Monday, 21 July 2014
LIONS FALL TO RUSSIAN SIDE
LIONS FALL TO RUSSIAN SIDE
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA, 18 JULY 2014: The Singapore National Team played a friendly match against FC Torpedo Moscow earlier today. Torpedo Moscow was recently promoted to the top flight Russian Premier League, its third promotion in five years, after finishing third in the Russian First Division in the 2013-2014 season and winning a subsequent promotion playoff.
Torpedo and Singapore started the match warily, with both sides taking the measure of the other with probing passes and attempts to keep possession. The Lions matched the Russian side in the opening exchanges as both teams created good chances, with Safuwan nicking the ball off a Torpedo attacker in a dangerous area in the 16th minute. Ten minutes later Khairul Amri received a fine pass from a Shaiful Esah free-kick, but was forced wide and the danger dissipated.
Right-back Faritz Hameed was replaced by Shakir Hamzah in the 30th minute after failing to shake off a knock suffered in a clash with a Torpedo player, and Torpedo started to grow in stature after the substitution. Izwan Mahbud had to make a smart save in a one-on-one situation following a through ball, but Torpedo made the breakthrough just two minutes later in the 37th minute when Igor Shevchenko opened the scoring with a shot inside the penalty area.
The Russians began the second half brightly, with Shevchenko doubling his own as well as his club's tally in the 50th minute. His free-kick was flighted into the top right corner of Izwan's goal, leaving the Singapore custodian with no chance.
Just five minutes later it was 3-0 as Shakir conceded a penalty that was duly despatched by Alexander Salugin, who was until 2009 the youngest player to ever score in the Russian Premier League.
The best chance of the game for Singapore came in the 66th minute when Amri unleashed a fierce shot on goal following good work on the right flank and a pull-back by substitute Al-Qaasimy Rahman, who had come on just a minute earlier for Shaiful Esah. Unfortunately for Singapore, Torpedo goalkeeper Yuri Zhevnov, the captain of the Belarus national team, proved equal to it and punched the shot clear.
Al-Qaasimy showed his quality again in the 74th minute as his strong challenge denied a Torpedo attacker a clear shot on goal, and it was not until the 87th minute that Singapore's goal faced another clear attack, but Izwan pulled off a fantastic double save to keep the final score 3-0 to Torpedo Moscow.
The Singapore National Team’s next match will be against Dinamo Moscow on 21 July, while the Singapore Under-23 team will play against German team TSV Freilassing on 20 July.
Singapore National Team Line-up
1. Izwan Mahbud (GK)
3. Shaiful Esah (replaced by Al-Qaasimy Rahman in 65th min)
5. Baihakki Khaizan
8. Shahdan Sulaiman
9. Faritz Hameed (replaced by Shakir Hamzah in 30th min)
12. Sahil Suhaimi (replaced by Zulfahmi Arifin in 60th min)
14. Hariss Harun (replaced by Afiq Yunos in 73rd min)
17. Shahril Ishak (C) (replaced by Fazrul Nawaz in 79th min)
19. Khairul Amri
21. Safuwan Baharudin
27. Faris Ramli (replaced by Shahfiq Ghani in 84th min)
18. Hassan Sunny (GK)
2. Shakir Hamzah
7. Gabriel Quak
10. Fazrul Nawaz
13. Hafiz Abu Sujad
15. Afiq Yunos
23. Zulfahmi Arifin
28. Al-Qaasimy Rahman