LIONS EARNED RESPECTABLE DRAW AGAINST FC BRNO
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA, 12 JULY 2014: The Singapore National Team took on FC Zbrojovka Brno, a top flight professional team in the Czech premier football league, in a friendly match earlier today. FC Brno finished 9th out of 16 teams in the Czech’s premier division in the 2013-2014 season.
The Lions looked unfazed in the opening exchanges against the Czech side, and matched them in terms of possession and 50-50 challenges. The Lions defence also coped well whenever FC Brno is in possession with Baihakki Khaizan, Hariss Harun and Hassan Sunny doing very well. Although both sides created good chances at either end, it was Singapore who drew first blood in the 43rd minute, when Shahril Ishak displayed some excellent footwork to set up Khairul Amri. Amri did well to bring the ball under control and finishing it past the keeper Martin Dolezal.
Early in the second half, there was a penalty call for Singapore which was waved away by the referee. Almost immediately after, FC Brno was awarded a penalty when Baihakki was adjudged to have brought down a FC Brno attacker in the area. Pavel Mezlik made no mistake from the spot to bring the score to 1-1.
Singapore took the lead again in the 60th minute when Faritz Hameed raced down the right hand side and sent a perfectly-weighted cross to Shahil Suhaimi, who nodded the ball past the goalkeeper. However, the Lions were unfortunately unable to keep the lead when Tomas Brigant scored a long-range shot into the top corner in the 90thminute. The match ended 2-2.
Head Coach of Singapore National Team, Bernd Stange said after the match: “It was a good team performance on the whole. I’m delighted to see the best football the team has played in a year for the first 60 minutes of the game. We dominated, kept possession, and scored goals. But we lacked a little bit of fitness from the 60th minute onwards. We had to slow down and play more defensive football. For the last 30 minutes, I gave the instruction to focus on counter-attacks, and we had a great chance to score the third goal when we had two-against-one situation with Fazrul and Shahril. But I think 2-2 is a fair result as both teams played on the same level, and we had an entertaining match which was fast-paced and of very high intensity. It is a good result but we expect tougher games ahead for the reminder of the trip.”
Singapore National Team Line-up
18. Hassan Sunny (GK) (replaced by Izwan Mahbud in 45th min)
3. Shaiful Esah (replaced by Shakir Hamzah in 56th min)
5. Baihakki Khaizan
7. Gabriel Quak (replaced by Adam Swandi in 85th min)
8. Shahdan Sulaiman
9. Faritz Hameed
14. Hariss Harun
17. Shahril Ishak (c)
19. Khairul Amri (replaced by Fazrul Nawaz in 72nd min)
21. Safuwan Baharudin
23. Zulfahmi Arifin (replaced by Sahil Suhaimi in 45th min)
1. Izwan Mahbud (GK)
2. Shakir Hamzah
10. Fazrul Nawaz
12. Sahil Suhaimi
13. Hafiz Sujad
15. Afiq Yunos
26. Shahfiq Ghani
27. Adam Swandi
28. Al-Qaasimy Rahman