National Team - Lions ● Jan 03, 2023

Lions end campaign with derby defeat


Irfan Fandi heads the ball, 3 January 2023


KUALA LUMPUR, 3 JANUARY 2023 – Singapore’s run at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 came to a finish on Tuesday after falling to rivals Malaysia.


On a tough night at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, the Lions suffered a 4-1 defeat as the hosts secured second place in the final match of Group B to join table-toppers Vietnam in the semi-finals.


Takayuki Nishigaya’s men would have qualified at Malaysia’s expense with a point but could not find an answer to their opponents’ prowess in front of a partisan crowd of 65,147.


M. Anumanthan (L) and Shah Shahiran react, 3 January 2023


Hassan Sunny was called into action early on to deny Faisal Halim in the eight minute, before saving from the same player again nine minutes later. In between, Irfan Fandi had a half-chance that he headed over, while Song Uiyoung dragged a shot wide from a tight angle on 27 minutes.


After a few efforts from range that went wide, the pressure eventually told in the 35th minute. A poor pass at the back allowed Safawi Rasid to cross from the right for Darren Lok, who headed from close range.


Faris Ramli reacts after scoring, 3 January 2023


A quickfire brace from Stuart Wilkin in the 51st and 54th minutes increased Malaysia’s advantage and while Faris Ramli pulled a goal back in the 85th minute, Sergio Aguero finished off the counter-attack three minutes later to seal victory.


“Of course, the result is very disappointing,” Nishigaya said. “In the first half, we wanted to pressure higher but we could not… we also wanted to change our defending shape, but we could not do it. We tried (to do) what we can do… there is a lot to improve, both attacking and defending-wise.”


Captain Hariss Harun said in the mixed zone: “Naturally, we are devastated at the result. I think we made it difficult for ourselves… we tried to open up a bit more in the second half to try and get that first goal, and they came back at us and scored three more. It was tough out there and the result does not lie, basically… we got to go back and learn from this and come back a better team.”


Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hariss Harun (C), Irfan Fandi, Shakir Hamzah (Zulfahmi Arifin 61’), Hafiz Nor (Nazrul Nazari 78’), Shahdan Sulaiman, M. Anumanthan, Christopher van Huizen (Farhan Zulkifli 70’), Shah Shahiran (Shawal Anuar 46’), Song Uiyoung (Faris Ramli 61’), Amy Recha.
Unused subs: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Zaiful Nizam (GK), Hami Syahin, Amirul Adli, Ryhan Stewart, Ilhan Fandi, Joshua Pereira.


Singapore line-up, 3 January 2023


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