Ikhsan opens account for new club

Ikhsan Fandib (above) was brought on with fellow forward Thierry Dabove in the 59th minute of a pre-season friendly against Elverum Fotball.
Ikhsan Fandib (above) was brought on with fellow forward Thierry Dabove in the 59th minute of a pre-season friendly against Elverum Fotball. PHOTO: MARIUS MYKLESET

Ikhsan Fandi took all of two minutes to net his first goal for his new club, Raufoss IL, and helped them beat Elverum Fotball 6-1 early yesterday morning (Singapore time) at the Raufoss Storhall indoor arena in Norway.

The 19-year-old, who became the first Lion to join a European team in 30 years when he signed a two-year deal with the Norwegian second-tier side earlier this month, was brought on with fellow forward Thierry Dabove in the 59th minute of a pre-season friendly against the third-tier opponents.

The duo combined to deadly effect shortly after, when Dabove's shot was parried by former Raufoss goalkeeper Andreas Heggen, only for Ikhsan to show his predatory instincts by beating two defenders to thump the loose ball home with his right foot inside the six-yard box and make it 3-1 for Raufoss.

The new Raufoss No. 18 also displayed his willingness to run at the defence before he recorded his first assist by picking out Ryan Doghman with a through ball in the 84th minute to increase the lead to 5-1.

Ikhsan told The Sunday Times: "I'm glad I got the first goal out of the way quickly, but there are always things to improve on.

"The coaches were happy with my 30-minute performance. I just wanted to express myself and show the people here I can play football.

LOOKING TO IMPROVE

I just wanted to express myself and show the people here I can play football. But this is only a friendly and I still have to improve my fitness.

IKHSAN FANDI, who got his first goal for his new club, Raufoss IL, yesterday.

"But this is only a friendly and I still have to improve my fitness. I also want to link up play better and make more runs behind defences to create trouble for the opponents and opportunities for my team."

Raufoss and Ikhsan will face a sterner test when they continue their pre-season preparations with a friendly against top-division club Odds Ballklubb on Thursday.

They will kick off the new season at Nest-Sotra on March 31.

Meanwhile, 2014 S.League Coach of the Year Marko Kraljevic has left Balestier Khalsa to join Malaysian Premier League's Kelantan on a two-year deal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 27, 2019, with the headline 'Ikhsan opens account for new club'. Print Edition | Subscribe