The lions started the match well against Lebanon (FIFA ranking 100), putting pressure against the Lebanese defences in the first ten minutes of the game.
However, it was the away team that saw a gap between the lion’s defence and took the lead in the 18th minute. Midfielder, Nader Matar found space to play the ball to Captain Ali Hamam who made no mistake, calmly putting the ball into the net.
The Team Singapore footballers pose for a photo before kick off. Photo: Sport Singapore
Singapore’s best chance came just 8 minutes before halftime, Safuwan Baharudin with a near miss against the visitors.
An excellent save by goalkeeper Hassan Sunny stopped Kassem El Zein's effort at the stroke of halftime.
The 33-year-old held his ground once again by stopping Nader Matar in a one-on-one situation in the 52nd minute to keep Singapore in the game.
Another chance for Singapore to equalise came in the 65th minute. However, midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman’s shot was just wide of the post.
Izzdin Shafiq (#13) of Singapore fighting for possession of the ball against Mohamad Haidar (#10) of Lebanon. Photo: Sport Singapore
Despite the defeat, Singapore’s coach V. Sundram Moorthy commented that he was satisfied with tonight’s performance.
“Lebanon is much stronger (compared to Bahrain) and we can limit them to one goal, against Bahrain we should be more positive and move on to battle for points,” Sundram said.
He added: “Points are at stake against Bahrain and the boys understand that we will approach the game to earn some points.”
Singapore will take on Bahrain in the Asian Cup Group E qualifier at the National Stadium on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at 7.30 pm.