National Teams – Age-group ● Dec 06, 2019
Singapore end SEA Games campaign with 7-0 win over Brunei
SINGAPORE, 5 DECEMBER 2019 – Singapore recorded their first victory at the 30th SEA Games tournament earlier this evening after putting seven goals past Brunei in their final Group B game at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Fandi Ahmad’s charges stamped their authority on the game from the get-go with a few clear-cut attempts by Hami Syahin, Faris Ramli and Ikhsan Fandi, before skipper Irfan Fandi headed home after meeting Hami’s free kick in the fifth minute.
But despite dominating the game throughout and gaining a one-man advantage when Hanif Farhan received a second yellow card in the 48th minute, Singapore spurned numerous opportunities to add to their lead until the 68th minute when the floodgates finally opened.
Ikhsan sprinted down the left flank to collect Jacob Mahler’s pass before cutting in and slotting home into the bottom corner. His goal was followed shortly after by substitute Saifullah Akbar, who latched on to Irfan’s pass and rifled into the bottom left corner from 12 yards in the 72nd minute.
Having come close with a few attempts, Faris finally got on the score-sheet in the 84th minute when he slammed the ball into the bottom right corner after being set up by Zulqarnaen Suzliman. The same combination reaped rewards again just three minutes later when Zulqarnaen squared the ball from the right for Faris to tap in at the far post to make it 5-0.
As the Bruneians tired in the closing stages, Ikhsan scored two more goals to seal his first hat-trick at international level. In the 92nd minute, he fired home from close range after Saifullah laid the ball to him. Almost immediately after, the Fandi brothers combined to great effect when Irfan slipped the ball through to Ikhsan for him to slot beyond the goalkeeper and complete the rout.
Having seen his side score for the first time at the tournament, Fandi said: “This was a good win for us because we had been struggling to score goals and it hasn’t been easy for our boys. I thought we played quite well but we also missed many chances. I can see the nervousness in our boys sometimes because they are too eager to score and then they feel frustrated (when they don’t). But above all, I am happy that we have created enough chances in the game to score goals.”
When told that Singapore fans were present in the stands to cheer the team on, Fandi responded, “I must thank them for coming from Singapore. Whether they cheer or jeer us, it is okay with us as we just want to thank them for their support.”
Singapore finished fourth in the group after leapfrogging Laos on goal difference with the win to record four points from five games. Group winners Vietnam and runners-up Indonesia will progress to the semi-finals, where they face Cambodia and Myanmar respectively.