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[25th Canon Lion City Cup] Nazri's boys routed by Corinthians; NFA U16's gallant defeat on opener

NFA U15 0-7 Corinthians
Corinthians (black jersey) outpowered NFA U15
Just two quick goals in less than 15 minutes into the game told us the difference between Corinthians and our NFA U15 boys in the 25th Canon Lion City Cup opener at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Fair to say that coach Nazri Nasir's boys did show some flashes from the early start, but the two quick goals that they conceded due to defensive lapses immediately rattled the nerves of the local teenagers.

On the contrary, the Brazilians boys displayed a much composed composure with quick things coupled to their swift movement on and off the ball plays.

NFA U15 had to deal constant with the Corinthians' swift plays
With two notable chances that rocked the crossbar by the hosts, it was the samba boys that dictated the pace of the game and saw them walloped another five more goals in the second half to seal the match with a 7-0 shutout.

Speaking to the media after the match, coach Nazri said:"We expected Corinthians to be a much better side than us in terms of physically, technically and mentally,

"Although we lost the game by such a big margin, I am still proud of the efforts shown by my boys, yet I cannot say the same thing for their performance." added the former national skipper.

Zulqarnaen Suzliman (center) tried to shrug off the challenges
Sharing his thoughts over the opening win, Corinthians coach Marcio Zanardi Gomes said:"Singapore is technically a good team, despite the margin of the game,

"I felt that my team settled into the game after we got ourselves used to the temperature that allowed us to move the ball around at our pace and I didn't expect such a scoreline, as it's always hard to play any first game of a tournament."


NFA U16 1-2 Arsenal
Just like his dad, Irfan (center) is the main striker for NFA U16
Following that opening match, the second game of the evening saw English side Arsenal took NFA U16 which featured perhaps the biggest draw of the tournament - Irfan Fandi, the eldest son of the local legend Fandi Ahmad.

With the jersey number 17 on his back, it's inevitable to be asked if it's because of his famous dad who made that two digit famous.

"It was a random choice!" insisted U16 coach Robin Chitrakar after the match that saw the senior "Baby Cubs" lost 2-1 gallantly to the junior Gunners.

Added the former Courts Young Lions coach:"It was given out randomly (on handing over the number 17 jersey to Irfan) and it could be a case of coincidence."

Faiq Jefri Bolkiah (left) - the nephew of Sultan of Brunei stars for Arsenal
For large part of the second match, the U16 did well to match their English counterparts on every department of the game, but failed where it matters most - scoring.

"I am disappointed, as I felt we deserved at least a point tonight." said coach Robin on the result.

"It was an uphill task for us, consider we are just together for the last four, five months," he added.

"They (Arsenal) were a bit lucky that they didn't create that many chances and when they did, they score, whereas we scored in one of those many chances we created." suggested the former national defender referring to his side's only goal scored by Irfan in the second half.

Organized play won Arsenal the day
Arsenal coach Kwame Ampadu, on the other hand, felt it was the tactical awareness and organized play that saw his side won the day.

"We have the fight for it and it was the tactical awareness, things were organized and the patient play by creating chances that won the match. "said the former journeyman footballer who joined the Gunners academy in August 2012.



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