Ikhsan scores again but misses in shoot-out loss

Singapore striker Ikhsan Fandi is hitting a purple patch in Norway as he found the net in his third consecutive match for second-tier club Raufoss in just 11 days.

On Wednesday, the 20-year-old gave his team a 33rd-minute lead at third-tier Fram Larvik in a Norwegian Football Cup second-round tie. He capitalised on the opponents' sloppy defending and chipped the goalkeeper.

However, the hosts equalised in the 88th minute and, after no goals in 30 minutes of extra time, Fram emerged 4-3 winners from the penalty shoot-out. Ikhsan and Anton Henningsson missed the fourth and fifth kicks.

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

He had grabbed his first competitive goal 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.

"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 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 hope that he has done enough to earn a first league start at second-from-bottom Notodden on Sunday.

Raufoss, on 13 points from eight games, are sixth - occupying the last of the four play-off spots behind the two automatic promotion positions in the 16-team league.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2019, with the headline 'Ikhsan scores again but misses in shoot-out loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe