Football: Good crowd cheer Singapore to 2-1 friendly win over Myanmar

Outgoing Lions coach Bernd Stange.
Outgoing Lions coach Bernd Stange.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - The Lions gave outgoing coach Bernd Stange some cheer when they beat South-east Asian rivals Myanmar 2-1 in a football friendly at Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.

Watched by a crowd of 5,280, Myanmar dominated the early exchanges and nearly opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a Kyaw Ko Ko free kick, but it was clawed away by goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

In the 18th minute, Singapore should have opened accounts when Safuwan Baharudin narrowly failed to connect with a Shahril Ishak cross.

But Singapore were not to be denied nine minutes later, when Shahril finished clinically after Myanmar goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Phyo had saved a Khairul Nizam shot.

Myanmar continued to dominate in the second half and a Suan Lam Mang effort in the 50th minute was well-saved by Hassan.

And their efforts paid off in the 65th minute when Suan lobbed over the onrushing Singapore goalkeeper, with the defence left exposed by a long ball over the top.

But it was substitute Fazrul Nawaz who had the last laugh in the 87th minute, when he slammed the ball home off a Yasir Hanapi cross.

Singapore will next be travelling to Teheran, Iran's capital, to take on Afghanistan on March 29 in their final 2018 World Cup Group E qualifier.

But that match will prove inconsequential, after Japan beat the Afghans 5-0 in their earlier game on Thursday night in Saitama.

This will mean that Singapore will finish ahead of the West Asian team in third place, securing a place in the third round of Asian Cup qualifying, which begins in March 2017.