Adam Swandi (left), Ikhsan Fandi (center) and Shakir Hamzah from Singapore celebrate after Adams hit the Lions 1-0 against Timor-Leste in their group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 on December 14, 2021 at the National Stadium have led. Photo: Matthew Mohan)
Since the AFF Suzuki Cup was held for the fourth time in 2012, the Lions have not reached the semi-finals of the competition.
Eliminated on home soil in 2014, eliminated without a win in 2016 and after the last in 2018 Group game canceled.
Because the Philippines lost 2-1 to Thailand on Tuesday (14.2-1), that was enough.
Regardless, the Lions would take their place later that evening with a 2-0- Consolidate win over Timor-Leste thanks to goals from Adam Swandi and Shakir Hamzah.
« I’m very happy with this win (Singapore reaching the semi-finals). (It is) because of the efforts of the boys and the voice of the fans that we can continue our journey, « said head coach Tatsuma Yoshida after the game.
Throughout the tournament, Yoshida showed his willingness to make changes and it was Adam who after Song Ui-young’s good work in the swept home fourth minute.
But Timor-Le Ste, who were beaten 7-0 by the Philippines in the last game, showed that they are still a dangerous team. Minutes later, Lions administrator Hassan Sunny was forced to make a brief stop with his feet.
The guests threw caution to the wind and continued on the offensive. They were almost rewarded in the 20th minute, but Mouzinho’s shot was fired.
The striker, who has already scored two goals for Singapore at the tournament, watched in disbelief as his shot ricocheted off the post in the 52nd minute .
The Lions second came from an unusual source in the 70th minute, to the delight of 8,500 spectators, when Shakir drove home from a set piece that caused confusion.
While Yoshida pleased with the win he said the performance left room for improvement.
« The guys tried to do their best, I respect them … Of course, I’m not happy with their performance, but I’m proud of them. «
With the victory, the Lions are second in Group A with nine points. They are level on points with the top Thais, but are behind the goal difference.
Singapore will score in their last group game on Saturday to Thailand, and one win will secure the Lions the S top spot.
« Thailand is the game we want to play and it’s also important to finish first … For us this is a big challenge for us against Thailand because we haven’t in the last few years « said man-of-the-match Shakir.
» This is a test for us as a team, but I think … if we’re a team we can beat Thailand. We want first place in the group. «
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