Singapore to meet Indonesia; Thais face Malaysia, Vietnam

Hosts Singapore’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were handed a boost on Wednesday after they were handed a fairly favourable draw.

Seeded as hosts for the Under-23 tournament, the Lions were drawn in Group A alongside Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Philippines.

With only the top two progressing to the last four, it looks like Singapore will be battling for qualification with the Indonesians and Myanmar.

Nonetheless, Cambodia will be confident in their prospects having recorded a 2-1 win over Singapore just last month, while Philippines have taken huge strides in recent years and are now considered a legitimate threat in the region.

But it appears most of the drama will come in Group B after defending champions Thailand were pitted against 2011 winners Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste.

Under Kiatisuk Senamuang, who also guided the senior team to victory at the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Thais are favourites to finish top with Malaysia and Vietnam expected to battle it out for the second qualifying berth.

However, with the likes of Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Ketsada Souksavanh to call upon, Laos could just spring an upset or two along the way.

2015 Southeast Asian Games Draw

Group A: Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines

Group B: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste

Singapore out of Games despite win; Malaysia fall to Saudis

Singapore were eliminated from the 2015 Asian Games in Incheon despite recording a gutsy 2-1 win over Palestine in Group C on Sunday afternoon.

Shahfiq Ghani handed the Lions the lead at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium after just two minutes, when he curled a sublime freekick into the top corner.

15 minutes later, Shahfiq was at it again as he found the opposite corner with another stunning strike from 25 yards which left Ikram Rami Hamadeh rooted to the spot.

Palestine managed to hit back seven minutes from time when Ahmad Maher Wridat was left unmarked inside the area and emphatically fired home from inside the six-yard box, although it ultimately proved to be a mere consolation.

Nonetheless, the result was not enough to send Singapore through to the Round of 16 as they were pipped to second spot by Tajikistan, who claimed a last-gasp 1-0 win over Oman courtesy of Jahongir Ergashev’s 94th-minute strike.

Over in Group A, Malaysia’s bid to progress was ended by a 3-0 defeat to Saudi Arabia at the Goyang Stadium.

Having been drawn alongside powerhouses Korea Republic and the Saudis, it was always going to be an uphill task for Harimau Malaya to advance to the last 16 and they entered the clash needing a victory to do just that.

Their cause was not helped by Zubir Azmi’s dismissal three minutes after the half-hour mark; the Terengganu left-back shown a second yellow for clattering into Abdulaziz Al Bishi.

And Saudi Arabia made their numerical advantage count in the 56th minute, when Al Bishi pounced on a loose ball inside the box and floated a pinpoint cross for captain Abdullah Al Hafith to head home.

Majed Omar then made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute when he met a lovely floated pass by Abdulkarim Al Qahtani with a cracking first-time effort into the bottom corner.

With six minutes remaining, the Green Falcons made sure of the win as substitute Ahmed Al Shehri broke free inside the box after playing a neat one-two with Al Qahtani, before stroking his shot past the onrushing Farhan Abu Bakar.

Elsewhere in the group, Laos’ campaign ended with a 2-0 defeat to Korea Republic at the Hwaseong Stadium, courtesy of second-half strikes from Lee Jong-ho and Kim Seung-dae.

Sunday’s 2015 Asian Games Results

Group A

Malaysia 0-3 Saudi Arabia

Laos 0-2 Korea Republic

Group C

Palestine 1-2 Singapore

Tajikistan 1-0 Oman

Group D

Kuwait 0-3 Iraq

Nepal 0-4 Japan


Malaysia crush Laos at Games; Singapore fight back for draw

Malaysia picked up their first points in Group A at the 2014 Asian Games on Wednesday after cruising to a 4-0 win over Laos at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium.

Ong Kim Swee’s charges took the lead after 12 minutes when Aidil Zafuan climbed highest inside the box to meet a left-wing freekick, and proceeded to send a header into the back of the net.

However, it took them until the 75th minute before they were able to double their tally; Gary Robbat embarking on an enterprising run into the box before unselfishly squaring the ball for Norfarhan Muhammad to finish.

From then on, there was always only ever going to be one winner and the Malaysians struck again four minutes later when Fandi Othman exchanged a neat one-two with Norfarhan before slotting into the bottom corner.

And just for good measure, they added a fourth in the 90th minute as Ferris Danial raced through and goal and fired past Soukthavy Soundala to cap off a fine display from his side.

In Group A’s other game, table toppers Korea Republic claimed a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia courtesy of Kim Seung-dae’s 12th-minute strike.

Over at the Hwaseong Stadium, Singapore produced a stirring fight-back to come from two goals down and hold Oman to a 3-3 draw in Group C.

The Omanis had edged ahead after ten minutes when Hatem Al Hamhami found space on the edge of the box and expertly curled his shot into the bottom corner.

But just a minute later, the Lions equalised after a mix-up between the opposition centre-backs allowed Sahil Suhaimi to race through and slot past Mazin Al Kasbi.

Oman managed to reclaim the lead in the 24th minute when Abdul Majeed Shamas broke free inside the box and prodded the ball past the onrushing Hassan Sunny.

And it looked as though they were on course for a comfortable victory when they went 3-1 five minutes later; Saud Al Farsi rising unchallenged inside the area to head home a cross from Ahmed Al Siyabi.

Nonetheless, Faris Ramli gave Singapore a glimmer of hope three minutes before the break after skipping inside two defenders, before curling a sublime shot into the top corner.

And four minutes from time, the comeback was completed after Safuwan Baharudin found space at the back post and stooped low to head home a Sahil freekick to earn his side a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere in the group, leaders Palestine maintained their perfect record after coming from behind to defeat Tajikistan 2-1.

Wednesday’s 2014 Asian Games Results

Group A

Malaysia 4-0 Laos

Korea Republic 1-0 Saudi Arabia

Group C

Palestine 2-1 Tajikistan

Oman 3-3 Singapore

Group D

Kuwait 5-0 Nepal

Japan 1-3 Iraq

Singapore, Malaysia open with losses at Asian Games

Singapore fell to defeat in their opening Group C match at the 2015 Asian Games in Incheon after being beaten 1-0 by Tajikistan at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium on Sunday.

In a keenly-contested clash, the Singaporeans looked to have done enough for a point after matching their opponents throughout the 90 minutes.

And they could easily have taken the lead midway through the second half when Shahfiq Ghani had a blistering effort parried by Alisher Tuychiev, before Faris Ramli sent the rebound narrowly wide with an acrobatic bicycle kick.

But with three minutes remaining, Tajikistan went on to grab all three points after Siyovush Asrorov was left completely unmarked inside the box and met Umedzhon Sharipov’s corner with a glancing header into the top corner.

Elsewhere in the group, Palestine moved top after goals from Ahmad Maher Wridat and Sameh Mara’aba handed them a shock 2-0 triumph over Oman.

Over in Group A, Malaysia also began their campaign with a loss after being defeated 3-0 by hosts Korea Republic at the Incheon Munhak Stadium.

Rim Chang-woo had handed the South Koreans the lead three minutes before the half-hour mark, but they were unable to double their tally until the 79th minute when Kim Shin-wook found the back of the net.

From then on, there was only ever going to be one winner and Lee Kwang-jong’s charges went on to seal the win three minutes later when Kim Seung-dae added a third.

The final Southeast Asian side in action on Sunday were Laos, who put in a resilient display before ultimately falling to a 3-0 loss to Saudi Arabia in Group A.

Having kept their opponents at bay for much of the clash, the Laotians’ resistance was finally broken when Raed Abdullah Al-Ghamdi opened the scoring from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time.

Saleh Al-Shehri then doubled Saudi Arabia’s advantage in the 87th minute, before Majed Omar Kanabah also netted in the second minute of injury-time to wrap things up for his side.

Group D action saw Iraq claim top spot with a 4-0 triumph over Nepal at the Incheon Football Stadium, while Japan were also convincing winners after beating Kuwait 4-1 in the later kick-off.

Sunday’s 2015 Asian Games Results

Group A

Saudi Arabia 3-0 Laos

Korea Republic 3-0 Malaysia

Group C

Singapore 0-1 Tajikistan

Oman 0-2 Palestine

Group D

Iraq 4-0 Nepal

Japan 4-1 Kuwait

Malaysia edge Vietnam to set up Indonesia semi

Defending champions Malaysia are through to the semi-finals of the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are beating Vietnam 2-1 on Tuesday to finish top of Group A.

Holding a one-point lead over their opponents ahead of their clash at the Zayyarthiri Stadium, Harimau Muda only needed to avoid defeat to secure top spot in the group and join already-qualified Singapore in the last four.

However, the Malaysians found themselves under tremendous pressure in the opening 45 as Vietnam looked determined to grab the opener, only to be denied by some excellent goalkeeping by Izham Tarmizi.

As Malaysia continued to stand strong despite wave after wave of attacks from their opponents, it began to look as though they would do enough for the draw that would see them qualify for the last four.

But ten minutes from time, it was them who finally broke the deadlock against the run of play when D. Saarvindran’s right-wing cross sailed over Thamil Arasu but landed kindly for Ashri Chuchu, who made no mistake in blasting a left-footed shot into the back of the net.

And just as the clock ticked over into injury-time, they added a second to kill off the contest as they hit their opponents on the counter; Irfan Fazail playing an incisive pass to Saarvindran, who skipped inside his man before firing past Tran Buu Ngoc at his near post.

Vietnam did manage to pull one back in the 95th minute when Mac Hong Quan scored on the rebound after his initial effort had been saved by Izham, but it proved little more than a consolation.

As a result of finishing top of Group A, Harimau Muda will now meet Indonesia in Thursday’s semi-finals in what will be a rematch of the 2011 final, while Thailand meet Singapore in the other last-four encounter.

In Tuesday’s late kickoff, Brunei ended their campaign pointless after falling to a 3-2 loss at the hands of Laos.

The Bruneians did manage to score their first goal of the tournament in the 34th minute when Mazizi Mazlan found the back of the net, but Laos took just four minutes to equalise through a Ketsada Souksavanh strike.

A minute after the break, the Laotians edged ahead when Soukaphone Vongchiengkam scored his second goal of the Games, before Vilayout Xayyabounaou stretched their lead even further with a third in the 52nd minute.

Brunei did manage to pull one back seven minutes from time thanks to an Azwan Ali effort but they were just unable to pull level, and ended bottom of the group pointless while Thim Xad finished in fourth with four points.

Tuesday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results

Malaysia 2-1 Vietnam

Laos 3-2 Brunei

Singapore book semi-final spot despite Malaysia draw

Singapore are through to the semi-finals of the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games despite being denied all three points after a late equaliser earned Malaysia a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Following a goalless first half at the Zayyarthiri Stadium, it was Singapore who opened the scoring on the hour mark when Afiq Yunos stabbed home on the rebound from four yards out, after Safuwan Baharudin’s towering header at the far post had come back off the woodwork.

And despite having to endure a number of close shaves, it looked as though the Cubs had done enough to hold on to the win.

Nonetheless, as the clock ticked over into injury-time, Harimau Muda were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box, allowing Rozaimi Abdul Rahman to step up and curl a lovely left-footed effort over the wall and past Izwan Mahbud.

Still, the result was enough to see Singapore qualify from Group A as there is no way both Malaysia and Vietnam can match their points tally of eight, given they both face off on Tuesday in the final Group A match-day.

In Sunday’s late game, Vietnam moved a point behind Malaysia after cruising to a 5-0 victory over Laos, who were eliminated in the process.

Pham Manh Hung fired the Vietnamese ahead in the 28th minute, before Nguyen Van Quyet struck two minutes later to give them a comfortable lead at the break.

Van Quyet then doubled his tally for the evening in the 75th minute to make it 3-0 and Vu Minh Tuan killed off the contest with a fourth four minutes later, before Mac Hong Quan netted three minutes from time to round off the scoring for Vietnam.

Sunday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results

Singapore 1-1 Malaysia

Laos 0-5 Vietnam

Malaysia cruise past Laos; Singapore stay top

Defending champions Malaysia made it two wins from two at the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after beating Group A opponents Laos 4-1 on Friday.

Fresh off the back of a 2-0 win over Brunei in their opening game, Harimau Muda edged ahead  after seven minutes when Ahmad Hazwan Bakri rifled home a right-footed shot after his initial effort had been blocked.

However, the Laotians equalised four minutes before halftime when Soukaphone Vongchiengkam met Khonesavanh Sivahong’s freekick with a glancing header past Izham Tarmizi, only for Hazwan to restore his side’s lead on the hour mark; racing onto Irfan Fazail’s lovely lofted pass and sending the ball into the bottom corner with an acrobatic volley.

Ten minutes from time, the contest was all but ended when Laos centre-back Ketsada Souksavanh, in a desperate attempt to cut out D. Saarvindran’s cross, could only prod the ball into his own net.

But the night belonged to Hazwan and seven minutes later, he completed his hat-trick when he finished off Nazmi Faiz’s cross to round off the scoring for Malaysia.

Nonetheless, Malaysia remain second in the group after Singapore stayed top with a 2-0 win over Brunei in Friday’s late kickoff.

Aide Iskandar’s charges took the lead five minutes after the half-hour mark when captain Hariss Harun exquisitely brought down Safuwan Baharudin’s flick-on header, before firing home from just inside the box.

And in the 58th minute, the three points were secured after Sahil Suhaimi held off Hazwan Hamzah before finishing with his left foot, for his third goal in as many games.

To make matters worse for the Bruneians, they ended the game with ten men after Khairil Shahme Suhaimi was sent off seven minutes later following an off-the-ball incident with Sahil.

Singapore will now be looking to seal their progress to the semi-finals with a win over Malaysia on Sunday, while Laos take on Vietnam.

Friday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results

Malaysia 4-1 Laos

Brunei 0-2 Singapore

Big win for Vietnam in SEA Games opener; Singapore held by Laos

Vietnam got their 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games campaign off to a winning start on Sunday after cruising to a 7-0 win over Brunei at the Zayyarthiri Stadium.

Vu Minh Tuan opened the scoring for the Vietnamese in the 22nd minute, before Ha Minh Tuan added a second three minutes later.

Thanh Hoa attacker Le Van Thang then scored in the 44th minute to give his side a commanding lead at the break, before he doubled his tally eight minutes into the second half.

But although the three points were all but in the bag, Vietnam refused to take their foot off the pedal; Tran Manh Dung netting their fifth in the 66th minute and Mac Hong Quan getting in on the act two minutes later, before Tran Phi Son struck eight minutes from time to round off the scoring.

In Sunday’s late kickoff, Singapore were unable to make the most of their numerical advantage as they were held to a 1-1 draw by ten-man Laos.

Aide Iskandar’s charges were handed a real boost after just 90 seconds when the Laotians were reduced to ten men after captain Saychon Khunsamnan was shown a straight red for a dangerous challenge on Shahfiq Ghani.

And three minutes before the half-hour mark, Singapore duly took the lead Sahil Suhaimi raced onto Shahfiq’s over-the-top ball before firing into the bottom corner.

But despite creating a host of chances, the Lions were unable to extend their lead and were made to pay four minutes from time when Laos substitute Khouanta Sivongthong headed home Soukaphone Vongchiengkam’s freekick to force the draw.

The action in Group A continues on Tuesday when Brunei take on defending champions Malaysia, while Vietnam take on Singapore.

Sunday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results

Vietnam 7-0 Brunei

Singapore 1-1 Laos