Young Lions Crash Out After Defeat To Indonesia

Hosts Singapore crashed out of the football competition at the 28th SEA Games after losing to Indonesia in Group A on Thursday (Jun 11).

After a goalless first half, the breakthrough came in the 47th minute when Evan Dimas Darmono scored with a stunning shot from inside the penalty box.

Sahil Suhaimi almost equalised for Singapore a minute later when his header was palmed away by the Indonesian keeper after a curling cross from the left.

Both teams kept up the tempo with chances at both ends. Indonesia almost doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Ahmad Nufiandani’s shot forced Singapore goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari into a reflex save.

To make matters worse for the hosts, Ho Wai Loon was sent off in the 64th minute for a second yellow card.

Singapore coach Aide Iskandar resigned after the team’s failure but paid tribute to his charges. “I’m very proud of my boys, they gave their best and we pushed to get a goal or an equaliser even though we were one man down, that’s something that is really rare to see for a Singaporean side.”

He added: “I appreciate all the support, even though some sections of fans were abusing us, some fans thanked the players during the game and even after the game. We showed a lot of unity and solidarity.”

When asked why key players like Faris Ramli and Irfan Fandi Ahmad were left on the bench at the start of the game, he said that they were “not fully fit” and had to be dropped from the starting line-up.

Aide’s Indonesian counterpart said although Singapore are a good side, their weaknesses were apparent. “We knew their weakness was distributing the ball,” said Santoso. “Singapore’s central defenders were a little bit slow, so I asked my players to make runs behind them.”

He added: “A couple of players picked up injuries, but I hope they will be fine by tomorrow.”

Indonesia will now play Thailand in the second semi-final on Saturday at 8.30pm. Vietnam and Myanmar kick-off at 2pm the same day. Both matches are at the National Stadium.



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