan (left) closes down Pamela Kong of Still Aerion at Yishun Stadium. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG
Luckily for Aerion, Faizah’s last-ditch clearances stopped the advances of Monesha Nair and Wang on separate occasions.
Similarly at the other end of the pitch, Audrey Cheong was forced to run onto the long balls played over the top by Aerion’s midfield.
In the 14th minute, Farhanah Ruhaizat managed to penetrate the Tiong Bahru back line, challenging Cheong in a race for the ball. She was a threat again shortly after, but this time having to fend off Jacklyn Lee but could not get past Cheong.
Winette Lim of Tiong Bahru FC (left) contests the ball with Still Aerion's Claire Marie Tay. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG
Still Aerion came out the hungrier side in the second half, turning the tables on their opponents who dominated the first. Each Tiong Bahru attack was subdued like a blanket over fire but Aerion just could not find the final killer pass to reflect ball.
The game began to open up as the half progressed, with both sides' search for the all important breakthrough intensified. Tiong Bahru’s Deborah Chin got booked after sliding in late and fast sending Stephanie Dominguez flying into a heap on the ground.
The deadlock was finally broken from a free kick taken deep in Tiong Bahru's half. Still Aerion's defence failed to clear the ball launched from deep and it was left to Rachel Chan who outmuscled Aerion's Malavika Hermanth to register a clinical finish, bending the ball round Faizah and give Tiong Bahru FC the lead with only seven minutes to go.
Still Aerion came out the hungrier side after the break, but could not find the all important breakthrough. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG
Still Aerion’s efforts to find a last minute equaliser tested Tiong Bahru, who at this point were trying to keep the ball safe in the middle of the park. Aerion were smart and patient in their strategy to try play out from the back efficiently, but time was not on their side as they were left to settle on the defeat. They face league leaders, Tanjong Pagar next week while Tiong Bahru go on a deserved rest.
Still Aerion's Farhanah Ruhaizat was a constant threat to the Tiong Bahru rearguard. PHOTO: HANA BASIR, SPORTPLUS.SG
Deloitte Women's Premier League 2022
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Balestier Khalsa vs Lion City Sailors (Match postponed)