SINGAPORE - The Lion City Sailors may have clinched the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) title on Saturday following their 4-0 win over Still Aerion Women’s FC, but celebrations will be on hold as the newly crowned champions turn their focus to the remaining two games of the season.
The victory at the Yishun Stadium helped the Sailors amass 28 points from 10 games and move beyond the reach of nearest challengers Tanjong Pagar United, who are eight points behind.
The Sailors will take home the winners’ cheque of $25,000 – a five-fold increase from previous seasons – and will be presented with the trophy on Oct 2, after the final match of the season between the Sailors and Tanjong Pagar.
Sailors coach Yeong Sheau Shyan said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet for me... We still have two more matches to go – we are still waiting for the team to finish the competition then we will celebrate.
“We didn’t get a goal against Tanjong Pagar the last time (the match ended 0-0) and that’s our target... We want to get that win.”
Undefeated this season with nine wins and a draw, the Sailors have been in fine form, plundering 37 goals and conceding just two.
But it took them a while to find their feet on Saturday as they squandered a handful of chances.
The breakthrough eventually arrived in the 45th minute, when WPL top scorer Nur Izzati Rosni laid the ball off for Madison Telmer, who took the ball past several Still Aerion defenders and scored to put the Sailors 1-0 up.
Paula Druschke doubled the Sailors’ lead with a beautifully taken free kick in the 54th minute, curling the ball into the top left corner. With 11 minutes left, Dorcas Chu made it 3-0 when she headed in Druschke’s corner, before a screamer from Ho Hui Xin closed out the win for the Sailors.
After the final whistle, the Sailors got up from the bench and ran towards their teammates on the field to celebrate their title triumph.
The elated players then sprayed water on the coaching team and officials, before celebrating the moment with fans.
Druschke, a German exchange student at the National University of Singapore, was glad to have grabbed her first goal for the club in just her third game with them.
The 20-year-old said: “I just came to Singapore two months ago and I never believed that I could experience anything like that. The team were just so welcoming to me, it feels so good just playing, having fun and winning.
“We practise so often with each other and today is just a reward.”
Captain Ernie Sulastri Sontaril hailed her teammates and the team’s coaching staff for their dedication and patience.
The 33-year-old added: “There was pressure from the start of the league because we know that the men’s side are doing well so we also need to keep up the standard.
“For us it’s not just about winning the title or championship, it’s about how we get together to play as a team and execute the game plan that coach wants from us.”
But like Yeong, her attention is now on their last two games.
She said: “We still have a few more games to go, so we will focus on the next game and celebrations will come after the league finishes.”