National Team - Lions ● Jun 21, 2018
Singapore fall to Myanmar in Under-23 friendly
A goal in each half saw the visitors come away with a 2-0 win
Hami Syahin had one of Singapore’s best chances against Myanmar.
SINGAPORE, 20 JUNE 2018 – Singapore fell to a 2-0 defeat in an Under-23 International Friendly against Myanmar on Wednesday night at Bishan Stadium.
Fandi Ahmad’s charges conceded the first goal five minutes before half-time, with the visitors adding a second on 62 minutes to seal victory.
Having called up a 23-man squad with players coming from seven Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs, Fandi included six that were not from the Young Lions in the starting line-up.
Myanmar looked lively in the early stages but it was Singapore who had the best opening first when centre-back Hafiz Sulaiman drove a superb 45-yard diagonal pass out to right-back Darren Teh on 19 minutes.
The Geylang International man took one touch before cutting inside his man, but his left-footed effort was not powerful enough to trouble goalkeeper Zin Nyi Nyi Aung.
Two more opportunities soon followed. First, Hafiz guided his header wide at the far post off Syahrul Sazali’s corner on 21 minutes. Three minutes later, Hami Syahin smacked a rising drive narrowly over from 25 yards after a clever free-kick routine that involved a dummy from a team-mate.
But it was Myanmar who would break the deadlock through a clinical finish on 40 minutes thanks to Win Naing Tun, who blasted the ball into the top left corner after being played through.
A change of tactics followed after the break as Captain Irfan Fandi was pushed upfront to be the targetman, but it was the visitors who got the second goal just past the hour mark.
Pyae Sone Naing did well to dig out a cross from the left byline, which Ye Yint Aung headed in at the far post.
Singapore responded strongly and increased the pressure at the other end, but were unable to find much joy against a stout Myanmar defence.
Substitute Illyas Lee, one of 11 changes in the second half, headed a good chance over at a corner and Naufal Azman had Singapore’s last opportunity with a long-range effort in added time that flew just wide.
Singapore National Olympic Council President Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin speaking to the Singapore Under-23 National team after their friendly against Myanmar.
MORE EXPOSURE NEEDED
Head Coach Fandi expressed disappointment with the result, but was at the same time grateful to have had the opportunity to play the match.
“This is how we want to develop the players,” he explained. “Majority of the players (in this team) were playing in the Prime League last year (and only) some of them played in the S.League (now SPL).
“We need more matches like this; at least we can see the difference (between us and other such opposition) and improve. I am very happy with the performance of some of the players like Hafiz and Zulfadhmi and other players from other clubs.
“Hopefully, we can give them (more) opportunities and they can (step) up their levels.”
Singapore National Olympic Council President, Mr. Tan Chuan Jin, was present to watch the match and spoke to the team afterward.
Fandi added: “We just wanted to put up a good performance. Just now, Mr. Chuan Jin told us he was quite happy (with what he saw), he saw commitment and we tried and fight until the end, he said it was a good sign and he wants us to improve.”