THE Singapore Under-23 football team suffered a blow to their SEA Games preparations when they fell 1-3 to the Cambodian U-22 team at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.
Aide Iskandar's charges were quick to get off the mark, scoring inside the first two minutes with Sahil Suhaimi slotting the ball past goalkeeper Prak Mony Phirun after being played through by Shahfiq Ghani.
The home side dominated the rest of the first half but were pegged back in the 43rd minute when Cambodian forward Phanny Ratha capitalised on an error by Shakir Hamzah to score the equaliser.
It went from bad to worse for Shakir in the 69th minute, when he received his marching orders after bringing down Prak Mony Udom in the penalty box. Prak dispatched the spot-kick, giving his side a shock lead.
Just three minutes later, Prak then turned provider as he prodded the ball onto Sam Oeun Pidor's path and the midfielder raced clear to double the visitors' advantage.
Any hope the hosts had of salvaging some pride ended when they were reduced to nine men after defender Sheikh Abdul Hadi was also sent off following an altercation with a Cambodian player in injury time.
The loss against the Cambodians is the Young Lions' third straight defeat in friendlies after they fell 8-1 to the Japan U-22s and 2-1 to the Syria U-23s last month.