SINGAPORE - Singapore lost 3-0 to Vietnam in the AYA Bank Cup final as V. Sundramoorthy suffered his first defeat as caretaker coach of the Lions.
Extra-time goals from Vietnam's star footballer Le Cong Vinh, Nguyen Van Quyet and Dinh Thanh Trung at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon were enough to put Singapore to the sword. The Lions have now failed to beat Vietnam in their last 12 meetings, their last win coming in the 1998 Tiger Cup final, where defender R. Sasikumar scored in the 1-0 victory with his shoulder blade.
It was a wasted opportunity for Sundram's side, who had otherwise defended resolutely for 90 minutes as they tried to hold on for penalties.
As was the case in their opening 1-0 win against Myanmar, Singapore were happy to sit back and hit on the counter, as Vietnam dominated proceedings.
But, with defender Madhu Mohana back in the side after his suspension and Hariss Harun shielding the back four valiantly, the Singapore goal was hardly troubled.
Vietnam threatened with their pace and runs but lacked the final touch. Vinh came closes to scoring when he lobbed Hassan on 70 minutes, but his effort was cleared off the line by Baihakki Khaizan.
But it all came undone in extra-time as the team lost its shape.
Within 30 seconds of the restart, Vinh latched on to a through ball from Quyet to fire past Hassan Sunny.
The duo combined again for Vietnam's second goal eight minutes later. Vinh's shot was blocked by Nazrul Nazari, and it fell kindly for Quyet, who made no mistake from close range.
Trung made it 3-0 from a swift breakaway as Singapore surged forward in search of a goal.
It is back to the drawing board for Sundram, who was appointed 10 days ago, as he faces a race against time to prepare Singapore for the Asean Football Federation Championship in November.