Singapore beaten by Qatar in ACQ warm-up

Singapore were put to the sword by an Almoez Ali-inspired Qatar on Thursday as they suffered a 3-1 defeat in a friendly at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

It was Qatar who drew first blood in the 39th minute when Boualem Khouki broke free and drew opposition keeper Hassan Sunny off his line before laying a pass back to Almoez, who got in ahead of Madhu Mohana to lift his shot into the unguarded net.

Seven minutes after the restart, Almoez was on target again as he made no mistake in planting a close-range header into the back of the net, after being picked out by Ismail Ali’s inch-perfect cross from the right.

The Lions managed to hit back a minute later after Fazrul Nawaz pounced on a defensive mistake by Tarek Salman, and his through-pass paved the way for Faris Ramli to lash a shot into the bottom corner.

But, nine minutes from time, Ahmed Alaa sealed the win for Qatar from the penalty spot, following a foul by Hassan on him inside the area after the Al Gharafa had latched on a visionary pass by Hassan Al-Haidos and looked set to advance on goal.

Despite the defeat, the combative display from Singapore is likely to give coach V. Sundramoorthy many positives to take ahead of Tuesday’s crucial 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan.

The Lions are currently bottom of Group E with two points from their opening three games, and must win in Ashgabat next week if they are to maintain a realistic chance of qualifying for United Arab Emirates 2019.

Photo credit: Football Association of Singapore

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