Justin scores hat-trick as Meridian land ninth A Division crown
Hat-trick hero is touted by coach as a future national player
Justin Hui emerged as the hero of the National Schools boys' A Division football final at Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday, after firing in a hat-trick to lead Meridian Junior College to a 3-1 win over Victoria Junior College.
This was Meridian's fourth straight A Division title and their ninth overall.
The turning point of the game came in the 42nd minute, when Victoria's Marcus Tang was sent off for his second bookable offence.
From then on, it appeared only a matter of time before Meridian punctured the opponents' resistance.
It was captain Justin who popped up with the game's opening goal in the 59th minute, although Meridian's lead lasted just four minutes.
Against the run of play, Victoria equalised through Nicholas Chan, who put the ball past a shocked Meridian goalkeeper.
But Justin, a The New Paper-Dollah Kassim Award nominee in 2015 and 2016, killed off all hopes of a Victoria comeback with goals in the 65th and 68th minutes to complete an outstanding performance in front of a 500-odd crowd.
After the match, the 18-year-old midfielder said: "Apart from winning the game, to even score a hat-trick for the school was beyond my wildest dreams.
"The match was very close until we had the one-man advantage, then we saw gaps in the game.
"This meant the world to me. We had almost the entire school come down to support us.
"And especially since we will be merged soon (with Tampines Junior College, in 2019), it made me very happy that I was able to get a win for the school today."
Meridian coach Fabio da Silva, who has guided the school to all nine of their A Division football titles since he become their coach in 2005, was full of praise for Justin after the match.
The former S.League player said: "I have worked with Justin for three years now and he has always performed well, giving his 100 per cent during training and matches.
"I believe this boy will get to play for the national football team very soon."
Third place went to Nanyang Junior College, who beat Anglo-Chinese Junior College in a penalty shoot-out (5-4) last week.