Baby Soccer: Ixora clinches title
In the Baby Soccer Cup finals between Bedok (Ixora) and Bedok (Linear Green) a tricky left-leg kick by striker Adam Rayan Dula won them the day.
German-trained goal-keeper Nur Iffah Imran, lying sprawled on the ground, was stunned.
The match, held yesterday at the East Coast Beach, was about to go into extra time when Adam scored with Iffah diving in the wrong direction of the goal-mouth.
Adam, who stays in Sydney, came back to Singapore to take part in the Baby Soccer Cup tournament held for the first time in Singapore for babies between the ages of one and two. As a rule, each of the 4-aside team has to have two boys and two girls.
The tournament, for a start, was organised for babies of residents in Bedok. Five teams participated; the other teams were Bedok (Jasmine), Bedok (Blue Diamond) and Bedok (Lovely View). Blue Diamond crashed out of the tournament first with a 6-0 defeat with 14 fouls, mostly for its striker picking up the ball and holding it tightly to his chest.
At the after-match press conference, Adam, while fondly kissing the 1-foot high crystal Baby Soccer trophy, praised Iffah for her competence. “I kicked seven times at the goal, but all were saved by Iffah. She is a marvellous goalie”
Some officials, however, felt that Adam, though taller than the goalkeeper and a top scorer in the Sydney Under 2 Football tournament, did not deliver any powerful shots as he usually did in the Australian matches. They guessed that as Iffah was his cousin, he probably did not want to hurt her feelings.
A football critic even remarked that Iffah, a constantly alert goalkeeper, could have purposely let her cousin score. “This is not a penalty kick. The ball was shot from a distance and softly on top of that. So how could an experienced goalie like Iffah dive in the opposite direction?”
Shahul Hamid Abdul Majeed, who initially trained both Adam and Iffah, was away on a 5-day participation in the 2015 ASEAN Civil Service Games in Kuala Lumpur but he sent messages congratulating both Adam and Iffah who are his nephew and niece.
(A fictional narration by Shaik Kadir, grandfather of Adam Rayan Dula, born 17 November 2013, and Nur Iffah Imran, born 3 July 2014.)