National Teams – Age-group ● Mar 22, 2019
U22s held in first AFC U23 qualifier
ULAANBAATAR, 22 MARCH 2019 – Singapore opened their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Championship qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Hong Kong earlier today afternoon.
Lionel Tan’s equaliser salvaged a point in the Group G clash at MFF Stadium and despite pushing hard for a winner, Fandi Ahmad’s charges just could not find the breakthrough.
Hong Kong had started strongly and looked more dangerous in the opening 15 minutes, but it was Singapore who nearly went ahead on 23 minutes when Ikhsan Fandi’s dangerous cross was palmed away.
Captain Joshua Pereira then spurned a good opportunity on half-hour mark when he skied his effort from seven yards after Hami Syahin’s cross was deflected into his path.
Amiruldin Asraf then tested Lam Chun Kit with a tame effort, before Sun Ming Him fluffed his lines at the other end on the stroke of half-time.
The second half did not start well for Singapore, who went behind on 52 minutes to Tsui Wang Kit’s effort. However, there was an immediate response as Hami’s free-kick was headed on by Irfan Fandi to Tan, who made no mistake from close range.
Buoyed, Singapore turned up the ante and Amiruldin forced another save after connecting with Syahrul Sazali’s cross, while Hami saw a cross come back off the post.
However, both teams had to settle for the point and Singapore now turn their attentions to the second game against DPR Korea on Sunday.
Singapore: Zharfan Rohaizad (GK), Akram Azman (Irfan Najeeb 79’), Lionel Tan, Irfan Fandi, Syahrul Sazali, Jacob Mahler, Joshua Pereira (C), Hami Syahin, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Amiruldin Asraf, Ikhsan Fandi.
Unused subs: Kenji Rusydi (GK), Adib Nur Hakim (GK), Amirul Haikal, Syukri Bashir, Danish Irfan, Haiqal Pashia, Arshad Shamim, Nur Luqman Rahman, Naqiuddin Eunos, Nur Adam Abdullah.