League of Champions 2011, Group B
Venue: ITE Tampines
Scorer(s): Jeffrey Tan (31’), Lee Tse Yang (63’)
Team BI's skipper Kelvin Lim scored twice from the penalty spot to deny the Vipers in the group B opener. Kicking off the tournament on a pitch in horrendous condition, both Vipers FC and Team BI realized that they had to adjust quickly to the playing surface, which proved detrimental to both team’s usual passing style of football.
LOC: Vipers 0-1 AMK Utd
LOC: Blackjack 0-3 Vipers
Pot holes and mud puddles were sighted all across the vast expanse of the ITE Tampines football pitch, and inadvertently resulted in numerous mistakes being made between the pair. The result though, was an enjoyable spectacle for the neutrals, in a match which served up no less than four goals.
The superiority of Team BI's experience was apparent, as the D2D champion grew in ascendancy as the first period wore on. It was little surprise then, when the pressure told as recalled goalkeeper Yazid Mahamudin brought down BI’s Anthony Soo in the penalty area for a spot kick to be awarded to the away side. Up stepped captain Kelvin Lim, a much too familiar nemesis for Vipers, and the midfielder coolly dispatched his penalty into the bottom corner for 1-0.
It took the Vipers just two minutes to level the scores however, as Royston Poh’s brilliant pass from the right picked out Jeffrey Tan’s run and the Vipers striker lobbed the stranded Team BI custodian Nnamdi from outside the area to register his first goal in the competition against his old club.
The second period saw a similar pattern emerge, although the Vipers did see more of the ball owing to a slight tactical switch made at half time. It was Addie’s vision however that created Vipers’ second of the game. The midfielder, often criticised for dawdling too long on the ball, picked out Anders’ run and while the youngster’s left footed attempt was kept out by a combination of Nnamdi’s fingertips and the post, Tse Yang made sure with a delicate shot that evaded a sea of Team BI defenders.
Much like Team BI, the Vipers should have concentrated on defending but instead opted to ball watch and as defender Halik tried desperately to atone for the team’s error by hauling down BI’s marauding wingback in the box , there would be only one outcome.
Kelvin Lim stepped up to the spot again and his trusted left foot did the rest as the Vipers were left to rue what might have been.