Monday, June 18, 2012
LIONSXII RAN RIOT AGAINST SABAH WITH A 9-0 VICTORY
It was a night to remember for LionsXII and the 6,289 fans at th...
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
HOME UNITED BASKETBALL CLUB WINS FOURTH WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Home United Basketball Club won the 2012 Women’s National ...
Monday, June 04, 2012
SINGAPORE FOUGHT OFF DETERMINED INDONESIA TO WIN MEN’S UNDER-23 AND WOMEN’S WATER POLO GOLD
Singapore and Indonesia went head-to-head in the men’s Und...
Friday, June 01, 2012
SOUTHEAST ASIA FINEST AQUATIC STARS TO COMPETE IN INAUGURAL SEA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday, June 01, 2012
Shape Run 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
SINGAPORE WATER POLO MEN’S TEAM KICKS OFF SEA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH AN EMPHATIC WIN OVER THAILAND
Singapore kick started their bid to prove they are the region...

'A' Division Football Final: MJC to take on VJC in repeat of 2009 final


Dilip Thapa (VJC #10), arguably the best player in the National A Division Football Championship. (Photo: Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports) 


By Amir Yusof

Perennial powerhouses of A Division football, Meridian Junior College (MJC) and Victoria Junior College (VJC), will face off in an intriguing final at the Jalan Besar stadium today, at 6pm.

 

Current holders, MJC, will be looking to retain the trophy for the first time in their illustrious history in this competition whilst VJC are hungry for a win after they fell to St Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC) in the semi-final stage last year.

Both sides deserve to be in the final as they each have a 100% unbeaten record in the competition thus far. Both schools topped their respective groups in the first and second round and in the semi-finals, MJC beat Raffles Institution 2-0 while VJC saw off SAJC by the same margin.

 

However, in what is set to be a clash of the titans on Tuesday evening at Jalan Besar Stadium, something has got to give.

 

Magnificent Meridians


MJC are widely considered the most consistent side in this competition. A place in the final is an annual tradition for the team and this year, Brazilian coach Fabio Da Silva’s side has not disappointed.

 

The MJC side of 2011 epitomises efficiency. Key players include the technically gifted forward Mohd Amsyar (#8) and their skipper cum playmaker Mohd Naufal (#25).

 

Both are skilled in finishing difficult chances and killing off opportunities as a result of their direct style of play. However, Naufal’s absence in MJC’s semi-final victory over Raffles Institution due to injury is certainly a cause for concern. It is not known if he will be fit to start but his shoes will definitely be hard to fill.

 

A key point to note is MJC’s defensive record this season. Their superb custodian Daniel Lightfoot (#19) and composed centre back, Mohd Khair (#16) are largely responsible for MJC’s perfect defensive record this year. An unprecedented eight consecutive clean sheets in addition to the 37 goals scored are certainly impressive statistics. This run of clean sheets will be under threat on Tuesday as Dilip Thapa (VJC #10) and company are set to pose the sternest test yet for MJC’s defence.

 

Valorous Victorians


VJC has been the most prolific team in the A Division this year with 42 goals. Led by arguably the best player in the competition, Dilip Thapa, VJC stand a genuine chance of wresting the title from MJC. VJC’s style of play oozes fluidity and technical superiority. Their boys are widely regarded as the fittest in the competition, evident from their habit of demolishing opponents in the closing stages of matches when legs begin to tire. They are also dangerous in set pieces with their well-worked corners and free kicks direct from the training ground.

 

Other than Dilip, VJC forward Santosh Magar (#11) and midfielder Shen Hao (#7) are the other powerful attacking options for coach Azrulnizam Shah as he plots a repeat of VJC’s 2009 3-2 triumph over MJC, the last time these two sides met in a final.

Despite the apparent quality in VJC’s offensive play; MJC will improve their odds of winning their second year in a row if they manage to neutralize the threat of Dilip Thapa. However, MJC coach Fabio Da Silva is confident of playing their own game. When asked of his plans to stop the VJC playmaker, he said: “I am confident that my boys will be able do their job well and we will play our own game.”


When asked about their chances in this year’s final, VJC coach Azrulnizam Shah said: “In a final, the form book goes out the window. Any side we face will pose a threat and definitely play to win.”

 

With two quality sides lining up against each other it is impossible to pick a winner and it could well be decided by a moment of magic from one of the many key players on show. Both skippers Dilip of VJC and Naufal of MJC are definitely capable of grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and leading their respective sides to victory. Whatever happens, not much will separate VJC and MJC.