National Team - Lionesses ● Jul 10, 2022
Singapore fall to Matildas
Nadhra Aqilah controls the ball, 10 July 2022.
MANILA, 10 JULY 2022 – Put to the test against Australia in the fourth match of their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship 2022 campaign, Singapore gave a good account of themselves in a 4-1 defeat on Sunday afternoon.
Stephen Ng’s charges managed to register their first goal of the tournament late in the game through a defensive error, having given their all to thwart an opponent that could have done with a boost to their goal difference in order to progress from Group A.
Squad rotation came into play for the Lionesses’ fourth match in seven days as forward Claire Marie Tay was handed her first international start and a second cap, while defender Nadhra Aqilah Saiful was named in the line-up for the first time since November 2018. Midfielder Mastura Jeilani was also handed a start on her 30th birthday but had to unfortunately be substituted off in the fifth minute after twisting her right knee.
While Melissa Andreatta’s side comprised Under-23 players, bar two of the 28, they contained some of the brightest young prospects in Australian football and were still a force to be reckoned with.
The Singapore goal was breached on 11 minutes by captain Winonah Heatley, who headed the ball in from a corner. The Australians’ height advantage was difficult to deal with at dead-ball situations and another corner six minutes later saw Sarah Hunter’s header adjudged to have crossed the line, despite Nadhra’s acrobatic effort to hook it off. Their third came in a similar fashion as Hana Lowry capitalised on a goalkeeping lapse to tap in from close range in the 47th minute.
Nonetheless, the Lionesses kept their heads up and came close to troubling the Australian back-line on a few attacking forays, with Dhaniyah Qasimah involved in some good transitional play to supply Izzati Rosni and Tay.
With only the top two sides qualifying for the semi-finals, the Matildas knew that goal difference could prove to be crucial and pushed forward in search of more goals. A stunning fourth came through substitute Sheridan Lea Gallagher, whose powerful 30-yard effort left Noor Kusumawati Rosman with no chance.
Umairah Hamdan kicks the ball, 10 July 2022.
But they were dealt a setback when defender Umairah Hamdan’s free-kick from her own half was inadvertently headed towards her goal by Alexia Apostolakis, causing goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln to misjudge the bounce and fumble the ball into her own net in the 89th minute.
That provided some joy for the Lionesses, who will face Indonesia in their final Group A fixture on 12 July.
Singapore: Noor Kusumawati Rosman, Syazwani Ruzi (Irsalina Irwan 46’), Stephanie Gigette (C) (Syafiqah Peer 90+1’), Fatin Aqillah Ridzwan, Dhaniyah Qasimah, Izzati Rosni, Putri Syaliza Sazali (Afiqah Omar 68’), Claire Marie Tay (Lila Tan 46’), Mastura Jeilani (Ernie Sulastri 5’), Umairah Hamdan, Nadhra Aqilah Saiful.
Unused subs: Beatrice Tan, Georgia Annette Khoo Yow, Nurhidayu Naszri, Farhanah Ruhaizat, Danelle Tan, Dorcas Chu, Venetia Lim.