Football: Ikhsan Fandi scores in third successive match for Raufoss

Ikhsan Fandi opened the scoring at third-tier Fram Larvik in the 33rd minute of the second-round Norwegian Football Cup tie. PHOTO: MARIUS MYKLESET

SINGAPORE - Ikhsan Fandi's rich vein of scoring form continues as the Singapore striker found the net in his third consecutive match for second-tier Norwegian club Raufoss IL in just 11 days.

On Wednesday (May 22), the 20-year-old opened the scoring at third-tier Fram Larvik in the 33rd minute of the second-round Norwegian Football Cup tie.

Capitalising on the uncertainty within the Fram defence, Ikhsan clinically chipped the goalkeeper to give Raufoss the lead.

However, the hosts equalised in the 88th minute and after a goal-less 30 minutes of extra time, Fram emerged 4-3 winners from the penalty shootout after Ikhsan and Anton Henningsson missed the fourth and fifth spot-kicks respectively.

While Ikhsan was upset about the penalty miss, he took comfort in the fact that he completed his first full match for Raufoss and kept up his scoring streak.

He had grabbed his first competitive goal for Raufoss on May 12 with an 89th-minute bicycle-kick winner in the 3-2 victory over Skeid, before scoring his second with a towering header in the 5-2 defeat by Sandnes Ulf four days later.

He told The Straits Times: "This is my first 120-minute game and I'm exhausted. I'm happy to be in such good form because I've been working hard and I will do my best to keep scoring.

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"I was shocked with the finish because it wasn't typical of me to finish this way, but I just reacted instinctively when I saw the defenders waiting and staring at the ball after losing possession, and went for the chip.

"For the penalty, I placed my shot to the right but the goalkeeper read me. We are disappointed to lose the match but we just have to focus on helping the team do as well as possible in the league now."

Ikhsan had started and played 45 minutes of the first-round match against Toten, which Raufoss won 5-2 after extra time. He also featured in seven league games this season, all as a substitute, and his two league goals have come from just 127 minutes of action.

He will now focus on recovering from the cup exertions and hope he has done enough to earn a first league start in Sunday's away league match at second-from-bottom Notodden.

Raufoss are currently sixth - and within the four playoff spots behind the top-two automatic promotion slots - in the 16-team league with 13 points from eight games.

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