Football: Khairul Amri's header enough to seal Lions' 1-0 win over Afghanistan

Khairul Amri tussling with Afghanistan's F Shayesteh during Singapore's 1-0 win at the National Stadium.
Khairul Amri tussling with Afghanistan's F Shayesteh during Singapore's 1-0 win at the National Stadium. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Singapore's football team defeated Afghanistan 1-0 at the National Stadium in their 2018 World Cup qualifier Group E match played on Thursday night.

Striker Khairul Amri, on his 102nd international cap, headed in the winner from winger Faris Ramli's pinpoint cross in the 72nd minute.

With the victory, the Lions closed the gap on the group leaders and kept alive their chances of progressing to the third round of World Cup qualification.

While they still remain in third spot in the five-team standings after collecting seven points from four games, they are now level on points with second-placed Japan, who lead with a superior goal difference.

Japan's match against group leaders Syria is still ongoing in Seeb, Oman. Afghanistan are in fourth spot with three points from four games.

The winners of the eight Asian qualifying groups, together with the four best runners-up, will advance to the next round of qualification. These teams will also qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup, as the World Cup qualifiers also double up as the Asian Cup qualifiers.

The victory is a relief for Bernd Stange's men, who are halfway through in their target to collect a maximum of six points from two wins. Singapore will look to build on their winning momentum when they face Cambodia their next Group E match on Tuesday.

Singapore also recorded their first victory in four international matches, since a 4-0 win over Cambodia in their opening World Cup qualifier match in June.