National Teams – Age-group ● May 12, 2022
Singapore take vital win against Cambodia in SEA Games
Ryaan Sanizal and Jordan Emaviwe celebrate after the win over Cambodia. Photo: Samuel Ang/SNOC
NAM DINH, 12 MAY 2022 – The Singapore Men’s Under-23 National Team stayed in contention to qualify for the next round of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after overcoming Cambodia 1-0 at the Thien Truong Stadium, Nam Dinh.
Saifullah Akbar’s bullet header in the 36th minute was enough to help Singapore earn their first win of their Group B campaign, having drawn with Laos and lost to Thailand earlier in the tournament. That left them needing to win their last two matches for a chance to qualify to the semi-finals.
With little time to recover, Head Coach Nazri Nasir made seven changes, with winger Glenn Kweh and defender Jordan Emaviwe among the players making their first starts of the tournament. Kweh in particular looked lively with his direct running, link-up play and pressing causing problems to the Cambodian backline.
The 22-year-old was involved in Singapore’s first chance to score in the 18th minute. Cutting in from the right, his blocked shot fell to Nicky Singh but the forward missed from close range. Nine minutes later, Nur Adam Abdullah’s shot was well saved after a neat one-two with Shah Shahiran.
The breakthrough finally came in the 36th minute when Saifullah played a one-two with Shah before meeting the latter’s excellent cross to deftly direct the ball into the top right corner. Cambodia almost equalised three minutes later, but Taing Bunchhai’s deflected shot hit the post. Shah could have widened the lead right at the end of the first half after more good work from Kweh, but the midfielder poked the ball wide.
Saifullah Akbar (no. 10) scores the game’s only goal in the 36th minute. Photo: Samuel Ang/SNOC
Singapore sat deeper after the break and played on the counter attack. The Cambodians’ pressure nearly paid off in the 60th minute but Choun Chanchav’s header hit the post. Singapore’s best chance in the second half fell to substitute Khairin Nadim, but the winger somehow missed an open goal after Ryhan Stewart had set him up following a swift break.
Singapore held on for the win and Coach Nazri said after the match: “Before the game, I told the boys that they have two finals to go. Now we are halfway there. I am proud of their performance today as it’s not easy given the sweltering conditions and the lack of recovery time. Now we need to focus on Saturday and hope other results go our way.”
Meanwhile, Zulfahmi Arifin has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament after sustaining a knee injury in the game against Thailand.
Singapore: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Nur Adam Abdullah, Ryaan Sanizal, Harhys Stewart, Irfan Najeeb (Ryhan Stewart 74′), Jordan Emaviwe, Shah Shahiran (Zikos Chua 90’+4), Jared Gallagher, Saifullah Akbar, Glenn Kweh (Arshad Shamim 88′), Nicky Singh (Khairin Nadim 45′).
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Syahrul Sazali, Harith Kanadi, Joel Chew.