National Team - Lions ● Jun 15, 2022
Lions put six past Myanmar for victory in final qualifier
Faris Ramli, Ikhsan Fandi, Christopher van Huizen and Song Uiyoung, 14 June 2022
BISHKEK, 14 JUNE 2022 – Singapore ended their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup™ 2023 Qualifiers Final Round campaign with a win on Tuesday.
Ikhsan Fandi led the way with his first international hat-trick as the Lions beat Myanmar 6-2 to finish third in Group F, following narrow defeats against Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan over the past week.
With only the six group winners and five best runners-up qualifying for the Finals next year, Head Coach Takayuki Nishigaya rued his side’s inability to put away their chances in the preceding encounters.
“I am glad with this result but I wanted to see the goals in the previous matches as well,” he said. “The good thing (in this match) is that we scored the goals but the bad is that we allowed two goals (to be conceded)… you can see that we made mistakes, so we have to improve.
“We showed good performances against strong teams but we have to implement (translate) that into wins… that is our next point of improvement.”
Gabriel Quak celebrates, 14 June 2022
The Lions did at least manage to finish the qualifying campaign on a good note and it was Ikhsan who set them on the way. After Song Uiyoung volleyed Amirul Adli’s cushioned header off a corner wide from a good position on seven minutes, Ikhsan made sure the next chance that came two minutes later was put away.
Adli, making his first international start in a year, made a defensive interception before releasing Gabriel Quak down the left. His unerring cross found Ikhsan, who met the ball with a glancing header. Song then made amends in the 16th minute by picking up Shahdan Sulaiman’s pass before turning to rifle a 30-yard sizzler into the bottom left corner.
After weathering a spell of pressure from Myanmar, during which Hassan Sunny made three good saves, Quak made it 3-0 on the 42nd minute by capping off a swift counter-attack. Shah Shahiran’s midfield interception fell to Ikhsan and he swiftly exchanged two passes with Quak, allowing the latter to pick out the bottom right corner from 20 yards and mark his 40th cap with a goal.
Ikhsan Fandi scores his second, 14 June 2022
Win Naing Tun headed in a free-kick in the 52nd minute to reduce arrears but that lasted barely 60 seconds as substitute Faris Ramli won the ball upfront and found Ikhsan, who surged into the area and slotted the ball underneath Pyae Phyo Tun.
The same combination worked for Ikhsan’s third in the 69th minute. A pinpoint curling ball over the top from Faris landed at Ikhsan’s feet and once again, he made no mistake with a left-footed finish for his 16th goal in 31 appearances.
“Of course it feels good and more importantly we got the win, so I am very happy about that,” the 23-year-old said of his treble. “I had a lot of chances today, that is why I put more of them away… but some days I just have to be more clinical. Tough games, like the ones we had (against Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan), it is important that the one chance I have, I score so that is something I need to work on myself. Usually, I will look back at my misses straight away after a game and just figure out what I need to do better. Usually, it is (about having) a bit more composure (such as) taking that one more extra touch; small details like these and I know it myself, so next time I can fix it.”
Hafiz Nor (11) celebrates, 14 June 2022
While Aung Kaung Mann scored in the 66th minute, the four-goal margin was restored in the 89th minute through Hafiz Nor, who met Nur Adam Abdullah’s cross with an emphatic first-time volley.
The match also saw Nishigaya hand debuts to Ryaan Sanizal – who started at heart of defence – and Ryhan Stewart, who was a late substitute. Shahdan collected his 80th cap, while Hassan made his 98th appearance for Singapore to inch closer to the century mark.
The Lions are set to arrive back in Singapore on Thursday and expected to be back in action during the next international break in September.
Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hariss Harun (C), Ryaan Sanizal (Nur Adam Abdullah 70’), Amirul Adli, Nazrul Nazari (Hafiz Nor 83’), Shah Shahiran, Shahdan Sulaiman, Song Uiyoung (Glenn Kweh 70’), Christopher van Huizen (Ryhan Stewart 88’), Gabriel Quak (Faris Ramli 46’), Ikhsan Fandi.
Unused subs: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Zaiful Nizam (GK), Taufik Suparno, Adam Swandi, Iqram Rifqi.