JURONG Weston FC of Singapore exacted sweet revenge on defending champions Kilat Kuala Lumpur to regain the Penang Sports Club (PSC)-Carlsberg International Soccer Sevens’ Veterans crown.
They defeated Kilat Kuala Lumpur 1-0 in the final of the annual tournament at the PSC grounds to lift the crown for the third time.
It was Kilat Kuala Lumpur who had denied them a shot at the trophy for the third year in a row last year by showing them the exit in the semi-finals.
The all-important goal in the final was scored through a penalty midway into the second half of the 40-minute game. The referee pointed to the spot when striker Alexsandra Duric was brought down inside the box.
Nippy Jurong Weston flanker Dalis Suppat, who had been supporting Duric’s offensive display, stepped up and made his penalty shot count.
That goal won Jurong Weston the tournament’s top purse of RM2,500.
Duric was the live wire of the Singaporean outfit. His tireless work at both ends of the field, helping out in defence as well as in attack, proved a pain to their rivals’ defence line.
The Serbian’s contributions made up for the absence of Jurong Weston’s key players – former Australian professional Abbas Saad and Singapore’s former national ace striker S. Sundramoorthy.
Although Kilat Kuala Lumpur were well prepared for Duric by successfully dismantling his every move with some cool defence job in the first half, there was just no stopping the Serbian from making his efforts count.
In one of his raids, he was brought down in the box which earned Jurong Weston the penalty.
Jurong Weston team manager M. Ravindran gave due credit to Duric for the victory.
“Although it was team work that won us the match, I cannot deny that it was also Duric's tireless contributions that made the difference. Being a former Singapore national player, he made his presence felt and it paid dividends at the end of our campaign,” he said.
Sharing Singapore's joy were Thailand's Samutprakan FC, who handed their Indonesian rivals Pertamina FC a 4-1 beating to troop out champions in the Masters Category.
A record number of 29 foreign teams took part in the two-day tournament which also featured 15 Malaysian teams.
Veterans, S-finals: Kilat KL bt Valencia Maldives (1-0); Jurong Weston FC bt Bangkok Airways (2-0). Final: Jurong Weston FC bt Kuala Lumpur Kilat (1-0). Plate, S-finals: JICT Jakarta bt RRY Kuala Lumpur (1-0); Strike FC bt Black Eagle FC (2-0). Final: JICT Jakarta bt Strike FC (2-1 on penalties/full time: 1-1).
Masters, S-finals: Samutprakan FC bt Penang Sports Club (2-1); Pertamina FC bt Perak Chinese Recreation Club (2-0). Final: Samutprakan FC bt Pertamina FC (4-1). Plate, S-finals: Binjai Putra FC bt Bangkok Spartakus (2-1); Lemming Striker FC bt Langkawi Veterans (2-0 penalties/full time: 0-0) Final: Lemming Striker FC bt Binjai Putra FC (3-1).