14-year-old Secondary 3 girl scores goal in S’pore women’s football international debut
She put the ball between the goalkeeper's legs.
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A Secondary 3 student in Singapore has made history by playing for the Singapore women’s football team at the tender age of 14.
Her dream debut was even more stunning when she was called upon as a substitute in the first half of the match and then went on to score by putting the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs.
Putri Nur Syaliza did not expect to be thrown into the deep end when Singapore played Maldives in an international friendly on March 5, 2018, at the Singapore Sports Hub.
She would only be turning 15 next week in mid-March.
The Singapore Women’s National Team eventually beat Maldives 2-0.
However, the initial stages of the match did not really get started as the Lionesses struggled to bring the fight to the opponents.
In the 33rd minute, head coach K. Balagumaran called upon Putri to deliver.
And within minutes, the Queensway Secondary 3 student did, despite not being told beforehand she would be playing.
She nearly made an immediate impact. Her fierce 20-yard strike was deflected.
She had only trained twice with the team before Monday night’s match.
Scores debut goal
In the 51st minute, Putri opened the scoring with a nutmeg after she pounced on a weak clearance from the Maldivian goalkeeper.
She strode forward before lashing a shot that went in between the goalkeeper’s legs and into the net.
“It was lucky, I thought it didn’t go in,” Putri said after the game. “Then it went in and I was really shocked, it was my first goal ever (for Singapore), so I am really, really happy!”
The second half performance by the women’s team was vastly better than the first half after a half-time team-talk helped to turn things around.
Maldives barely crossed into the Singapore half in the final 45 minutes as the home side mounted wave after wave of attacks.
But they had to wait until the 87th minute for the second goal, courtesy of Stephanie Dominguez.
She smacked the ball into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area to finish off a four-pass move that started with an indirect free-kick near the halfway line.
It was Dominguez’s second goal in as many matches.
The Singapore women’s team is preparing for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championships in June.
Putri the goal-scoring machine
For the uninitiated, Putri is already known as something of a local footballing legend.
In the secondary school level, she scored an incredible 41 goals in six games prior to the inter-school football final in August 2017.
In the last match, she netted her 42nd goal and the only winning goal in the match in the 31st minute at Serangoon Stadium to win the title for Queensway against Bowen Secondary School.
Her total tally meant she scored an average of six goals a game.
Singapore women’s national team line-up
The next youngest players selected for the Women’s National Team squad against Maldives were 15 and 16 years old.
The rest of the players are in their late teens and 20s.
|1||Noor Kusumawati Binte Mohammad Rosman||27||GK||Warriors FC|
|2||Nur Shahira Binte Sulaiman||19||GK||Tampines-Changkat CSC|
|3||Nur Syafiqah Binte Peer Mohamed||21||GK||Tanjong Pagar United FC|
|4||Tressa Jane Fernandez||23||DF||Tanjong Pagar United FC|
|5||Pang Yen Ping Angelyn||26||DF||Woodlands Wellington FC|
|6||Nur Izyani Binte Noorghani||30||DF||Warriors FC|
|7||Nur Umairah Binte Mohd Hamdan||15||DF||Tampines-Changkat CSC|
|8||Siti Rosnani Binte Azman||20||DF||Police Sports Association|
|9||Suria Priya D/O Varatharaja||26||DF||Tanjong Pagar United FC|
|10||Chan Wan Wen Rochelle||22||MF||Woodlands Wellington FC|
|11||Joey Cheng Yu Ying||24||MF||Warriors FC|
|12||Stephanie Gigette A Dominguez||19||MF||Warriors FC|
|13||Ernie Sulastri Binte Sontaril||29||MF||Tampines-Changkat CSC|
|14||Fatin Aqillah Binte Mohamed Ridzuan||23||MF||Tanjong Pagar United FC|
|15||Fatin Nur Syarafana Binte Alias||20||MF||Warriors FC|
|16||Ho Hui Xin||25||MF||Woodlands Wellington FC|
|17||M Monessha Nair||22||MF||Woodlands Wellington FC|
|18||Nur Afiqah Binte Omar||16||MF||Tampines-Changkat CSC|
|19||Nur Farhanah Bte Ruhaizat||19||MF||Tampines-Changkat CSC|
|20||Pan Shi Yu||23||MF||Tanjong Pagar United FC|
|21||Putri Nur Syaliza Binte Sazali||14||MF||Warriors FC|
|22||Dorcas Chu||15||FW||Warriors FC|
|23||Nur Raudhah Binte Kamis||18||FW||Winchester Isla FC|
Full match highlights here: