Jurong West Stadium, Wednesday, August 15, 2012 — Singapore claimed a morale-boosting 2-0 win with two first half goals in their international friendly against Hong Kong in front of 837 fans.
This was the national team’s first win in nine matches since they beat Philippines 2-0 in a friendly in October 2011.
Both goals were scored by 42-year-old Aleksandar Duric who plays for Tampines Rovers in the S.League.
The opener came just seven minutes after kick off, when Qiu Li’s inch-perfect cross from the left was met by Duric, who headed it into the net.
The Lions extended the lead 14 minutes later. A through ball for Duric saw the striker slam it past Hong Kong goalkeeper Yapp Hung Fai to make it 2-0.
Both sides then made a host of changes in the second half, with Singapore head coach, Radojko Avramovic, handing out debuts to Young Lions youngsters, Shahfiq Ghani and Nazrul Ahmad Nazari. Jufri Taha, the third debutant, started the game.
Hong Kong head coach Ernest Merrick, felt that Singapore did very well.
He said: “Singapore were sharper to the ball, they were more competitive than we were and I thought that Duric were going to make our center backs sleep with the lights on tonight.”
The Australian native continued: “He made life for us very difficult for us in the first half. Overall it was a fair result, 2-0 to Singapore.”
He also singled out Mustafic Fahrudin as the other player who stood out tonight.
Avramovic felt that his team’s first-half dominance helped them on their way to the win.
He said: “First half, we controlled the game. Generally, we could have scored a few more goals and there are a few more things we can improve on, which would come with a few more games under our belt.”
“I think this team can do even better for that part, but there were some good passing, some good combinations, especially the chance Qiu Li had when he hit the bar. That was some really beautiful football,” added Avramovic, who was happy with the flowing football his team displayed.
Avramovic also mentioned that the three debutants did well, but would require more international experience under their belt.
Singapore 2 Hong Kong 0
Singapore Starting Lineup
Izwan Mahbud (GK), Jufri Taha, Baihaikki Khaizan, Hariss Harun(C), Daniel Bennett, Qiu Li, Shahdan Sulaiman, Shi Jiayi, Mustafic Fahrudin, Khairul Nizam, Aleksandar Duric.
Substitutes: Nazrul Nazari, Isa Halim, Yasir Hanapi, Irwan Shah, Hyrulnizam Juma’at, Khairul Amri, Juma’at Jantan, Delwinder Singh, Safirul Sulaiman, Shahfiq Ghani, Joey Sim
Hong Kong Starting Lineup
Yapp Hung Fai (GK), lee Chi Ho, Bai He, Huang Yang, Chan Siu Ki, Lee Hong Lim, Lam Ka Wai, Lo Kwan Yee(C), Cheung Kin Fung, Leung Chun Pong, Lam Hok Hei
Substitutes: Liu Song Wei, Leung Tsz Chun, Au Yeung Yiu Chang, Tam Lok Hin, Tsang Chi Hau, Leung Hing Kit, Chak Ting Fung, Yip Tsz Chun, Lee Ka Yiu.