U23 football: Singapore 1-0 Indonesia

13 July, 2013   Zaher Wahab

Shafiq Ghani's penalty proved the difference as Singapore U23s defeated their Indonesian counterparts (photo by Chandran Mookken/Redsports).

Jalan Besar Stadium, Saturday, July 13, 2013 – The Singapore U-23s, playing in their all-red home kit, scored a 1–0 win over a gutsy but luckless Indonesia U-23 side in a friendly. The home team’s goal came courtesy of a 9th minute penalty by Shahfiq Ghani after Faris Ramli was brought down in the box.

The Singapore U-23s, made up mostly of LionsXII players who have just won Malaysian Super League (MSL), gelled well, making full use of their prior playing experiences together. They were the better of two quality sides that were playing at Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

Buoyed by a 3,000-strong crowd that cheered and roared their way throughout the match, the Singapore side kept their composure and defended their lead, thanks to birthday boy Izwan Mahbud’s safe pair of hands. Nonetheless, the gutsy Indonesian side fought hard and had a fair amount of chances at the Singapore goal. Indonesia hit the post in the first half and were unlucky not to get a penalty later in the game.

Effective Game

Indonesia’s U-23 coach, Rahmad Darmawan, 46, praised Singapore for playing an effective game. “Singapore is a good defensive team. They attack from long passes and counter attack from the wings. We could anticipate them today but we [were] not effective in our finishing. This is not our full team.”

Both teams utilised five substitutes each and this allowed both coaches to test out various players in different positions. Singapore’s second-half substitutes Hafiz Sujad and Zulfahmi Ariffin stood out in their roles.

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