School sports

School sports: National footballer Putri Nur Syaliza stars in Queensway's B Div girls' football title win

From top: Hong Kah's goalkeeper Nurul Radiatul and captain Nur Athirah are unable to stop Putri Nur Syaliza slotting home for her 19th goal of the campaign. Queensway's Daniah Fitriyah celebrating her goal with captain Dorcas Chu, who scored three.
Hong Kah's goalkeeper Nurul Radiatul and captain Nur Athirah are unable to stop Putri Nur Syaliza slotting home for her 19th goal of the campaign. ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO
From top: Hong Kah's goalkeeper Nurul Radiatul and captain Nur Athirah are unable to stop Putri Nur Syaliza slotting home for her 19th goal of the campaign. Queensway's Daniah Fitriyah celebrating her goal with captain Dorcas Chu, who scored three.
Queensway's Daniah Fitriyah celebrating her goal with captain Dorcas Chu, who scored three.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO

National footballer Putri has a hand in four goals to lead her team to B Div championship

Before the B Division girls' football final yesterday, Hong Kah Secondary knew well about Queensway Secondary's No. 1 threat - Putri Nur Syaliza, the schoolgirl who became Singapore's youngest debutante and scorer last month.

Keep the prolific forward silent and half the battle is won. But, try as they did, the Hong Kah players had no answer to the 15-year-old as she scored one and created three in a 5-2 win that gave Queensway their second B girls' title after their maiden triumph in 2015.

"The team really put in all the hard work to win this final," Secondary 3 student Putri said after the game at Our Tampines Hub.

"This year has been tiring so far. There's football every day as I train once a week with the school, three times a week at Serangoon Stadium with the national team and twice a week with my club (Warriors FC).

"But I feel I did really well for the school."

The pre-match buzz was all about the girl who scored on her international debut for Singapore in a 2-0 friendly win over the Maldives.

ONE TO MAN-MARK

We knew they (Hong Kah) would mark Putri heavily as she is our key player... When she has the ball, she is very dangerous.

ERNIE SULASTRI SONTARIL, Queensway Secondary School's football coach, on his side's outstanding player.

Hong Kah, in their all-black strip, tried to overwhelm her in numbers but it was the left-footed forward's size seven boot doing the damage.

Starting on the left wing, Putri roamed across the pitch, searching for space to exploit and dragging markers out of position.

It took her just two minutes to race down the left to deliver a low cross for striker Dorcas Chu to tap in. And in the 29th minute of a final played in two halves of 35 minutes, she curled in a corner that allowed Dorcas to slam home from a melee.

Dorcas, a 16-year-old national player, completed her hat-trick in the 42nd minute with a shot from outside the box into the top corner.

Putri completed her trio of assists in the 51st minute by laying the ball in front of an open goal for midfielder Daniah Fitriyah to finish.

In stoppage time, an exchange of passes tore apart the defence, leaving Putri to tuck the ball under the advancing goalkeeper for her 19th goal in five games, making her the top scorer of the competition. Last year, she plundered a staggering 42 goals in six games in the C Division.

Queensway coach Ernie Sulastri Sontaril said: "We knew they (Hong Kah) would mark Putri heavily as she is our key player. That's why she was played on the left, right and centre during the match. When she has the ball, she is very dangerous."

It was not all Queensway though. Hong Kah's Atiqah Hazirah was named the tournament's Most Promising Player after netting 10 goals in five games, including a brace in the final.

Hong Kah coach Mohammad Hafidz said: "Atiqah played very well this year and is definitely a star of the future. She has good technique, has good ball control and can shoot accurately. But her biggest quality is her winning attitude."

The will to win is also one of Putri's traits. She played with a sore right big toe and had to remove her boot at half-time for comfort.

But the player, whose role model is American striker Alex Morgan, a Women's World Cup winner, is aiming for more glory.

She said: "I don't know what my future is but I just want to work hard to be as good as I can be. There is no professional league here, but I hope one day I can travel around the world to play as a professional."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Queensway princess key to title capture'. Print Edition | Subscribe