National Team - Lions ● Dec 31, 2022
Lions in stalemate against Vietnam
Song Uiyoung shields the ball, 30 December 2022
SINGAPORE, 31 DECEMBER 2022 – Singapore battled to a draw against Vietnam on Friday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in both teams’ third Group B encounter of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022.
Marshalled by Man-of-the-Match Irfan Fandi, the Lions defence kept out the group leaders in front of 5,434 spectators in a 0-0 draw that maintained their unbeaten streak in the tournament.
Head coach Takayuki Nishigaya praised his team’s efforts as well as the home support, as they moved into second spot ahead of the final match against Malaysia on 3 January.
Ilhan Fandi on the ball, 30 December 2022
“This is not the best result because we wanted to win the game, but we did get a point and it is all because of the players’ commitment and the fans, who generated an amazing atmosphere,” he said at the post-match press conference. “We want to thank all of them.”
The visitors made some changes to their starting line-up but took control from the start, knowing that a victory would seal qualification for the semi-finals. Nguyễn Văn Quyết and Vũ Văn Thanh forced Hassan Sunny into action and while the Singapore custodian saved without fuss, he was helpless when Đỗ Hùng Dũng’s 24th-minute effort whistled just past the left post.
Takayuki Nishigaya’s men looked to pounce on the counter-attack and one swift move in the 26th minute, started by Shahdan Sulaiman, ended with the midfielder cleverly dummying a pass for Ilhan Fandi. However, the forward screwed his shot wide from the edge of the box; he would later be forced off the pitch with injury on the stroke of half-time.
While Shah Shahiran rifled a long-range effort right at Đặng Văn Lâm three minutes after the restart, it was the Vietnamese who created the better opportunities still. Hassan had to save from Nguyễn Tiến Linh and Nguyễn Hoàng Đức, and the latter also saw a 30-yard daisy-cutter take a nick off Irfan and crash off the post in the 84th minute.
Irfan Fandi heads the ball away, 30 December 2022
Irfan, who weighed in with a goal-saving block to deny Tiến Linh late on, hailed the team’s spirit afterwards. “We had one objective today and that was to fight for each other; everyone had to give 110 per cent and the fans were amazing as well,” the 25-year-old said. “We are fighting for our injured team-mates and of course, Singapore as well.”
The Lions next travel to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to face Malaysia in the final group match, where a draw will seal a berth in the semi-finals.
Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK), Hariss Harun (C), Irfan Fandi, Shakir Hamzah, Ryhan Stewart, Shahdan Sulaiman, M. Anumanthan (Zulfahmi Arifin 67’), Christopher van Huizen (Nazrul Nazari 67’), Shah Shahiran (Hami Syahin 90’), Faris Ramli (Song Uiyoung 46’), Ilhan Fandi (Shawal Anuar 46’).
Unused subs: Syazwan Buhari (GK), Zaiful Nizam (GK), Amirul Adli, Amy Recha, Hafiz Nor, Farhan Zulkifli, Joshua Pereira.
Singapore line-up, 30 December 2022