- POSTED: 10 Dec 2013 23:06
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Singapore finally secured their first win of the current SEA Games campaign after a Sahil Suhaimi strike gave them a 1-0 win over Vietnam at Naypyidaw’s Zeyar Thiri Stadium on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE: Singapore finally secured their first win of the current SEA Games campaign after a Sahil Suhaimi strike gave them a 1-0 win over Vietnam at Naypyidaw’s Zeyar Thiri Stadium on Tuesday.
The Courts Young Lions forward bagged his — and Singapore’s — second goal of the campaign on the stroke of half-time to secure three very valuable points and propel Singapore to the top of Group A.
The Vietnamese — who thrashed Brunei 7-0 in their opening game — attacked right from the first whistle and had two good chances to open the scoring in the first five minutes.
Singapore had to wait until the 10th minute to get their first shot on goal. Safuwan Baharudin’s cross was punched away by Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Buu Ngoc but the ball fell to winger Faris Ramli who could only send his shot wide.
Vietnam then went on to dominate proceedings but could not get the ball into the back of the net despite slicing through Singapore’s defence on several occasions.
The lack of goals seemed to encourage Singapore, who grew in confidence and began mounting more attacks as the first half wore on.
Their perseverance paid off on the stroke of half-time as a cleared corner-kick fell to the feet of Sahil Suhaimi, who then unleashed a shot that was deflected into the back of the net.
Vietnam entered the second half with all guns blazing, with Vu Minh Tuan being a constant threat. The attacking midfielder had three chances — including a long-range free-kick — to level the scores before the hour mark but was unable to test Izwan.
The Lions rarely ventured beyond the halfway line in the second 45 minutes and had to endure long periods of pressure from the opponents, sparking fears that they would concede another late goal. But the centre-back pairing of Afiq Yunos and Safuwan Baharudin were in top-form.
Singapore captain Hariss Harun had a golden opportunity to double his side’s lead two minutes before the final whistle. The midfielder got on the end of a swift counter-attack but his shot — which went under the body of Vietnam goalkeeper and trickled towards the goal line — was cleared just in time.
The Lions are now top of Group A and have four points from two games. Malaysia and Vietnam have three points each but the defending champions have played one game less. Laos and Brunei have both yet to win and occupy the bottom two spots in the group.
Singapore will next play Brunei on December 13.