National Teams – Age-group ● Jul 07, 2022
U19s hold Malaysia to draw
Irfan Iskandar fends off two defenders in the first half against Malaysia.
SINGAPORE, 7 JULY 2022 – Singapore put on a gutsy display to hold favourites Malaysia to a 0-0 draw in their third ASEAN Football Federation U19 Boys Championship 2022 match on Thursday afternoon.
Prior to the competition, the two sides had played two closed-doors friendlies, with Malaysia winning both encounters. Having lost their first two matches, Singapore were perhaps the underdogs here and Malaysia started brightly, coming close to scoring twice within the first 10 minutes. The first shot curled inches wide while the second was well saved by Firman Nabil.
Fadzuhasny Juraimi’s side grew in stature and did well to disrupt Malaysia’s game, and the team’s first chance came in the 16th minute. Collecting the ball just outside the 18-yard box, Khairin Nadim sidestepped a Malaysian defender before his curler flew just above the crossbar.
The second half continued in a similar fashion, with Malaysia having the bulk of the possession and the Singapore team defending resolutely. For all their dominance, the game’s best chance fell to Singapore in the 66th minute. Cutting in from the left, Raoul Suhaimi dribbled past two defenders before curling an effort towards goal. His effort was saved by Malaysian custodian Zulhilmi Sharani, but with Irfan Iskandar putting pressure on the defender, the rebound fell to Khairin who just had the keeper to beat. However, Sharani reacted superbly to save Khairin’s effort at point-blank range.
The miss was a wake-up call for the Malaysians, who poured forward in search of a goal. The Singapore team however stood firm and refused to waiver. Midfielders Ryu Hardy and Amir Rashid showed grit and determination to fight for every loose ball right till the final whistle while the backline refused to give the Malaysian attackers time and space. Ultimately, Singapore did just enough to earn a point.
Coach Fadzuhasny said after the match: “The team morale was low after our first two games and it would have been easy for the boys to come into the game mentally defeated. So, kudos to them for the character and mental strength to continually disrupt Malaysia’s passing game and to restrict them to long range efforts.
“We also had the best chance of the match and just needed a bit more composure. The focus now is to recover and to prepare the team for our last game against Laos. I want the boys to perform like they did today and give their all for their last game of the group stage.”
Singapore: Firman Nabil (GK), Aqil Yazid, Kieran Teo (Scott Crichton 59′), Syafi Hilman (Farid Jafri 69′), Raoul Suhaimi, Amir Rashid, Ryu Hardy, Izrafil Yusof (Asis Ijilral 80′), Ali Manaf (Ilyasin Zayan 59′), Khairin Nadim, Irfan Iskandar (Sham Mohamed 80′)
Unused subs: Rauf Erwan, Aniq Raushan, Junki Yoshimura, Glenn Ong, Kieran Aryan, Zakaria Syari