National Team - Lions ● Jun 04, 2021
Lions fall to defeat against Palestine
Shakir Hamzah in an aerial challenge against Palestine, 3 June 2021
RIYADH, 4 JUNE 2021 – Singapore resumed their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 in Group D last night with a 4-0 defeat to Palestine.
A three-goal blitz by Palestine in the first half left the Lions with a tall mountain to climb at half-time and while the performance was improved after the break, it was not enough to salvage a result at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Head Coach Tatsuma Yoshida admitted his disappointment at the result, which saw Palestine leapfrog the Lions into third place, albeit having played a game more.
“The boys tried but in the first half, they were a bit nervous,” he said after the game. “I am really disappointed (as) they can do more (and) that we could not show our full potential. I think if we played to our potential, maybe the result would be changed… I am very sorry for the Singapore fans.
“I feel big disappointment, big pain… But it’s not on them (the players). It’s because of my management and it’s on me.”
Palestine, ranked 55 places above Singapore by FIFA at 104th, started aggressively and took the lead through Tamer Seyam’s penalty on 19 minutes. Izwan Mahbud got a hand to it but couldn’t keep out the powerful shot and conceded a second four minutes later when Oday Dabbagh finished from close range. Another penalty from Seyam made it three and while Izwan went on to make two point-blank saves and Irfan Fandi cleared a goal-bound effort, Yaser Hamed scored a fourth in the 85th minute.
It was a bittersweet night for Ilhan Fandi and Saifullah Akbar, who earned their first international caps, while Baihakki Khaizan became Singapore’s joint second-most capped player when he came off the bench at the start of the second half for his 138th international appearance.
With two games left in Group D against Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia, Tatsuma urged the team to do better.
“The result is the result, we cannot change it,” he said. “We can improve almost everything… we are the national team and as long as it’s possible (to get a result), we have to play to our 100 per cent. I can promise that.”
Singapore: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Nazrul Nazari (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 77′), Madhu Mohana, Irfan Fandi, Shakir Hamzah (Hafiz Sujad 88′), Shahdan Sulaiman, M. Anumanthan, Yasir Hanapi (C), Gabriel Quak (Baihakki Khaizan 46′), Hafiz Nor (Saifullah Akbar 65′), Ilhan Fandi (Faris Ramli 46′).
Unused subs: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Hassan Sunny (GK), Hazzuwan Halim, Amirul Adli, Hami Syahin, Shawal Anuar, Zulfahmi Arifin.