Turf City FC Take Borneo Cup Title

Turf City Football Club Under 13s headed over to Sabah at the end of September to participate in the Borneo Cup 2017 tournament. It is the competition’s tenth anniversary and previous editions have attracted some of the best teams in the region. This year, TCFC were the sole representatives of the Republic of Singapore, giving our boys the opportunity to play against teams from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

TCFC’s first match was against Indonesian side, S.B.A.I. While it took the boys some time to settle into the match, Levi Skyum – who recently had a trial with Inter Milan – opened the account with a good goal. He then hit the net again moments later to make it 2–0 and provide a great start for Turf City FC. Next up was D.P.M Sport School in the afternoon.

With the second match’s kick-off delayed due to rain, it was a messy game on a heavily waterlogged pitch. Both teams struggled to play any attractive football but for TCFC, plenty of chances were wasted with a few 1-on-1 chances against the opposition goalkeeper. A goal finally came  however, when centre-back Emilio found the net with a direct free-kick from 25 metres out.

Day 2 was more international competition for Turf City FC. In a comfortable 3–0 win over Dreaming Football United from the Philippines, Levi Skyum picked up his third goal of the tournament with Kai Tucker also bagging a goal. The surprise scorer in the encounter was 11-year-old Sergio Canos, beating the goalie with a sweet left-footed half-volley from outside the penalty box.

Last summer, Sergio, his brother Andreas and Sandy had a week-long training opportunity with SK Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.

The last group match for Turf City fell on the morning of the tournament’s final day. Coach Lali decided to rest some of the starting side, giving an opportunity to other players to gain match time as well as to prove to the coach that they are ready to step up for the team. TCFC played Beringin FC from Malaysia taking three more points with a 5-0 victory. Once again there was an Under 11 name on the scoresheet – and not once but twice, with U11 TCFC right midfielderRyan Jackson scoring a brace. Yann, Mathias and Kai were the other scorers.

The last team standing between TCFC and the Borneo Cup trophy was a resilient, technically competent and characterful side in South Hobart FC from Tasmania, Australia. It was an entertaining match at Sabah’s Likas Stadium but an early nervy moment for the TCFC defenders almost presented South Hobart FC with a goal.

Once settled in however, Turf City FC went on to control the game. Chances after chances were wasted by TCFC forwards who weren’t clinical enough and both sides were dead-locked at full time.

Down went 2 men from each team; 9 versus 9 in golden goal extra time.

It didn’t take long for the game to be decided – and it was another young player who would step up for Turf City. Sandy Duggal, a 12-year-old midfielder, got the ball in the box through a deflected shot from Levi. Side-stepping his defender, Sandy took a shot and placed it to the bottom right of the goalkeeper to win it for TCFC.

TCFC head coach, Lali, was delighted with the win because they boys were able to show their style of football and put everything out on the field from their hard work in training for the past ten months. However, that was not the only thing that he was pleased about.

“Yes, we came here to win and not just to participate and we did exactly that but the boys gained much more than the trophy from this trip. Their relationship with their teammates grew stronger and their love and respect for Turf City Football Club got bigger.

We did not only come here for the tournament but to also teach these boys what professionalism in a football club is all about and to be independent. Most of the boys travelled to this tournament without their parents and it’s the best opportunity to learn.”

Coach Lali also added the reason why he wanted TCFC to participate in this tournament. “This tournament is no doubt one of the best youth tournaments in Asia, in terms of venue, participating teams from different cultures and countries. We wanted to promote and put Turf City Football Club on the map because we believe in our project as it is the best in this region and we showed that. “

Scoring 12 goals and conceding none in 5 matches, Turf City FC went undefeated throughout the tournament.