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Singapore footballers trounced 7-0 by Malaysia in heaviest SEA Games loss in decades

Singapore footballers trounced 7-0 by Malaysia in heaviest SEA Games loss in decades

Singapore and Malaysia players vie for the ball in their SEA Games football match on May 11, 2023. (Photo: Football Association of Malaysia).

SINGAPORE: Singapore's football team was beaten 7-0 by Malaysia in their final group game at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia on Thursday (May 11).

This is Singapore's heaviest defeat at the Games since the competition became an age-group affair in 2001.

Having already been knocked out from the group stages for the fifth straight time at this level following a goalless draw against Laos on Saturday, the Young Lions were merely playing for pride against their Causeway rivals.

Malaysia entered their final game third in Group B, three and six points behind Vietnam and leaders Thailand respectively with an inferior goal difference to both sides. Vietnam and Thailand played out a 1-1 draw later on Thursday.

Though also already eliminated from the competition before kick-off, it was Malaysia that showed the initiative all game.

Their players were on the front foot from the kick-off, with captain Mukhairi Ajmal controlling the tempo in the early exchanges.

Winger Saravanan Thirumurugan opened the scoring for Malaysia in the 14th minute, after receiving a pass from the left flank. A drop of the shoulder left Singapore's defence in disarray, giving him space to curl home from just inside the box.

Malaysia continued to pin Singapore in their own half as their players went in search for goals and they twice struck the woodwork - one being a long-range screamer from Mukhairi - and had a goal disallowed for offside.

As the board went up for three minutes of added time in the first half, Singapore coach Philippe Aw looked relieved that his side were only 1-0 down, such was Malaysia's dominance.

But in added time, a straight pass sliced open Singapore's defence, giving Saravanan room to run down the left flank and his cross was headed home by Haqimi Azim for a 2-0 lead.

Any hope of a comeback was snufffed out just three minutes into second half as Saravanan pounced on a loose ball, after Singapore defender Kieran Teo was closed down by Haqimi in his own box.

Saravanan again capitalised on more shocking defending in the second half again from Singapore. The backline could not clear their lines as the ball pinged around in the box and he slammed home for his hat-trick in the 53rd minute.

Haqimi and Saravanan tormented the Young Lions' backline all game and they again combined to deadly effect. The former's pass put the latter through for a one-on-one with Singapore goalkeeper Aizil Yazid and Saravanan slotted home in the 62nd minute for his fourth strike and to go joint-top of the SEA Games football scoring charts.

Malaysia head coach E Elavarasan took off Saravanan after his heroics but his relentless side continued to press home their advantage.

Further strikes in the 87th minute from Mukhairi, who netted with a piledriver from range, and Mohd Aiman three minutes into added time meant Singapore's SEA Games 2023 campaign ended on a whimper.

The Young Lions will return home to Singapore with just one point from four games and a goal difference of minus 11. 

Catch the 32nd SEA Games Cambodia 2023 live with three dedicated channels on mewatch. Sign in now at to catch all the action for free, or catch highlights on Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube

Source: CNA/sn(gr)


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