They came into yesterday's final on the back of an imperious record of eight wins from eight, with a grand total of 47 goals scored.
They even brought along a raucous support of 200-odd fans made up of schoolmates, teachers and family members who roared and sang from the stands at Toa Payoh Stadium.
But all that proved futile for Coral Secondary School in the Boys' C Division East Zone football final yesterday, as Victoria School won 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 at full-time.
Their tormentor? Victoria's goalkeeper Hansel Kiew.
The 13-year-old kept out almost everything that came his way - save for Ariffin Noor's late equaliser after Haaroon Silmi had given Victoria a 10th-minute lead.
And he went on to prove the difference in the penalty shoot-out, saving one of the spot-kicks to help Victoria clinch the win.
Said Hansel: "I think the game was pretty average, and I tried my best whenever I could to help keep the team in the game and preserve the lead.
"It was during penalties that it was down to me to make a difference, and I think I did my part.
"I saved one, while Coral missed one, so I think I'll give myself a six out of 10."
His teacher-in-charge, Kendrick Tan, was full of praise of his charges.
"I'd single out a few players for their performances today, and I think Hansel was one of them," he said.
CALM AND COMPOSED
"He was calm and composed and carried out his duties well. And it seems like all the practice has paid off, because we always practise penalties as a team after every training session.
"If they show this much character in the Nationals next month, then we'll do well."
For Coral Secondary, however, it was yet again a case of so close, yet so far.
The school from Pasir Ris, East Zone champions in 2013, also finished runners-up in the zone last year.
But their teacher-in-charge Khairil Aziz was not disheartened, saying: "Despite the loss, I can't say that I'm not happy. The boys played very well, and showed character to get the equaliser right at the end.
"Our record prior to today was impressive but sometimes, nervousness can set in, and that affects a lot of people. We've done well over the years, so I'm sure we'll make amends in the Nationals."
This article was first published on April 16, 2015.
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