National Team - Lions ● Nov 25, 2018

Lions out of Suzuki Cup after defeat in Thailand

Hariss Harun and Shakir Hamzah close down Sanrawat Dechmitr. (Picture by Thananuwat Srirasant/Lagardere Sport)


Singapore were eliminated from the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 on Sunday evening after defeat to Thailand in their final Group B match.


The Lions needed at least a draw at the Rajamangala Stadium to keep their semi-final hopes alive but fell 3-0 to the group leaders, despite giving everything they had.


An unfortunate own goal from Irfan Fandi in the 13th minute was followed by a well-taken strike 11 minutes later from Supachai Jaided, which proved too much for Fandi Ahmad’s charges to overcome. Adisak Kraisorn added a third late on to seal victory for the Thais.


The visitors had started brightly too against the favourites, going on the attack from the start and Ikhsan Fandi saw an opportunistic effort turned behind by Chatchai Budprom on seven minutes.


But the War Elephants went ahead when Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri’s cross from the right was inadvertently turned in by Irfan. A hammer blow soon followed when Supachai controlled a scuffed clearance beautifully, before turning to smash the ball into the bottom left corner from 12 yards.


Ikhsan Fandi tries to get free of his markers. (Picture by Thananuwat Srirasant/Lagardere Sport)


Singapore rallied and Gabriel Quak saw a tame effort saved on the half-hour mark, before Chatchai had to tip away Ikhsan’s snapshot two minutes before the break.


Ikhsan also smashed a free-kick just wide on 56 minutes as the Lions kept searching for a way back into the game, while Hassan Sunny had to make good saves at the other end to deny Adisak Kraisorn once and Thitipan Puangchan twice.


Faris Ramli was brought on at the start of the second half but the Thai defence stood strong, with Singapore getting caught on the break one minute from time as Sanrawat Dechmitr picked out Adisak for a clinical finish.


The result marks the end of the Lions Suzuki Cup journey but they can take heart from the fight and spirit shown in their performances in this tournament.


Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman (Faris Ramli 46’), Irfan Fandi, Safuwan Baharudin, Zulfahmi Arifin, Hariss Harun (C), Izzdin Shafiq, Nazrul Nazari (Faritz Hameed 79’), Gabriel Quak (Baihakki Khaizan 66’), Shakir Hamzah, Ikhsan Fandi.
Unused subs: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Zaiful Nizam (GK), M. Anumanthan, Jacob Mahler, Yasir Hanapi, Adam Swandi, Iqbal Hussain.