The Singapore U-23 team’s hopes of earning an Asian Games ticket were dealt a huge blow after a 2-0 loss to the Myanmar U23s at Bishan Stadium on Wednesday.
Fandi Ahmad called up a 23-man squad comprising Singapore’s top U-23 footballers from seven Singapore Premier League clubs but it was still not enough to secure a win on home soil.
The young White Angels were largely made up of their U-20 squad and this was their second game in the Lion City after losing 4-1 to SPL club Albirex Niigata FC (S) on Monday.
Myanmar took the lead on 40 minutes through Win Naing tun, who smashed the ball into the top left corner before Ye Yint Aung made it two in the 60th minute from a Pyae Sone Naing cross.
There was light at the end of the tunnel for Singapore with Hafiz Sulaiman, Syahrul Sazali and Illyas Lee clocking in commendable performances but with Ikhsan Fandi and Adam Swandi ruled out through injury, Irfan Fandi’s efforts in attack and defence was not enough to help the cause.
While the game was arranged by the Football Association of Singapore in a last-ditch attempt to gain Asian Games entry, the result did not help matters but Singapore National Olympic Council President, Mr Tan Chuan Jin, who was at the game was impressed with what he saw.
“We just wanted to put up a good performance. Just now, Mr Chuan Jin told us he was quite happy (with what he saw),” Singapore coach Fandi said.
“He (Mr Chuan Jin) saw commitment and we tried and fight until the end, he said it was a good sign and he wants us to improve.
Singapore Lineup: Zharfan Rohaizad (Hairul Syirhan 76′), Darren Teh (Zulqarnaen Suzliman 58′), Irfan Fandi (C) (Amiruldin Asraf 75′), Hafiz Sulaiman (Adam Hakeem 81′), Syahrul Sazali (Noor Akid Nordin 81′), Amirul Adli (Faizal Roslan 68′), Hami Syahin (Ammirul Emmran 66′), Joshua Pereira (Illyas Lee 46′), Muhaimin Suhaimi (Shameer Aziq 62′), Zulfadhmi Suzliman (Naufal Azman 73′), Akbar Shah (Haiqal Pashia 46′)