Singapore struggle against 10-man Laos

Singapore struggle against 10-man Laos
Singapore, who led through Sahil Suhaimi's (in red) strike, had to settle for a frustrating 1-1 draw against Laos in their opening Group A match of the SEA Games at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium in Naypyidaw. Photo courtesy of Singapore Sports Council.
The Lions dominated possession but were let down by poor finishing
Published: 10:27 PM, December 8, 2013
Updated: 8:00 PM, December 9, 2013

NAYPYIDAW — Singapore failed to get their SEA Games campaign off to a winning start after they could only muster a 1-1 draw against 10-man Laos at the Zayarthiri Stadium in Naypyidaw tonight (Dec 8).

Courts Young Lions forward Sahil Suhaimi gave Singapore the lead in the 27th minute but substitute Khuanta Sivongthong’s 86th-minute equaliser prevented Aide Iskandar’s men from securing all three points.

Laos were reduced to 10 men after just two minutes after defender Saychon Khunsamnarn was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on LionsXII forward Shahfiq Ghani.

The Lions dominated possession after that but were struggling to find any rhythm in attack and hardly troubled the Laos goalkeeper.

But they did manage to break the deadlock in the 27th minute when Zulfahmi Arifin’s lob over the Laos defence was well controlled by Sahil, who then volleyed the ball into the bottom right corner.

Singapore set up camp in the Laotian half in the second 45 minutes but poor passing in the final third of the pitch prevented them from extending their lead.

Laos never stopped running and were rewarded for their hard work in the 86th minute when Sivongthong rose the highest to head a free-kick past Singapore goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.

Singapore will next play Vietnam — who trounced Brunei 7-0 earlier today — on Dec 10.