Football: Ikhsan Fandi vows to keep working hard after scoring again for new club Jerv

Singapore striker Ikhsan Fandi scoring a goal for Jerv against his his former club Raufoss on Oct 10.
Singapore striker Ikhsan Fandi scoring a goal for Jerv against his his former club Raufoss on Oct 10.PHOTO: FK JERV

SINGAPORE - "Singapore Airlines" has taken off for his new club in a big way with striker Ikhsan Fandi making it two goals in two starts for FK Jerv in Norwegian football's second tier.

Against Ullensaker/Kisa on Wednesday (Oct 14), the 21-year-old Singaporean headed in the 48th-minute opener from Michael Baidoo's cross in front of 600 home fans, who were chanting Ikhsan's name at the Levermyr Stadion.

The Singapore international was replaced by Ole Habestad in the 82nd minute, and the visitors equalised through Elias Solberg in the 89th minute, but Simon Larsen secured a 2-1 win for Jerv in added time.

The victory is Jerv's fourth on the trot, and third in succession since Ikhsan joined them from Raufoss on Oct 5.

He had made a 15-minute cameo in a 3-2 away win over HamKam last Wednesday before scoring the first equaliser in a 4-2 home win over his old club on Saturday.

Ikhsan, who was nicknamed "Singapore Airlines" after he joined Raufoss last year, told The Straits Times: "It feels good to score and win again, but I need to keep working hard. I was very nervous watching the last few minutes from the stands, but it's great we managed to pull off the late win.

"The coach has given me trust and confidence, deploying me in the front three, so I just want to do my best and help the team as much as I can.

"It's nice to have the fans' support, but it's still early and I know I have to keep performing."

Jerv's winning run has propelled them to seventh in the 16-team second division after 19 games. The Wolverines are now just one point behind sixth-placed Sandnes Ulf and the final play-off spot for promotion to the top flight, with a game in hand.

Ikhsan said: "I think we can make the play-offs. It won't be easy, but it is now in our hands. It we can play our best for every game, then we will get there."