Football: Early Sidwell goal sets up 2-0 win for Stoke against S’pore Select in Barclays Asia Trophy

Stoke City's Steven Sidwell scoring the first goal during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Stoke City FC and Singapore Select XI.
Stoke City's Steven Sidwell scoring the first goal during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Stoke City FC and Singapore Select XI. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Stoke City's Geoff Cameron (right) in action against Singapore Selection's Khairul Amri (left) during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Stoke City FC.
Stoke City's Geoff Cameron (right) in action against Singapore Selection's Khairul Amri (left) during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Stoke City FC. PHOTO: EPA
Stoke City's Glenn Whelan (left) in action against Singapore Selection's Shahdan Sulaiman (2nd right) and Nicholas Velez (right).
Stoke City's Glenn Whelan (left) in action against Singapore Selection's Shahdan Sulaiman (2nd right) and Nicholas Velez (right). PHOTO: EPA
Singapore Selection's Khairul Amri (centre) in action during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Stoke City FC.
Singapore Selection's Khairul Amri (centre) in action during the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Stoke City FC. PHOTO: EPA
Stoke City's Marc Muniesa (left) dribbles the ball past Singapore Select XI's Nicholas Velez (right).
Stoke City's Marc Muniesa (left) dribbles the ball past Singapore Select XI's Nicholas Velez (right).PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A flying start by Stoke City provided the platform for a comfortable 2-0 victory against the Singapore Selection on Saturday night, the final day of the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy.

The Potters, whose expertise at set-pieces was identified by opposing manager V. Sundramoorthy as a main threat, took the lead through a corner in the seventh minute at the National Stadium.

https://youtu.be/fNlWRhdm968

Striker Peter Crouch easily won the battle in the air and his looping header found teammate Steven Sidwell inside the box.
The midfielder made no mistake, slamming the ball past goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud.

The English club could have added a second in the 30th minute but winger Marko Arnautovic’s volley was harshly ruled offside by the linesman.

Mark Hughes’ team were almost made to pay for that when Singapore midfielder Safuwan Baharudin broke the offside trap in injury time but his attempted lob went narrowly wide of Shay Given’s goal.

https://youtu.be/5VA0nNQclg4

Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf replaced Crouch for the second-half and almost doubled Stoke’s lead but was denied by Izwan.

The Singapore stopper could do little though in the 73rd minute as Spanish left back Marc Muniesa’s flick found Arnautovic inside the penalty area.

The Austrian cut in from left and curled the ball past a diving Izwan into the far corner to seal third spot in the pre-season competition for Stoke.