|Coach Ferreira never doubt his team's ability|
For a team that prided itself for producing many wonderful players throughout the year, one shall not fault Sporting Lisbon U19 coach Abel Ferreira for showing that kind of confidence during the post-match press conference following his side's 2-1 win over their more popular opponents Liverpool.
"Are you surprised that my team won?" queried the former Sporting player in English at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) boardroom at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
This came after no question from the media was asked in the first place when requested by the emcee at the gathering.
|An impressive Sporting clinched the NexLions Cup|
"To me, every player in my team is special and it's not just about one or two players becoming the next (Cristiano) Ronaldo or (Luis) Figo." said Ferreira when asked to single out a player in his squad to be the next big thing out from the Sporting Academy to emulate two of its most illustrious graduates.
|Liverpool's skipper Adam Morgan (right) struggled in the match|
For the record, the Verde-e-Brancos scored in the 46th minute through Luka Stojanvic with substitute Luis Cortez doubled the tally late at the game (Cortez had the longest warming up prior to his call of duty).
|Cortez (left) reaped his dividends with a late strike|
Manchester United clinched the third spot of the tournament after beating Singapore Youth Selection 2-1 in other match played earlier of the day.
|Gaining advantage in the air|
The match eventually got into the groove when the hosts took the lead via the penalty kick that eventually set the game to change the pace and saw the boys from the United academy came from behind to net in two goals to seal the match.
“The boys did their best,” said Singapore Youth Selection coach Aide Iskandar after the match. “We only had three and a half week to prepare for this tournament, unlike the foreigner teams who train together since young.
"It is never easy to play two games in three days. We gave United a good fight but they were the better side." added the former Singapore captain.
|Singapore (red) failed to defuse and allowed Man Utd to level|
“We have to get used to that, being in a foreign country, with the pressure, uncomfortable conditions. Its what they need to be as a football player.”
(PS: Quotes of coaches Aide and McGuiness extracted from the tournament official media release made available after the match.)
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