FAS ● Aug 26, 2018

Singapore Selection lose on penalties in 2018 Sultan of Selangor’s Cup


 The Singapore Selection were edged on penalties in The Sultan of Selangor’s Cup on Saturday night after a thrilling match ended 1-1 in regulation time.


Singapore international star Faris Ramli was the hero for the Selangor Selection as the second-half substitute coolly converted the winning penalty to help the hosts triumph 5-3 on spot-kicks in the 17th edition of the annual international friendly competition.


Kick-off was preceded by a spectacular opening ceremony that lasted around ten minutes, with a light show and a fireworks display dazzling the audience at Shah Alam Stadium.


Fourteen of the 21-strong Singapore Selection squad were involved for the SOS Cup for the first time, with eight featuring in the starting line-up – but they showed no fear as Marko Kraljevic’s side got off to a strong start.


The deadlock was broken with Singapore’s first chance of the game on nine minutes. A slick passing move saw the ball lofted into the box for Shuhei Hoshino, who shrugged off two challenges before calmly slotting the ball past Shahril Sa’ari.

But the Selangor crowd, which numbered close to 60,000, were on their feet seven minutes later. Amri Yahyah’s precise free-kick found Rufino Segovia at the back post and the Spaniard buried an excellent header into the far right corner beyond Zaiful Nizam’s flailing arms.


The hosts then dominated proceedings, but Warriors FC centre-back Kento Fukuda marshalled his back-line well and Zaiful was not troubled.


The Balestier Khalsa FC goalkeeper did show his worth with two fine stops to deny Romel Ramirez and Faris – plying his trade at PKNS FC this season – as Selangor upped the ante.


But Singapore nearly caught out the home side on 68 minutes through Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League top scorer Hoshino, whose audacious effort from range was tipped over by Shahril.


Albirex captain Wataru Murofushi then curled the ball wide after a trademark driving run, with Hoshino left bemused when a penalty was not awarded after he appeared to have been brought down in the box.

Neither side found a breakthrough as time ticked away, leaving the game to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Hoshino and Hazzuwan Halim scored to match Amri and Segovia’s successful efforts, but Irfan Najeeb saw his shot saved after Daniel Sang Ting put Selangor ahead. Jafri Chew and Huzaifah Aziz each scored next, leaving Faris to win the trophy for the ninth time for Selangor, putting them one ahead of Singapore in the all-time title count.

Before the main event, the crowd was entertained by a 40-minute long Veterans clash, where Selangor and Singapore football legends rolled back the years. The likes of Fandi Ahmad, Malek Awab, Steven Tan and Rafi Ali rolled back the years, while the hosts had Zainal Abidin Hassan and Soh Chin Aun. The game finished 1-1, with Karim Pin’s penalty on 17 minutes cancelled out by Steven Tan’s spot-kick on 27 minutes. Tan was the last Singaporean to score in this clash, having netted a penalty in 2014 in a 1-1 draw, while it was his third ever goal after also scoring in 2012. In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Tan’s miss proved to be crucial as Selangor won 3-2 and won the title outright for the eighth time.

In the Selangor-Singapore Schools Challenge Cup that was played before the Veterans’ match, the Singapore Under-16 Selection went down 2-0 to their counterparts in a hard-fought contest. Captain Iqmal Hazim broke the deadlock on 19 minutes, before Fariz Zhafor added the second on 21 minutes during the 70-minute match. Singapore had won the inaugural edition of the Schools Challenge Cup last year on penalties.


Singapore Selection: Zaiful Nizam (GK), Fadli Kamis (Emmeric Ong 67’), Irfan Najeeb, Kento Fukuda, Hafiz Sujad (Ho Wai Loon 75’), Adam Swandi, Huzaifah Aziz, Wataru Murofushi (Ryutaro Megumi 87’), Iqbal Hussain (Hazzuwan Halim 85’), Yasir Hanapi (C) (Hami Syahin 78’), Shuhei Hoshino.
Unused subs: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Shaqi Sulaiman, Hafiz Sulaiman.

Singapore Veterans: Shahri Rahim (GK), Idham Riduan, E. Manimohan, Razali Saad, Yahya Madon, Malek Awab, Ishak Saad, Kamalruzaman Zainal, Syed Faruk, Fandi Ahmad (C), Ho Kwang Hock.

Singapore U-16 Selection: Danial Iliya (GK) (Umar Sujuandy 45’), Aniq Raushan, Naufal Ilham, Danish Siregar (Fathullah Rahmat 45’), Iman Hakim, Aidil Johari, Niq Harraz, Farhan Zulkifli, Ryaan Sanizal (C), Danish Qayyum, Afiq Iqbal.