Football: Lions give Fandi Ahmad his first win in 2-0 victory over Fiji

Singapore's Ikhsan Fandi scores their second goal against Fiji at the Bishan Stadium, on Sept 11, 2018.
Singapore's Ikhsan Fandi scores their second goal against Fiji at the Bishan Stadium, on Sept 11, 2018.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Singapore beat Pacific island nation Fiji 2-0 on Tuesday (Sept 11) at the Bishan Stadium.

This is Fandi Ahmad's second game in charge of the Lions, and the national football team's first win since a 3-2 victory over the Maldives in March.

Singapore started brightly against a Fiji side largely made up of amateur players, and took just 12 minutes to find the back of the net. Captain Hariss Harun rose the highest to power in a header off a Zulfahmi Arifin inswinging corner, with the Lions doubling their advantage just seconds after the resumption.

A Gabriel Quak chip released Ikhsan Fandi, who kept his composure to take the ball under control and slot it between the legs of Fiji goalkeeper Misiwani Nairube.

Singapore were in control of the match, but looked sloppy in parts as they came to terms with the Fijians' physical game. But there were several positives, including encouraging performances from two debutants: 18-year-old Jacob Mahler, who did well after a shaky start in defensive midfield, and Ho Wai Loon, who came on for Hariss in the 63rd minute.

Fandi's charges will next take on Mongolia on Oct 12, then Cambodia four days later. These matches are in preparation for November's Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.

Singapore are in Group B, alongside the likes of regional giants Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Timor Leste confirmed their spot in the group as the final qualifier after beating Brunei 3-2 on aggregate in a two-legged qualifier played earlier this month.

Singapore will kick off their campaign on Nov 9 against Indonesia at the National Stadium.