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National men's hockey team Robi Asian Games Qualifying Hockey Tournament

The Singapore men’s national hockey team. They finished as runners-up in the Robi Asian Games Qualifying Hockey Tournament and, for the first time since 1998, will play at the Asian Games in November. (Photo 1 © reader)

The Singapore men’s national hockey team created history by finishing runners-up at the recently concluded Robi Asian Games Qualifying Hockey Tournament held from 7-16 May 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Singapore started the campaign on a positive note by beating Thailand 5-2 in their first game of the tournament. However, in the second game, Singapore fell to Chinese Taipei 1-4 under the hot sun, despite having greater ball possession and control of the game.

Singapore then bounced back to beat Hong Kong 3-1, showing great mental strength and determination.

The fourth game saw Singapore sharing points with eventual champions, Oman, after the game ended 1-1. Singapore were ‘robbed’ of a victory after Oman scored a controversial equalizer goal in the last eight minutes of the game.

Not letting the disappointment get to them, Singapore fought all out against the host country, Bangladesh, in the next game and won 1-0 in the hot blistering weather. Singapore have never beaten Bangladesh as long as hockey fans can remember and it was an important win for Singapore who were aiming to finish in the top two in the tournament.

Singapore lost 1-3 in the last game against Sri Lanka as the heat and fatigue finally took a toll on the team, having to play back-to-back games in the unfavourable weather conditions. Despite the loss, Singapore finished second in the tournament, one point behind Oman and qualified for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November.

The last time the Singapore men’s national hockey team featured in the Asian Games was in 1998, in Bangkok. Congratulations to the Singapore team and we wish them all the best for their next assignment.

Team Singapore: Robin Ng, Zulkarnain Salim, Farhan Suhaili, Sabri Yuhari, Fazly Abdul Rahman, Kelvin Lim, Haseef Salim, Faris Ali, Baqir Asali, Prashan A, Tan Yiru, Hazmi Ibrahim, Sivakaanthan, Chia Kaibin, Enrico Eliph Marican, Johnson Sivalingam, Farhan Kamsami, Ian Vanderput

Coach: Lim Chiow Chuan, Mohamed Ali

Manager: DAC Kuldeep Singh