Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Lions fall 1-2 to Afghanistan in Asian Cup qualifier warm-up

DOHA – Singapore fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat in their international friendly against Afghanistan on Friday morning (Mar 24, Singapore time) in Doha, Qatar.

Lions fall 1-2 to Afghanistan in Asian Cup qualifier warm-up

Shawal Anuar (left) scored his first international goal for Singapore but the Lions eventually lost to Afghanistan. TODAY FILE PHOTO

DOHA – Singapore fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat in their international friendly against Afghanistan on Friday morning (Mar 24, Singapore time) in Doha, Qatar.

The match was the Lions’ final warm-up game ahead of their Group E opener away to Bahrain in the final round of the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup qualifiers.

Shawal Anuar struck Singapore’s only goal, blasting home a fine left-footed finish from a tight angle to briefly draw them level on 1-1 a minute into the second half.

Afghanistan, ranked seven places in the world above Singapore at 156th, had got off to a dream start when they broke the deadlock after just four minutes.

A cross from the left was not dealt with properly by the defence and the loose ball fell kindly for defender Sharif Mukhammad, who volleyed it neatly into the bottom left corner from just inside the box.

National head coach V. Sundramoorthy, who was handed a two-year extension by the Football Association of Singapore last week, took the chance to experiment with the brand-new pairing of Irfan Fandi and Safuwan Baharudin as centre-backs.

Irfan, who began his career as a striker, has been deployed more regularly in defence over the past year and the 19-year-old Home United player was earning only his second cap.

Geylang International winger Shawal also picked up his second Lions cap and the 25-year-old took his chance when it came just after the break, smashing Hariss Harun’s lofted pass into the far corner for his first ever international goal.

But it took Afghanistan just 11 minutes to regain the lead. Winning possession near the halfway line, Kanischka Taher surged forward before playing in substitute Mustafa Azadzoy for a clinical finish.

Khairul Nizam could have grabbed a second equaliser in the dying minutes, but his fierce shot was well saved by Ovays Azizi as the Lions were eventually left to lick their wounds.

Sundram will have to rally his troops for their clash in Bahrain next Tuesday (Mar 28), where they will hope to get off to a good start in their campaign to qualify for the Asian Cup finals for the first time.

Singapore: Hassan Sunny, Faritz Hameed, Irfan Fandi (Daniel Bennett 77’), Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, Hariss Harun (C), Yasir Hanapi (M. Anumanthan 82’), Izzdin Shafiq (Mustafic Fahrudin 80’), Faris Ramli (Juma’at Jantan 46’), Shawal Anuar (Safirul Sulaiman 67’), Khairul Amri (Khairul Nizam 63’).

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa