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Bronze is Reward for Battling Footballers

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Muhammad Shafiq Bin Ariff (C) in action [Photo by Sport Singapore / Action Images via Reuters]

Team Singapore’s Cerebral Palsy footballers celebrated a bronze medal triumph at the 8th ASEAN Para Games on Wednesday thanks to a 2-1 win over Malaysia at the Singapore National Stadium.

The hosts made an incredible start to the game with Shafiq Ariff slotting them ahead after just 51 seconds.

But four minutes later Malaysia pulled themselves back on to level terms after a rasping drive from Sobri Ghazali.

It was a tight encounter but after the break Singapore grew in confidence and began to dominate possession and create the better openings.

When the winner came, in the 43rd minute, it was a goal worthy of winning a medal.

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Muhammad Mubarak Bin Mohd Rastam (2nd R) is congratulated by Singapore Disability Sports Council President Dr. Teo Koh Sock Miang after winning the game [Photo by Sport Singapore / Action Images via Reuters]

Mubarak Rastam twisted and turned inside the area, leaving his marker behind, and drove a low shot in off the post, to the delight of the home fans.

Singapore’s head coach Zainudeen Mohamed said he needed to give his team a strong team-talk at half-time in order to lift them for the second half.

“I think we were just sitting back and allowing Malaysia to come at us. Sometimes you need to wake them up and close down the opponents,” he said.

“But I am really proud of the team today. They gave their all, especially in the second half and it was a moment of quality finishing which won the game”.

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