National Teams – Age-group ● May 07, 2022
Valiant Singapore earn a point at the death in SEA Games opener
Jordan Emaviwe celebrates after equalising for Singapore on 7 May 2022. Photo: Jeremy Lee/Sport Singapore
SINGAPORE, 7 MAY 2022 – The Singapore Men’s Under-23 National Team showed incredible fighting spirit to come back from two goals down against Laos to draw 2-2 in their opening game of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Thien Truong Stadium, Nam Dinh on Saturday evening.
Defender Jordan Emaviwe, who came on to play as a forward, equalised with the last kick of the match when he met Saifullah Akbar’s knock-down and deftly found the back of the net with the outside of his left boot.
Laos had raced into a two-goal lead with forward Ekkamai Ratxachak and midfielder Chony Wenpaserth scoring in the first and second half respectively. But Singapore refused to throw in the towel and clawed their way back into the game in the last 10 minutes of the second half. Substitute Glenn Kweh reduced arrears in the 89th minute after good work down the left flank from Khairin Nadim, whose cross caused disarray. With the Laos defence unable to clear, Kweh pounced on the loose ball and rifled it into the top right hand corner.
The goal lifted the team and their resilience paid off in the sixth minute of added time. Pouring forward, Singapore won a free kick and Shah floated the ball into the danger area. Substitute Saifullah’s hunger showed when the diminutive midfielder won the ball and directed a header towards the penalty area. Anticipating the ball, Emaviwe lost his marker and nonchalantly directed the ball past Laos custodian Keo Oudane.
Saifullah Akbar celebrates with Head Coach Nazri Nasir after Jordan’s equaliser on 7 May 2022. Photo: Samuel Ang/Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC)
Head Coach Nazri Nasir chose to stay optimistic after the Group B encounter, saying: “It was not an easy game and I am proud as the players showed a lot of character and great attitude to not give up until the final whistle. The players did not have much time to gel and so we were a little shaky in the first 15 minutes and we must start better in our next games. But you could see the way the boys never stopped running and their belief that we can get something out of the game and as a Coach there’s nothing more I can ask for. We need to regroup, recover well and go again on Monday against another challenging opponent in Thailand.”
Singapore: Zaiful Nizam (GK)(C), Nur Adam (Harith Kanadi 78′), Ryaan Sanizal, Harhys Stewart (Irfan Najeeb 78′), Ryhan Stewart, Syahrul Sazali, Shah Shahiran, Zulfahmi Arifin (Saifullah Akbar 62′), Joel Chew (Glenn Kweh 55′), Khairin Nadim, Zikos Chua (Jordan Emaviwe 55′).
Unused subs: Ridhwan Fikri (GK), Arshad Shamim, Jared Gallagher, Nicky Melvin Singh.