SINGAPORE, 19 NOVEMBER 2012: The Singapore National team wrapped up their preparations for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup campaign on a high note, after securing a 4-0 win over the Pakistan National Team in front of 1,609 fans at the Jurong West Stadium on Monday evening.
National captain Shahril Ishak gave a skipper’s performance with a pair of assists to go along with a goal.
The Lions got off to the best possible start, breaking the deadlock in the 2nd minute. Shi Jiayi’s run was picked up by Shahril Ishak, and the right winger’s shot was deflected in off Kamran Khan into the bottom corner.
Khairul Amri made it 2-0 in the 30th minute. Once again, Shahril was the provider, supplying in a superb through pass onto the path of Khairul Amri, who leaped over the onrushing Jaffar Khan before slotting into the empty net.
Shahril then deservedly got a goal in the 77th minute, with Shahdan Sulaiman the provider this time round. A mistake by Pakistan leftback Muhammad Ahmed left Shahdan with all the space and time to pick out our number 17, who duly made it 3-0.
There was still time for a fourth goal, after good work from Qiu Li down the left wing found Aleksandar Duric unmarked inside the Pakistani six-yard box, allowing the striker to slam it home.
Speaking after the game, Pakistan head coach, Zaviša Milosavljević felt that Singapore were the better side tonight. “Singapore has a good team, they are far more organized, and if you compare to Pakistan, they were better technically and tactically. Individually we were not able to compare as well.”
Singapore assistant coach, Mike Wong, was naturally pleased with the win, describing it as “morale-boosting.” He cited that “it was important for the team to get the win seeing as it’s the final preparation match before the team leaves for Malaysia.”
He added, “We worked on some tactical aspects in the last two weeks, and as you can see in Cebu, as well as tonight, we kept the ball better and that is something we will look to do in the AFF Suzuki Cup tournament.”
That was agreed in tandem by midfielder Hariss Harun. “It’s good that we scored four goals. We took our chances and in terms of confidence, it’s a boost for us and it will be good for us starting on Sunday in the tournament, where we will look to play to our strengths.”
Singapore Starting Lineup: Izwan Mahbud (GK), Shaiful Esah, Baihakki Khaizan, Shi Jiayi (Qiu Li 66’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Hariss Harun (Isa Halim 72’), Mustafic Fahrudin, Daniel Bennett, Shahril Ishak (C) (Fazrul Nawaz 77’), Khairul Amri (Aleksandar Duric 46’), Safuwan Baharudin (Irwan Shah 50’)
Pakistan Starting Lineup: Jaffar Khan (GK, C) (Yousaf Ejaz Butt 46’), Shabir Khan, Muhammad Ahmed (Faisal Iqbal 81’), Kamran Khan, Zeshan Rehman (Omar Malik 67’), Samar Ishaq, Zia Us Salam, Hassan Bashir, Kaleemullah, Naveed Ahmed (Muhammad Ali 46’), Muhammad Adil (Saeed Ahmed 67’)
Report and match pic by Football Association of Singapore
Note: Saeed Ahmed, Yousuf Ejaz Butt, Omar Malik, Muhammad Ali, Naveed Ahmed, and Hassan Bashir made their debuts for Pakistan today. Adnan Ahmed could not play because of injury he picked up in game against Singapore XI