Football: S'pore under-16s in Lion City Cup semi-finals
Photo by WEE TECK HIAN
The NFA Singapore under-16s (in red) held Portugal's FC Porto (in blue and white) to a goalless draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium to qualify for the semi-finals of the 24th Canon Lion City Cup (Photo by WEE TECK HIAN)
SINGAPORE: Dejan Gluscevic's National Football Academy (NFA) Singapore under-16 side lived up to their pre-tournament hype by confirming their semi-final spot at the 24th Canon Lion City Cup, after grinding out a 0-0 draw with FC Porto at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday night.
The Group A encounter saw the Portuguese giants fashion one chance after another, only to be thwarted by an inspired Heirul Suhanes between the sticks for the hosts.
As Porto ploughed forward in search of goals, the Singaporeans put on a good show of counter-attacking football, effectively utilising their superior pace on the break.
Captained by defender Amirul Adli, the Cubs created enough opportunities to win, but profligacy from both sides saw the game end goal-less.
Nonetheless, having finished third two years ago, the NFA Singapore under-16s have ensured at least another shot at the same finish.
"Porto are probably the best team in the tournament. They showed maturity playing down the flanks and through the middle, and I thought we matched them well," said Gluscevic. "Today's game needed a bit more determination in the defensive line for us to achieve our target of making the semi-finals."
Monday's earlier match saw English Premiership side Manchester City beat Vasco da Gama 2-0 in an entertaining Group B encounter.
City goalkeeper Bradley McDonagh pulled off several top-drawer saves to deny the Brazilian youngsters to earn the Man-of-the-Match award.
Click here to read about the NFA squad's previous win over Ajax Amsterdam.