Monday, 21 July 2014


Mighty Dortmund Prove Too Strong for Under-23 Team

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA, 15 JULY 2014: In what was perhaps the most hotly-anticipated match of the Austrian training trip for them, the Under-23 squad faced off against the Under-23 team of Borussia Dortmind, one of the best teams in Europe. Already World Cup champions, the entire German football fraternity was in high spirits and this could be seen from the Dortmund youths. Played in the highlands of Uttendorf with scenic mountains and lakes surrounding the pitch, the game had a surreal feel to it as the Singapore Under-23 squad was prepared to give it their all and give their opponents something to think about.

The gulf in physicality was clear to see as the Dortmund players, with just a few exceptions, towered over our Under-23 players. Swift, powerful and strong, they were intent on laying siege to the Singapore goal mouth from the start.

Our boys have to be credited with some stout defending as the back four of Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Shakir Hamzah, Amirul Adli Azmi and Fadli Kamis fended off wave after wave of attack from their opponents. However, the breakthrough for Dortmund came in the 17th minute when a brilliant solo effort by Ufuk Ozbek gave the German side the lead.

Having received the ball on his chest and his back toward goal, he spun with consummate skill and powered home a volley into the bottom right hand corner of Rudy Khairullah’s goal, leaving the Singapore custodian with no chance as the ball hit the inside side netting of the goal.

However, the Singapore players were unfazed and stepped up their intensity, with Adam Swandi proving to be a thorn in the side of the Dortmund attack. His crunching tackles were putting off the Germans on the left flank, and they were forced to switch play to the right side where they were met with stout defending from Al-Qaasimy.

Singapore’s first chance came in the 23rd minute when Iqbal Hussain found himself through on goal only to see his first time effort creep inches wide of the goal. Ten minutes later, he made an intelligent run after being slipped in via a through pass by Faris Ramli, only to see his effort saved by the German goalkeeper.

Singapore would rue their missed chances as Dortmund scored the second goal in a swift counter attack as goal scorer turned provider. Ufuk Ozbek threaded a delightful pass to his right winger, Kaled Narey, who slotted the ball past Rudy into the far corner in the 41st minute.

At the start of the second half, Singapore was once again showing intent but would be dealt a hammer blow as Dortmund’s David Solga fired a thunderbolt from 25 metres out to score the third goal for the Germans. He would then turn provider for his compatriot, Patrick Frenke who increased the lead to 4-0 in the 60th minute.

Still pressing hard despite the scoreline, the Singapore team continuously pushed forward as Suria Prakash, coming on for Iqbal, was presented with a golden opportunity to score but missed the target after a mix-up on the Dortmund penalty box when Faris Ramli bamboozled the Dortmund defence with a mazy run.

Shakir Hamzah also came close with a header as Sahil found him from a free kick, but his effort went agonisingly wide in the 82nd minute.

Dortmund then scored their 5th goal of the match when Jan Reeviert connected well with a cross to head home the last goal of the match.

“The team competed well but there was a very obvious difference in physicality between the two teams. The Dortmund team was not only physical but also played a very explosive game of football. We had our chances to score but did not convert which was the difference between the two sides. As compared to the first game against FC Pribram, we performed so much better and they did well.” said coach Aide Iskandar as he shared his thoughts after the game.

With their third opponents still to be confirmed, the U23s will be training hard once again over the next few days in Flachau, Austria.

Singapore Under-23 Team Line-Up

18. Rudy Khairullah (GK)

2. Shakir Hamzah

6. M. Aumanthan

7. Sahil Suhaimi

10. Faris Ramli

14. Iqbal Hussain

19. Nur Na'iim Ishak

20. Al-Qaasimy Rahman

23. Fadli Kamis

25. Amirul Adli Azmi

27. Adam Swandi


1. Syazwan Buhari (GK)

3. Sheikh Abdul Hadi

4. Delwinder Singh

8. Suria Prakash

9. Stanely Ng

11. Shahfiq Ghani

12. Ali Hudzaifi

21. Ikhsan Fandi Ahmad

24. Shameer Aziq

26. Muhaimin Suhaimi

28. Sim Teck Yi

30. Shahul Rayyan (GK)


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