Photo Credit: Singapore News Yahoo
We will have to see more on the Singaporean side ahead in the Sea Games against their upcoming opponents. Take a look at our latest Singapore football news after the encounter from Yemen and their journey to SEA Games. The new additional star player Ikhsan Fandi, have played a vital role in their win over Yemen yesterday and as their coach pulled no punches on the evening of Singapore’s World Cup qualifier. Coach Yoshida speaking to The New Paper: Yemen a must-win game for his squad. For him, it doesn’t matter without his three ace players, Shakir Hamzah, Faris Ramli, and Shawal Anuar for different reasons. It also doesn’t matter that Yemen is ranked 141 in the world while Singapore is behind them ranking 159. And definitely it doesn’t matter to coach Tatsuma that Singapore squad were going into the upcoming match with previously four-game losing streak then he passes down the gauntlet to his Young Lions. And yesterday he accelerated to the challenge with an energetic roar as they defeated the Yemen squad with a 2 – 1 victory at Al Muharraq Stadium in Bahrain to include Singapore in the qualifying round back on the path. Anyway, the Group D fixture was held in an alternative venue to avoid the ongoing civil war in Yemen. For the record, Lions last on the road win was against a top-ranked middle eastern squad during a World Cup qualifier in 2008 when the Singaporean side wins in a 2 – 1 scoreline in Beirut against Lebanon. In their 1st 20 minutes, it was Yemen who controlled proceedings in which pushing Izwan Mahbud into two critical saves, Singapore team would take the lead in a remarkable way through their star frontman striker Ikhsan Fandi, who contributed the goal to overcome Yemen side.
Ikhsan encountered Shahdan Sulaiman’s 19th-minute corner along with amazing 1st-time volley only within the box, in which let goalkeeper of Yemen with no hope. The 20-year-old Ikhsan already himself as the main striker of the Singaporean national team with eight goals coming from his 18 appearances. Their lead, versus the surge of play, stimulate them into the performance as they focused to complete the half much better they had started it. For the upcoming offensive attack, Ikhsan had a great opportunity to score again from a hafiz nor cross, however, his header from only meters out sailed just over the bar.
In Lion’s 1st group encounter against the similar rivals at the National Stadium in September, Ikhsan also provided the Singaporean team the lead, it’s just for the match to result in a draw. Having full knowledge of this, coach Yoshida would have encouraged his team at half-time to acquire the 2nd goal to break the tie. And it works well, with the Singaporean team keen to go on the front foot after the half-time break. The visitor’s team was rewarded on time within the 52nd minute, thanks to Hafiz’s 1st goal for the national team, in which his 6th cap. The winger has found enough space and timing on the left flank to cross within his defender and curl a dazzling attack from only outside the box. The strike avoided the reach of the goalkeeper Salem Saeed and notched the post before nestling within the net. However, it was to be an edgy finish to the match for the Singaporean team, following the pulled one back of Yemen in the 85th minute via Nasser Al-Gahwashi. They worked through a cross defense fastbreak from the midfield, while Nasser circulated Izwan before notching to the empty net.