Football: Misfiring Sahil is in the firing line

He was wasteful with his finishing in the opening victory against the Philippines.

But while the 1-0 result on Monday saw Sahil Suhaimi get away with his catalogue of missed chances, the striker's continued poor marksmanship in yesterday's 1-2 SEA Games football loss to Myanmar will leave him exposed to criticism.

After missing several gilt-edged chances against the Philippines, Sahil was once again fruitless in his search for his first goal of this tournament.

Presented with at least seven opportunities, he squandered every one, much to the anguish of the watching Singapore faithful at the sold-out Jalan Besar Stadium.

The best of the chances came in the 69th minute. He found space in the box but, with only the goalkeeper to beat, skied his effort over the bar.

He was also guilty of choosing to go for the spectacular as he executed at least three shots from outside the box when he could have held on to the ball or played his team-mate in.

Sahil's current struggles are a far cry from his heroics for the LionsXII in the Malaysian FA Cup final where he netted an impressive brace for Fandi Ahmad's side in a 3-1 win over Kelantan in front of 87,000 fans at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

Coach Aide Iskandar, who preferred Sahil to Irfan Fandi as his leading striker, shared the fans' sentiments on the touchline, shaking his head and throwing his arms up in despair as every effort failed to hit the target.

If the Young Lions are to progress from Group A and end a 56-year search for that elusive first football gold,  Sahil will need to rediscover his scoring form in time for Singapore's next match against Cambodia on Monday.

Aide is under no illusions that his players need to start hitting the target.

"In general, we did well, we created chances but we did not score," he said. "In order to win matches, we need to score. We have to learn that.

"We will keep on working on the finishing and we need a little bit of luck.

"Cambodia are a good team but we are here to win games."

drajac@sph.com.sg 

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