The Lions celebrate one of their three goals against Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of FAS)
Jalan Besar Stadium, Monday, July 18, 2011 — Singapore defeated Chinese-Taipei 3-2 in a friendly game in their preparation for Sunday’s first-leg showdown against Malaysia in the 2014 World Cup Round 2 qualifiers.
The game got off to a slow start before Singapore went ahead through Aleksandar Duric in the 17th minute. Left with just a simple tap in after receiving a low cross from Hariss Harun, he made no mistake to give his side an early lead in front of 1,900 fans.
Trailing 0-1 at half time, Taiwan equalised through Lo Chih An (#9). The Lions responded with a Duric goal in the 54th minute for a 2-1 lead which got the fans fired up.
Taiwanese substitute Hiang Shih Lu put his team back into contention in the 62nd minute and that forced a change in the plans of Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic who brought on Fazrul Nawaz and Qiu Li in the 65th minute.
The tactical switch proved to be effective as the Lions wrestled back the lead with forward Fazrul Nawaz scoring Singapore’s third and final goal of the match to ensure a 3-2 victory for the Lions.
Singapore Coach Raddy, was satisfied with the result at the post-match conference.
“There are some points we need to improve on and also some positive points to take note of. We created a lot of chances, passing most of the time,” said Avramovic. “I am however happy with the performance of the team and this game allowed the players to learn from their mistakes as it is better to make mistakes now than in the match against Malaysia.”
“We kept passing the ball and had more possession. We did make mistakes today and we will learn from it and make changes to our game,” said national captain Shahril Ishak.
Two-goal scorer Aleksandar Duric was spot on when he said: “We started with a new system of play from the match against Maldives and we are creating more chances. It was a good game and my team mates did well.”
Having taken charge of the team only three days ago, Taiwanese coach Tee Tae Ho said: “It was tough but I think we did ok. Singapore forwards have more experience and are organized.”
When asked about the difference between Singapore’s style of play and the Malaysians, he added: “Singapore has more stability and matured while Malaysia is a bit unstable and not matured.”
Meanwhile, all tickets for the World Cup Round 2 qualifying first-leg match between Singapore and Malaysia were sold out within the day at the Jalan Besar Stadium South Gate on Saturday, July 16.
With a queue forming at around 10.30pm the night before, the ‘SOLD OUT’ sign came out at 2.20pm that afternoon. Fans of all ages stood in line for a chance to purchase the match tickets while some others were singing and cheering in unison as they waited for their turn.
Ridzal Saat, FAS Deputy Director for Marketing and Competitions said: “The queue started late on Friday night at around 11.30pm and the crowd progressively grew bigger as it neared the 8am sale time. By 2.20pm, all tickets on sale were sold out and we would like to thank the fans for coming out to support the Lions. It would be a wonderful sight to see Jalan Besar Stadium in a sea of red and we would like to encourage all fans to come decked in red to support our Singapore National Team in the match against Malaysia next Saturday.”
The game will be shown ‘live’ on Channel 5 on Saturday, July 23rd, 7.25pm, while the return leg at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, will also be telecast ‘live’ on Thursday, July 28th at 8:40pm.
Match : Singapore vs Malaysia
Date : Saturday 23 July 2011
Time : 7.30pm
Venue : Jalan Besar Stadium