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[Starhub League Cup] SRC enter the Plate gracefully

Credible display by SRC (white shorts)
Despite losing both their group matches in the Starhub League Cup on close margin, NFL side Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) had won applauds for their efforts by bowing out gracefully after their 2-0 defeat to Home United at the Bishan Stadium last night.

The defeat against the Protectors came days after they were narrowly beaten 1-0 by another S.League side Woodlands Wellington on last Friday.

Unlike Police SA, their fellow NFL peers in the same tournament who suffered heavy losses in their campaign, the Padang-based club filled up their roster with a number of players who had experience in the professional scene, as compared to the law enforcers's base of mainly regular officers and full-time national servicemen.

Aliimaran Lomri clears the ball
In the meantime, owing to the tight fixtures that are scheduled ahead, Home United coach Lee Lim Saeng did not start a number of his regulars on the starting eleven with stars like Korean Lee Kwan Woo, winger Bruno Castanheira and striker Qiu Li were warming the bench before gradually their appearance in the later part of the match.

It was an evenly-contested affair that the part-timers did well to hold the hosts at bay with good works from former Balestier Khalsa defence lynchpin Daniel Hammond and one-time Lions Aliimran Lomri at the back to deny any advancement, while almost came close at the half hour mark to take a surprise lead for themselves if not for the woodwork.

Indra Sahdan (right) finding his way through
Just as it was thought that the match would end with a blank score sheet before the interval, a penalty was awarded to the Protectors for a handball that was committed inside the box with Sirina Camara making no mistake from the spot to give the lead to his side in the 42nd minute.

Striking the iron while it was hot that it wasn't too long before Home United doubled their tally a minute later with another goal from Fazli Ayob and off to the dressing room soon after.

Although the reigning Singapore Cup holders came close on several occasions in the second half to increase their lead with the introduction of Lee, Castanheira and Qiu in the attacking front, the score remained status quo till the end of the night.

Naoto Iwasawa slides his way through
When asked if he was disappointed for firing blanks in the second period during the post-match press conference, Coach Lee, in his usual stance, took full responsibility for that.

Said the former Korean international:"For that (misfiring in the second half) and any criticism towards the team, I will take full responsibility for that, since my players had played according to my instruction,"

"With the tight schedule ahead for us, I have to rest a few of my senior players to conserve the energy as we only have a few days of rest before our next match and it's not going to be easy that I hope my players recover well after this match."

Dan Hammond (back) played for various S.League clubs
Taking stock of his team's performance so far, SRC team manager S Mogan opined that the presence of players with S.League experience in his team was one of the reasons for their relatively good showing.

"It helps with the presence of the players with S.League experience in our lineup, given the fact that we are an amateur side going up against professional teams in the S.League." said Morgan.

"I think we played well and 2-0 is a good result in which I am impressed with the way we counter-attack them until the penalty that we should have scored before that."

Following this outcome, the Protectors will progress to the Quarter-Finals stage with the Plate competition awaiting the part-timers with those who also finish at the bottom of other groups.



  1. On the sidelines when asked what can be done to narrow the gap between NFL and S.League clubs given talks of having promotion and relegation between the two, SRC manager S Morgan replied:"Nothing has been done all these year and I would suggest having something of a "semi-professional" when there would be a 'play-off' system for NFL clubs to fight for S.League spots."


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