Update by Kenneth Tan/Red Sports
Hanoi, Vietnam, Tuesday, November 2, 2010 — Singapore lost 1-2 to North Korea in their opening Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Cup match.
The VFF Cup is an invitational friendly tournament that the Lions are using in preparation for the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup in December.
The Lions took a dream lead 40 minutes into the game when evergreen striker Aleksandar Duric ghosted in between two Korean defenders to head home a Shi Jia Yi right-wing cross.
However the Asian powerhouse, who reached the World Cup Finals this June, began to stamp their authority on the game and dominated the second half.
Eventually the Lions succumbed to two late goals by the Koreans.
Midfielder Ri Myong Jun cleverly flicked the ball over substitute Noh Rahman just inside the box before producing an exquisite lob over the onrushing Lionel Lewis on 81 minutes.
An Il Bom then proceeded to break Singapore hearts two minutes into injury time when he superbly plucked out a long ball from the Korean defence and fired in off Lionel’s near post from less than 12 yards out.
Coach Radojko Avramovic, who gave international debuts to four new players in tonight’s match, was satisfied with the result.
“I was happy that we managed to head into half time with the lead but in the end Korea DPR deserved their win. They dominated in the second half and physically had a better level of fitness than us. It was very good experience for some of the players, who are travelling here for the first time and now they have some international experience under their belt,” said Avramovic.
The Lions will be looking to bounce back from the defeat when they take on hosts Vietnam on Thursday, 4 November before a final game against the Korea Republic Under-23 team on Saturday, 6 November.
Lionel Lewis (GK); Tengku Mushadad, Adrian Dhanaraj (Noh Rahman 54′), Daniel Bennett, Jumaat Jantan; Ruzaini Zainal (Masrezwan Masturi 46′), Rosman Sulaiman (Hamqaamal Shah 90′), Isa Halim (Razaleigh Khalik 54′), Shi Jiayi; Sufian Anuar (Fazrul Nawaz 46′), Aleksandar Duric.
Note: Adrian Dhanaraj, Ruzaini Zainal, Sufian Anuar and Hamqaamal Shah made their international debuts in this match.