Football: Lions beat Cambodia 1-0 to end three-game goal drought

The Singapore national football team won 1-0 against Cambodia in a friendly match at Bishan Stadium on Nov 13, 2016.
The Singapore national football team won 1-0 against Cambodia in a friendly match at Bishan Stadium on Nov 13, 2016. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - The Singapore national football team have finally ended their goalless run of three games, as they scraped past Cambodia 1-0 in a friendly match at Bishan Stadium on Sunday night (Nov 13).

Yasir Hanapi's 70th minute goal - his first international goal in 12 appearances - ensured that V. Sundramoorthy's men will leave for this week's Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup with more confidence after poor recent results.

The victory was Singapore's first win in six games. They have not won since a 1-0 victory over Myanmar in national caretaker coach Sundram's first game in charge of the Lions in June.

But the win against the world No. 167 opponents was hardly convincing. The Lions' defence was littered with errors as they lost possession too easily, while the Cambodians played with speed and intent whenever they had the possession in the first half.

In the 23rd minute, Baihakki Khaizan, making his 128th appearance for Singapore, gave the ball away which allowed Cambodia's Chan Vathanaka to speed down the left flank and his shot hit the crossbar. Baihakki was later substituted as he was ill.

The hosts' best chance came at the stroke of half-time, when winger Faris Ramli's fired a screamer from long range which slammed the crossbar.

The Lions entered the match having gone 270 minutes without a goal - they last scored through a Safuwan Baharudin header in September's 1-3 loss to Bahrain - but they finally arrested that dismal run when Cambodia's goalkeeper Um Sereirath could not clear a shot properly, the ball landed at Hanapi's feet and the 27-year-old midfielder fired a shot past the beaten custodian.

Singapore are drawn in Group A of the AFF Cup, alongside co-hosts Philippines, defending champion Thailand and Indonesia.