SINGAPORE - A 51st-minute goal by Glenn Kweh proved the decider as the Singapore Under-22s survived a penalty scare to beat their Filipino counterparts 1-0 and keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the U-23 Asian Cup on Thursday (Oct 28).
The 21-year-old's stunning goal saw him gliding between two defenders, cutting inside another, and then unleashing a lovely left-footed bender that went in off the post.
The victory in front of 984 fans and the 2-2 draw against Timor-Leste on Monday mean the Young Lions have four points from two games and sit second in Group H behind South Korea, who have six points from two wins after beating Timor Leste 6-0 earlier in the day.
Singapore will play defending champions South Korea on Sunday. Only the top teams and four best runners-up from the 11 groups will make it to the tournament proper in Uzbekistan next year.
Nazri Nasir's men were an improved side from the one that dropped two points against a 10-man Timor-Leste, as they defended stoutly and created a raft of chances against a side that had called up numerous European-born and foreign-based players for a two-week centralised training stint in Qatar.
Joel Chew and Kweh, along with Khairin Nadin, were once again bright sparks in attack with their one-touch passing easy on the eye.
However, after Singapore had won seven straight corners, it was the Philippines who had the first clear chance when Kieran Hayes was fouled by Jordan Emaviwe in the box, only for skipper and former RB Leipzig midfielder Oliver Bias to crash the spot-kick against the bar.
After the break, Kweh, a former Home United U-14 captain and Singapore U-15 starlet, grabbed his second goal of this campaign as the hosts dominated the match, kept their nerve and the clean sheet for the win.