Singapore won the APAC 2008 after an exciting final against the home team Australia.
Final: Singapore – Australia 5 – 3 (1 – 1, 1 – 1, 3 – 1)
The final started with a tight defence of the Australian team, when Singapore tried to overtake the field, with fast passes. During the Singapore domination, the all stars player Jonathon Vernon, called as “the shark” broke loose scoring 0 – 1 for Australia. Singapore came back in the game few minutes later when Nahendran Alagappan hammered, just in front of the goal, the ball into the Aussie goal.
Singapore took advantage of a sloppy pass from an Australian defender and Sean Huang took Singapore to 2 – 1 lead with an accurate wrist shot in the second minute of the second period. The Australians continued to try and few minutes later Jonathon Vernon got a shot, when the unfortunate Singaporean defender placed in his own goal. The Australians tried hard to get the leading goal, but only got players trying into the goal, but not the ball. Singapore had some real opportunities in the end of the second period, missing a totally open net.
The Australians were forced to take a lot of small offences, which moved the initiative slightly to Singapore, and this initiative was used when Alagappan scored his second goal of the match. When Singapore made fourth goal after a beautiful combination by Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmad Afzal, everyone might have thought that the match was over. The Australians did not agree with that and the man of the match Jonathon Vernon took a long shoot, which the Singaporean goalie Abdul Kahlique partly saved, but lost the ball over his head, from where it slowly fell into the goal. The Singaporean bench protested heavily, since one of the Australian forwards at the same time tumbled into the goalkeeper’s area. It however was a clear goal, giving hope to the home crowd, supporting Australia. As the game went on the tension grew on both benches, but the game still stayed fairly clean. Jovyn Low hit the last nail in the Australian coffin when there was 8 minutes of the match left. After that the Singaporean goalie Kahlique kept his team in the lead, when Australia tried to score in the last minutes of the tournament.
Bronze match: Korea – Australia U19 3 – 2 ot. (1 – 0, 0 – 1, 1 – 1, 1 – 0)
The match picture for the bronze match was that the Koreans had much more to win than the Australian U19, which probably mentally felt their tight loss against the Australian Men’s, since they never got their game going on. The first period was pretty even, with the play moving from one side to the other. Korea was able to score the first goal, when a shoot changed direction and the Korean forward could toss it in from the far post. Australia U19 had a number of good chances.
Both teams had grown a lot during the tournament and are going to have a good future in front of them. Australia got the equaliser quite luckily, when the otherwise very good Korean goalie and a defender fumble the ball and it was left for Aussie player to place in the goal. The teams tried to find openings in the defence of their opponents, but when they had some, the goalies took care of the rest.
It looked for a long time that the match was going in for overtime, until Korea first scored a very nice goal. The U19 team did not get upset by this and equalised a minute later. Despite of a lot of good chances there were no other goals scored and it was time for overtime. Only after 11 seconds of overtime Korea’s number 5, who is living in Australia, shoot from the side and Korea scored and took the bronze medal of APAC 2008. The Australian head coach was very pleased with his team and thinks that their performance was really good and with additional commitment the team can take it far.
|Final standings APAC 2008|
|2. Australia Men|
|4. Australia U19|
|APAC 2008 All Stars|
|Goalie:||Lee Yang Jun, Korea|
|Defenders:||Kim Sang Ki, Korea|
|Anthony Boteler, Australia|
|Centre :||Jonathon Vernon, Australia|
|Forwards:||Mohammad Hafeez, Singapore|
|Ahmad Afzal, Singapore|