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Singapore keep SEA Games football hopes alive after 1-0 win over Cambodia

HANOI — Singapore kept their flagging hopes of a SEA Games medal alive on Wednesday (May 11) after a 1-0 victory over Cambodia in a must-win football game.

 Singapore's Nur Muhammad Shah Shahiran in action.

Singapore's Nur Muhammad Shah Shahiran in action.

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HANOI — Singapore kept their flagging hopes of a SEA Games medal alive on Wednesday (May 11) after a 1-0 victory over Cambodia in a must-win football game.

After a 2-2 draw with Laos and a 5-0 trouncing by Thailand in their first two games, the Young Lions were feeling the heat.

And despite head coach Nazri Nasir ringing in a number of changes, Cambodia, who had beaten Laos 4-1, had the upper hand early on.

But in front of a near 12,000-strong crowd, it was Singapore who almost found themselves a goal up in the 17th minute.

An Irfan Najeeb through ball found Glenn Kweh, who cut in from the right but his shot was saved by Cambodian goalkeeper Hul Kimhuy. From the rebound, Nicky Melvin Singh fired wide.

Cambodia came closer minutes later as they countered superbly after a Singapore corner. Sieng Chanthea beat a number of defenders but could not apply the finishing touch with just Zaiful Nizam to beat.

On an attacking foray soon after, defender Nur Adam Abdullah would fire in a low drive that was pushed wide by Kimhuy.

Singapore then drew first blood in the 36th minute.

Brilliant interplay between midfielder Shah Shahiran and Saifullah Akbar saw the diminutive Shah clip a tantalising ball into the box for Saifullah to nod home.

And Shah should have doubled Singapore's lead in the dying embers of the first half after he shot wide from a pin-point cross from Kweh.

After the interval, Cambodia came inches from equalising as defender Choun Chanchav's header came back off the post in the 60th minute.

A golden chance for Singapore to kill off the game came in the 75th minute, but substitute Khairin Nadim missed with the goal gaping after a lung-bursting run and cross from Ryhan Stewart.

The palm of Zaiful would keep Singapore ahead after a brilliant one-handed save and the Young Lions would cling on for victory.

The result means that Singapore top Group B for the time being with four points after three games. Thailand and Malaysia have three points each with two games played.

Malaysia will face Laos in the day's later game.

The Young Lions will face Malaysia in their last group stage game on Saturday. CNA

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