SINGAPORE- A perfect hat-trick from Ikhsan Fandi lit up the semi-final of the 26th Lion City Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening but it was ultimately futile as the Singapore Under-16 side crashed out in the penalty shootout 3-5 to Liverpool U-15s.
A strike each from Ikhsan's left foot, right foot and a header in the space of 10 minutes helped the Singaporean side claw back from being 3-0 down in the first-half to clinch a 3-3 draw at full-time.
Some of the spectators had barely settled down into their seats when Liverpool hit the back of the net in the third minute through Curtis Jones. The central midfielder drilled the ball in from just outside the box after being picked out from a Reece McGinley cross.
The Reds doubled their advantage in the 19th minute when Paul Glatzel capitalised on a back pass and finished past goalkeeper Aaron Tang.
Liverpool then made it 3-0 before half-time in the 34th minute when McGinley's pin-point cross was met by a far post header from Neco Williams.
But the second half began, and so did the Ikhsan show.
Picking the ball up just after the half-way line in the 46th minute, the 15-year-old ran at the Liverpool defence and cut back to his left-foot just inside the box before striking past goalkeeper George Neave.
Ikhsan then showcased his pace in the 52nd minute as he ran onto Saifullah Akbar's through ball and sidestepped Neave before slotting into an empty net with his right foot.
The second son of former national captain Fandi Ahmad then completed his hat-trick in the 56th minute as he met Saifullah's cross with an emphatic header that left Neave with no chance.
But Ikhsan shrugged off talk of his heroics after the game, saying: "It's nothing, it's normal. My job as a striker is to score goals."
The Liverpool U-15s will contest Sunday's final with Tottenham Hotspur U-15s, who earlier won 3-0 against the Singapore U-15 side.