Singapore beat Indonesia 1–0 at the Singapore Stadium on Friday (November 12). Man of the match, Hariss Harun (#14), scored in the 37th minute to put Singapore three points up in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
The Lions put in a solid performance from the starting whistle, pressing hard against Indonesia’s defense.
Yasir Hanapi of Singapore in action against Riko Simanjuntak of Indonesia during the AFF Suzuki Cup Group Stage on 9 November, 2018 at the Singapore Stadium. Photo: Sport Singapore
Yasir Hanapi could have given Singapore the lead in the ninth minute in a one-on-one situation with Indonesia’s goalkeeper, Andritany Ardhiyasa, but shot straight at the keeper.
Singapore’s breakthrough came in the 37th minute when winger, Gabriel Quak, crossed from the right flank and the ball somehow reached skipper Hariss Harun, who slammed the ball into the back of the net.
The Lions continued to pile on the pressure in the second half but failed to find the net.
Putu Gede of Indonesia was sent off in injury time after tackling Adam Swandi, earning him a second yellow card.
Ikhsan Fandi of Singapore winning an aerial duel. Photo: Sport Singapore
For the first time since 2012, the win gives the Lions a morale booster in qualifying from the group stages.
“I think we have a strong mentality in the team now, they want to be together and they are fighting and motivating each other on the pitch,” said Fandi Ahmad, Head Coach of Singapore.
“We always tell them we are not playing just for ourselves, but for Singapore football and the fans; they deserved the win today.”
Singapore will face the Philippines in an away game on November 12 at Panaad Stadium. The next home game will be against Timor-Leste on November 21, at 7.30pm.
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Editor's thoughts: The Lions rose above all expectations to beat Indonesia as they put a up a solid performance to kick off their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign with a win. Expectations were not high amongst fans as Singapore headed into this Group of Death labelled as an underdog. Which made it all the more satisfying when they showed Indonesia that they were not here to make up the numbers. Fandi may have found the right balance with his starting eleven and fans will be expecting more from this squad consisting of youth and veterans.