Young Lions Second In Group After 3-1 Win Over Cambodia

Three goals helped the Singapore Under-23s dispatch their Cambodian counterparts 3-1 in their third SEA Games Group A match.

Safirul Sulaiman and Faris Ramli struck late in the first-half, before Sahil Suhaimi netted another a minute before the end of the game. Cambodia on the other hand, scored a consolation through Chan Vathanaka.

The win sees Singapore moving into second spot in Group A, and now their destiny is in their own hands. A win over Indonesia in the final group game will ensure they move into the semi-finals.

The game started off scrappily, with both sides struggling to get into the groove from the first minute, although the hosts dominated possession.

Faris had the first chance of the match, but he volleyed over the bar instead in the second minute.

Down the other end two minutes later, Cambodia captain Prak Mony Udom found Soeuy Visal unmarked from the corner, but the centre-back headed over instead.

In the 19th minute, Sahil Suhaimi intercepted the ball outside the box and tried to find the top corner, but overhit his shot.

Singapore then earned an indirect free-kick after Cambodia goalkeeper Um Serei Rath handled a back-pass. However, Singapore did not managed to take advantage as Sahil smashed his shot against the wall of nine men.

Adam Swandi then managed to rifle home in the 24th minute, but it was ruled out after the referee spotted an earlier infringement.

Singapore tolled away to no avail, but two moments of brilliance in injury time saw them take a two-goal lead into the half-time break.

A free-kick was awarded in the 45th minute after Sahil was fouled on the edge of the area, and Safirul curled the ball into the far corner to break the deadlock.

The Young Lions doubled their lead almost immediately after Cambodia lost the ball from the restart.

A long punt from Safirul found Irfan Fandi, who got to the ball ahead of Serei Rath to cross for Faris. The winger made no mistake and headed into the empty net.

Cambodia pulled one back in the 57th minute however, with substitute Chan Vathanaka putting a header past Syazwan Buhari after peeling off M Anumanthan to meet Chhin Chhoeun’s pinpoint cross.

Chhoeun created another chance two minutes later, but this time Sam Oeun Pidor fired wide before Chhoeun fired his effort straight into Syazwan’s arms.

Both Sahil and Shakir had golden opportunities to extend Singapore’s lead, but failed to find the target.

Sahil atoned for his miss however, with his first goal of the Games in the last minute of regulation time.

Breaking the offside trap, Sahil latched onto Amy’s inch-perfect pass, before slotting calmly past Serei Rath to wrap up the win.

Singapore coach Aide Iskandar was satisfied with the three points his side earned tonight.

“We are happy to get the win tonight. The performance wasn’t the best, but a win is a win and we will take this,” Aide stated.

“Hopefully, this will be a good morale booster against Indonesia. The boys tried their best, that’s something I can’t fault them on. Everyone gave 100% commitment.”

Cambodia’s Team Manger Chhaing Pisedth on the otherhand, wished Singapore all the best.

“Actually I’m very sad for my players,” said Pisedth. They did very good for today, I don’t regret. Since we cannot go [into the semi-finals], I wish Singapore can go to the semi-finals with Myanmar.”


Singapore U23s line-up: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Al-Qaasimy Rahman (C), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, M Anumanthan, Shakir Hamzah, Pravin Guanasagaran (Shamil Sharif 84’), Safirul Sulaiman, Adam Swandi, Faris Ramli (Amy Recha 68’), Sahil Suhaimi, Irfan Fandi (Ho Wai Loon 53’)



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