SINGAPORE – The Lion City Sailors may have won the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) title on Saturday following their 4-0 victory over Still Aerion Women’s FC, but celebrations will be on hold as the champions newly crowned will focus their attention on the remaining two. season games.
The win at Yishun Stadium helped the Mariners collect 28 points from 10 games and overtake nearest rival Tanjong Pagar United, who are eight points behind.
The Sailors will take home the winner’s check of $25,000, five times more than in previous seasons, and will receive the trophy on October 2, after the season finale between the Sailors and Tanjong Pagar.
Sailors coach Yeong Sheau Shyan said: “I haven’t realized it yet… We still have two more games left, we are still waiting for the team to finish the competition and then we will celebrate.
“We didn’t get a goal against Tanjong Pagar last time (the match ended 0-0) and that’s our goal… We want to get that win.”
Undefeated this season with nine wins and one draw, the Mariners have been in fine form, looting 37 goals while conceding just two.
But it took them a while to find their feet on Saturday as they blew a handful of chances.
The breakthrough finally came in the 45th minute, when WPL top scorer Nur Izzati Rosni passed the ball to Madison Telmer, who got past several Still Aerion defenders and scored to put the Sailors 1-0 up.
Paula Druschke doubled the Sailors’ lead with a beautiful free kick in the 54th minute that sent the ball into the upper left corner. With 11 minutes remaining, Dorcas Chu made it 3-0 when she headed into Druschke’s corner, before a shout from Ho Hui Xin sealed the win for the Mariners.
After the final whistle, the Mariners got up from the bench and ran to their teammates on the field to celebrate their conquest of the title.
The elated players then sprayed water on the coaching staff and officials, before celebrating with the fans.
Druschke, a German exchange student at the National University of Singapore, was pleased to have scored her first goal for the club in just her third game for them.
The 20-year-old said: “I just arrived in Singapore two months ago and I never thought I would experience something like this. The team was so welcoming to me, it feels so good just playing, having fun and winning.
“We practice very often with each other and today is just a reward.”
Captain Ernie Sulastri Sontaril praised her teammates and the team’s coaching staff for their dedication and patience.
The 33-year-old added: “There was pressure from the start of the league because we know the men’s side is doing well so we have to keep up the level as well.
“For us it’s not just about winning the title or the championship, it’s about how we come together to play as a team and execute the game plan that the coach wants from us.”
But like Yeong, his attention is now on his last two games.
She said: “We still have a few more games to go so we will focus on the next game and the celebrations will come after the league is over.”