Football: Refereeing controversy mars Lions' 3-1 Asian Cup qualifier defeat by Jordan

Jordanian forward Thaer Bawab (right) and Singapore defender Shakir Hamzah fight for the ball during their Asian Cup qualifier in Singapore, on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014. Singapore suffered their fourth defeat in five Asian Cup qualifiers when they l
Jordanian forward Thaer Bawab (right) and Singapore defender Shakir Hamzah fight for the ball during their Asian Cup qualifier in Singapore, on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014. Singapore suffered their fourth defeat in five Asian Cup qualifiers when they lost 1-3 to Jordan at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night. -- PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE suffered their fourth defeat in five Asian Cup qualifiers when they lost 1-3 to Jordan at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

The visitors took the lead in the 43rd minute when striker Thaer Bawab curled a free kick into the top corner but the Lions were furious that midfielder Hafiz Abu Sujad, who rushed forward in an attempt to block the shot, was tripped by captain Ahmad Hayel.

The Singapore players protested but Chinese referee Tan Hai allowed the goal to stand.

That only incensed the hosts even further and before the Lions' anger had died down, centre-back Baihakki Khaizan was sent-off for nudging midfielder Mus'ab Allahham in an off-the-ball incident on the stroke of half-time.

Jordanian skipper Ahmad added to Singapore's misery when he was left unmarked to head home a corner in the 58th minute. But the striker saw red himself 11 minutes later for kicking Safuwan Baharudin from behind.

Forward Khairul Amri pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 84th minute but the kick had been awarded only because referee Tan spotted a "hand-ball" from Baha Abdelrahman when replays showed the midfielder chested the ball.

But Jordan sealed victory two minutes into stoppage time when striker Yousef Ahmad capped his slick dribble with an unerring finish past goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.

With this defeat, Singapore remain bottom of Group A with three points. Table-toppers Oman (11 points) and Jordan (nine points) have qualified for next year's finals in Australia. Syria (four points) are in third place.

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