League Cup 2016: FFT’s five who defied the odds
Many wondered if the League Cup would be worth catching, especially since several of Singapore’s finest players did not partake in it as they were away on international duties.
But how wrong these assumptions were, as several players took the opportunity to shine and stake their claim for a more regular role in the starting 11.
Kwok never once complained and he acquitted himself with decent performances whenever called upon.
But Tampines had no choice but to revert Kwok back to his original position as a defensive midfielder, as Shahdan Sulaiman picked up an injury in the League Cup while Singapore head coach V.Sundramoorthy had called up essentially Tampines’ first-choice midfielders.
If anything, Kwok should have done enough to convince coach Akbar Nawas he can be an option in midfield. The hardman made plenty of vital interceptions and he could spread the ball well when required.
The former Geylang defensive lynchpin also provided a goal and assist in this competition.
What a tournament it has been Shamil. He was not a regular fixture going into this competition but Home trusted him enough to start and finish every game in the League Cup.
His best performance came in the game against Geylang, when he played a pivotal role in helping Home triumph 5-0. The midfielder was all over the pitch, making clever passes and penetrating runs. For his efforts, Shamil walked away with two goals and an assist.
In the following games, Shamil continued to be a threat whenever he was on the pitch.
His lack of experience told in the semi-final against Brunei DPMM as he failed to capitalise on a few golden opportunities to score but the former Singapore Under-23 international did plenty to suggest he can break into the senior set-up sooner rather than later.
This season, Adi Said failed to start a single game for Brunei DPMM and only made five substitute appearance.
But Paulo Sergio’s injury and Azwan Ali’s sharp decline in form resulted in coach Steve Kean giving him a chance.
Adi vindicated his manager’s decision, as his direct style of play caused havoc for defenders marking him and allowed him to provide two assists in this Cup.
Watch Adi's goal here:
The forward also scored a superb effort against Tampines, after his rocket of a free-kick bulged the back of the net and helped the Wasps to a 2-1 win.
After this Cup, Adi should expect to see more game time as DPMM aim to give their all in the S.League and attain a respectable finish.