SINGAPORE: Goal-shy Singapore are on the brink of a SEA Games exit after losing 3-0 to defending champion Thailand in a scrappy game at the Binan Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon (Dec 1).
The Young Lions came into Sunday’s game knowing they had to win to have a chance at qualification but fell behind within seven minutes of kick-off when Jaroensak Wonggorn scored.
The forward had already fired over and glanced a cross wide by then, with the Thai side looking lively.
Singapore struggled to gain a foothold in the first half, losing possession time and again in the midfield.
About seven minutes after Wonggorn had put Thailand ahead, Suphanat Mueanta’s long-range effort flew harmlessly over.
The striker finished from a tight angle on the 19th minute, after a lofted ball caught Singapore's defenders flat footed.
Fandi threw on his son Ikhsan for Naiquddin Eunos in the 30th minute in an early first-half change, with the Young Lions struggling to get a shot on target.
The Thais made it 3-0 on the 36th minute. Peerawat Akkatam tucked home the finish after a cross from the right was not cut out.
Ryhan Stewart had his shot charged down just before half time, but Singapore struggled to test Thailand goalkeeper Nont Muangngam before the half time whistle.
The Young Lions started the second half brightly, with Irfan moving up front from centre-back.
The captain rose the highest to meet Faris Ramli’s corner but headed straight at the goalkeeper.
Lionel Tan came closest for Singapore at the hour mark after Ramli had spun away from Shinnaphat, only to be pulled back by the defender.
Tan’s effort was saved by Muangngam, and the game turned into a scrappy affair, with both sides struggling to keep possession.
Chances were few and far between for the rest of the second half, and winger Supachok Sarachat saw his shot saved by Singapore custodian Zharfan Rohaizad just before the 70th minute after being put clean through.
Singapore threw more men forward in hopes of finding a consolation goal, but they struggled to fashion any clear chances before the final whistle.
The latest defeat leaves Singapore fourth in Group B, with just one point and no goals scored. They will play Vietnam on Tuesday.
Thailand stay third on six points after three games, and will be hopeful of qualifying with the top two, Vietnam and Indonesia, set to meet in the late game on Sunday.