Singapore U22 2-1 Timor Leste U22: Young Lions earn hard-fought victory in Indonesia

The Singapore Under-22 Squad kicked-off their AFC U22 Qualifiers campaign with a 2-1 victory over Timor Leste. The match was played at the Riau Main Stadium, Pekanbaru at 4.00 pm local time, in front of a 3,000 odd crowd.

The first real chance of the match came in the 21st minute when , Aqhari Abdullah, swung a goal-bound free-kick. Unfortunately, his try went directly to the goalkeeper, and Timor Leste responded with a quick counter-attack over on the other end of the pitch, which was dealt with calmly by the Singapore custodian, Syazwan Buhari.

Singapore U22’s almost broke the deadlock again in the 36th minute when Safirul Sulaiman squared the ball to striker Fareez Farhan, but the Gombak United player’s shot was directed straight at the keeper.

The Young Lions’ efforts paid off a minute before the break when Fareez pounced on a rebound from a shot by Faris Ramli, to tap in and hand his side the lead.

Singapore almost added a second a minute after the start of second-half when Faris’ free-kick forced a finger-tip save from the Timorese goalkeeper, Ramos Saozinho.

Timor Leste pressed hard in search of the equaliser and they were duly rewarded in the 64th minute when they were rewarded a penalty after defender, Delwinder Singh handled the ball in the penalty box. Diogo Santos Rangel coolly converted the spot-kick to level the scoreline.

The Young Lions were hungry for the win still and in the 80th minute, defender, Madhu Mohana rose the highest for a corner and headed the ball in for the winner.

Singapore U22 Coach Mike Wong mentioned after the game: “It’s a tough match for a first game and Timor Leste gave us a good fight. What was important for us was to collect the three points and the win. We were tactically disciplined throughout the match and I believe that the team deserved the win.”
Goalscorer Fareez Farhan added:“Credits to Timor Leste for giving us a good game, it was not as easy as we expected, but what was important for us was to get the win especially for our first game. Hopefully with this win, it sets a positive tone for the Singapore team for the rest of the tournament.”

Singapore U22 Starting Line-up: Syazwan Buhari, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Delwinder Singh, Madhu Mohana, Samuel Benjamin (38’ Shamil Sharif), Faris Ramli, Aqhari Abdullah (90’ Farhan Rahmat), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Raihan Rahman, Fareez Farhan (76’ Amy Recha), Safirul Sulaiman

Timor Leste U22 Starting Line-Up: Ramos Saozinho, Ramon de Lima, Theodoro Soares Bau, Paulo Helber Rosa, Jose Carlos, Nicolao Higinio, Diogo Santos, Adelino Trindade (79’ Frangcyatma Alves), Januario (62’ Henrique Cruz), Marcos da Conceicao, Jose Martins (55’ Raimundo Jose)

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