National Team - Lionesses ● Oct 10, 2022
Unfortunate Lionesses edged by Indonesia in friendly
Dhaniyah Qasimah shields the ball, 10 October 2022
SINGAPORE, 10 OCTOBER 2022 – A determined display from the Singapore Women’s National Team was not enough to avoid a narrow defeat on Monday night against Indonesia in an international friendly.
Stephen Ng’s charges returned to action for the first time since their final group-stage match at July’s ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship 2022 campaign in Manila – incidentally, a historic 2-0 win against the same opponents – and could count themselves unfortunate not to have come away with at least a draw in front of 986 spectators.
The Lionesses were more than a match for the 101st-ranked visitors – 32 places above them – and came close to taking the lead when Izzati Rosni fired a fierce effort straight at the goalkeeper on 22 minutes.
Six minutes later, Stephanie Dominguez then won a penalty after stripping a dawdling defender of possession, but saw her effort parried away by Prihatini. The 24-year-old forward simply had no luck in front of goal on the night – a wicked corner curled narrowly over the bar shortly after the break before she smashed a 35-yard free-kick off the woodwork in the 70th minute.
Nurhidayu Naszri, moved to central midfield in the second half from left-back in a tactical switch, was also unfortunate to not score her first international goal after seeing her 20-yard drive come off the left post.
It was almost inevitable that Indonesia would punish Singapore and it was through two unfortunate goalkeeping errors in the 51st and 93rd minutes, with Marsela Awi and Helsya Meisyaroh the respective beneficiaries.
Farhanah Ruhaizat celebrates, 10 October 2022
Sandwiched in between, however, was a beautiful strike from Farhanah Ruhaizat. The half-time substitute came on all fired up and forged on despite being on the end of two contentious refereeing decisions to level in the 86th minute.
Dhaniyah Qasimah, a colossus in the middle of the park throughout, picked out Izzati with a forward pass. Her clever first-time flick played in Farhanah, who surged down the left before clipping a wonderful finish into the far right corner for her first international goal on her 30th cap.
“All I wanted to do was to give my 100 per cent after a few months of not training due to injury,” the 24-year-old said, adding that she had only resumed training two weeks ago after recovering from a cartilage issue in her left knee. “My mindset was to just do it for the team… we gave them a good fight and it shows that we can go up against such (better) teams.”
Lila Tan on the ball, 10 October 2022
Coach Ng was heartened by the intensity on display and asserted that the Lionesses have to be challenged on a consistent basis in order to develop further.
“Both (goals conceded) are misjudgments but these things happen in a match,” he said. “We fight together as a team, win or lose, but most importantly, we have to continue to learn.
“The players need such games… We have a good mixture of players, some experienced and some younger ones, that we need to continue developing for the future of women’s football (here).”
There were some positives to take away as goalkeeper Izyan Ahmad and forward Clara Lau earned their first international caps, while attacker Rochelle Chan made her first international appearance since July 2018.
Singapore: Noor Kusumawati (GK) (Izyan Ahmad 90’+1), Nurerwadah Erwan (Irsalina Irwan 68’), Ernie Sulastri (C), Umairah Hamdan, Stephanie Dominguez (Rochelle Chan 90’+2), Dhaniyah Qasimah, Fatin Aqillah (Khairunnisa Anwar 68’), Raudhah Kamis (Farhanah Ruhaizat 46’), Izzati Rosni, Lila Tan (Clara Lau 90’+2).
Unused subs: Haziqah Haszman (GK), Syafiqah Peer, Afiqah Omar.