Poor second-half floors Lions to 4-0 defeat against Qatar

Muhammed Safwan (centre) vies with Qatar's Hasan al-Haidous(right) and Ahmed al-Sayed (left) during their international friendly football match on Aug 28, 2015 in Doha.
Muhammed Safwan (centre) vies with Qatar's Hasan al-Haidous(right) and Ahmed al-Sayed (left) during their international friendly football match on Aug 28, 2015 in Doha. PHOTO: AFP
Mohammad Amri (centre) posing with a shirt marking his 100th international match.
Mohammad Amri (centre) posing with a shirt marking his 100th international match. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE- The Singapore national team were thumped 0-4 by Qatar in an international friendly at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Saturday morning (Singapore time) after a lacklustre display in the second-half.

Compact and decisive in the opening 45 minutes, Singapore kept the 2022 Fifa World Cup hosts at bay, with Izwan Mahbud in particular, stellar between the posts as the custodian made five saves in the first-half.

But as Izwan was replaced at the start of the second-half by Hassan Sunny, Singapore’s dogged defensive display fell apart, as Qatar netted four goals in 23 minutes.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when right-back Mohammed Musa finished with a left-footed strike after a pin point cross from the left-flank.

Qatar then doubled their lead in the 69th minute when Hassan Al Haidos delivered a drilled cross for Mohammed Muntari to head in despite having three defenders around him.

Al Haidos then got in on the act when the playmaker was allowed to run down the right flank and cut in to dink a shot over Hassan in the 79th minute.

Just a minute later, Baihakki Khaizan gave the ball away from defence and the Lions were punished as Ismaeel Mohammad received a pass and ran clear to finish past Hassan with aplomb.

This is Singapore’s first loss since a 0-2 defeat to Thailand at the end of March. Since then, the Lions had been undefeated in five outings, as they yielded two draws and three victories.

There was cheer for one Lion though as Khairul Amri, captained the side as he earned his 100th cap for Singapore, joining the likes of Aide Iskandar, David Lee, Danial Bennett, Indra Sahdan, Fandi Ahmad and Malek Awab in the Lions’ centurion club.
 
The forward created Singapore’s only real chance of the match just before half-time when he played Safuwan Baharudin through on goal but the latter’s shot went just wide.
 
Stange’s men will now have to recover from a demoralising defeat as they turn their attentions to a crucial World Cup qualifier against Syria at Muscat, Oman on Sept 3.

Singapore is currently top of Group E after collecting four points from their first two matches.

drajac@sph.com.sg