Story by Carissa Tan/Red Sports. Photos by Clara Yuan/Red Sports
Jalan Besar Stadium, Monday, June 1, 2015 — Singapore defeated the Philippines 1–0 in their opening match of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games under-23 football tournament.
With just three minutes remaining in the first half, Safirul Sulaiman (#28) launched a free kick and Abdul Hadi (#15) glanced the header past the stranded Azkal goalkeeper Florencio Jr. Badelic (#1) for the opening goal.
That proved to be the only goal of the game but the Young Lions could have scored a lot more.
Off a freekick from Safirul Sulaiman (#28), Shakir Hamzah (#2) put the ball into goal but an offside call denied Singapore the opening goal.
A good pass by Stanely Ng (#19) gave Sahil Suhaimi (#7) a clear shot at goal but his shot was tipped onto the left upright by Badelic (#1).
35 minutes into the first half, Singapore head coach Aide Iskandar decided he needed Irfan Fandi Ahmad (#17) upfront in place of Shamil Sharif (#8).
Leading 1–0 at half time, Singapore almost conceded the equaliser when Azkal right back, Francisco Santos (#22) turned Abdul Hadi (#15) inside out to get a clear run into the penalty box. Fortunately for the Young Lions, goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari (#24) was on hand to save the shot.
In the 63rd minute, Irfan (#17) found Sahil Suhaimi (#7) in the box after some nifty footwork. However, Sahil pulled his volley just wide of the left upright with the goal at his mercy.
Abdul Hadi (#15) then missed another open chance in the six-yard box from a corner with the goal at his mercy.
It was a physical game with many full-blooded challenges. The Philippines picked up three yellow cards but Shakir Hamzah (SIN #2) did not cover himself with any glory either.
Kennedy Uzoka (PHI #20) ran into Shakir, bundling him over the touchline. Uzoka received a deserved yellow card. However, Shakir kicked out in anger at him with both legs. When Uzoka stepped over him to argue, Shakir clutched his own face, pretending he got hit. He got no sympathy from the referee and was fortunate not to get a yellow card instead.
The Philippines showed they were no pushovers. They impressed with their ability and willingness to play the ball out of defense on the ground. One glaring weakness though was their keeper’s inability to deal with high balls.
On the team’s performance, Young Lions coach, Aide Iskandar, said, “(The Philippines) came with a game plan. They were very resilient. They made it difficult for us. For us, we try our best. It’s never easy having to play a team that is going to defend most of the time but I think we created chances as well. We could have converted the chances in the first half and the second half. So, I think we just have to make sure that we work on it.”
The Young Lions next play Myanmar on Thursday, June 4, 8.30pm, at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Cambodia are in Group A while Group B consists of defending champions Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste.
The Young Lions were bronze medallists in the 2013 SEA Games which the Philippines did not participate in.
Score by half
Singapore vs The Philippines
1st half: 1–0
2nd half: 0–0 (1–0)
Muhammad Shakir Hamzah (#2), Adam Swandi (#5), Anumanthan Mohan Kumar (#6), Mohamad Sahil Suhaimi (#7), Muhammad Shamil Sharif (#8), Muhammad Faris Ramli (#10), Sheikh Abdul Hadi Sh Othman (#15), Muhammad Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman (#18), Stanely Ng Yong Woo (#19), Muhammad Syazwan Buhari (#24), Safirul Sulaiman (#28)
Rudy Khairullah Adi Negara (#1), Muhammad Fadli Kamis (#3), Muhammad Ammirul Adli Azmi (#4), Amy Recha Pristifana Samion (#9), Muhammad Shahfiq Ghani (#11), Pravin Guanasagaran (#12), Ho Wai Loon (#13), Irfan Fandi Ahmad (#17), S Suria Prakash (#23)
The Philippines Roster
Florencio Jr. Badelic (#1), Neil Dorimon (#3), Fitch Johnson Daviz Arboleda (#4), Julian Mariano Clarino (#5), Arnel Amita (#7), Paolo Bugas (#9), Jaime Vicenzo Cheng (#17), Paolo Salenga (#19), Francisco Jose Primo Santos (#22), Shirmar Felongco (#27), Gerardo Valmayor III (#29)
Mark Anthony Besana (#2), Nathanael Andrew Alquiros (#6), Daniel Bernan Gadia (#8), Connor Reece Taccagni (#11), Dominic Liam Del Rosario (#14), Richard Jr. Talaroc (#15), Kennedy Uzoka (#20), Nathanael Ace Villanueva (#25), Ronnie Aguisanda (#28)
SEA Games Football: How would you rate Singapore's performance in their 1–0 win over Philippines?
- 1/5 (Poor) (33%, 352 Votes)
- 2/5 (Below Average) (30%, 322 Votes)
- 3/5 (Average) (27%, 288 Votes)
- 4/5 (Good) (6%, 64 Votes)
- 5/5 (Excellent) (3%, 37 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,063
More photos next page