M-League Experience Won Singapore The Game
Singapore kicked off AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 with style after beating arch-rival, Malaysia 3-0 in their opening game at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. Singapore had been attacking right from the first whistle blown. Pressure were
Singapore kicked off AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 with style after beating arch-rival, Malaysia 3-0 in their opening game at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur.
Singapore had been attacking right from the first whistle blown. Pressure were put on the Malaysian players everytime they had the ball forcing the Malaysians to commit simple mistakes. And those mistakes from the Malaysia camp resulted in the first 2 goals scored by Captain Shahril Ishak in the 31st and 37th minute. Evergreen 42 years old, Aleksandar Duric replaced Sharil Ishak in the 74th minute and immediately made his presence felt by scoring a free and record (the oldest player to score in AFF Suzuki Cup history) header the next moment! That goal rounded up the game for Singapore and precious 3-points earned.
Did Malaysia not perform up to par? Or was Singapore simply too good for their neighbour? Plenty of factors contributing to the victory but I think we are going to thank Malaysia for the victory; M-League football won Singapore the game.
The Malaysia team which we saw tonight was totally neutralized by the Lions, Lions from Lions XII to be precise. The season-long playing experience in the M-League had instilled the confidence in Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri, Shahdan Sulaiman, Safuwan Baharudin, Hariss Harun, just to name a few. The Lions XII players found themselves in a very familiar environment, Malaysian football, which saw them growing in confidence with every attack that was launched. Where else for the current South-east Asia powerhouse, Malaysia, they were struggling to cope with not Singapore’s passing or shooting, they were struggling to cope with Singapore’s confidence.
In fact, before Singapore’s coach, Raddy, put on Aleksandar Duric to replace Shahril Ishak, I almost forgot that Duric was not playing as normally he would be the one literally banging in all Singapore’s goals previously. We have found our new Fandi Ahmad in Shahril Ishak on the International scene I guess.
Great game and great victory for Singapore tonight. So will the M-League experience benefit only playing Malaysians? I hope not. I really hope that Singapore team can leverage on this victory and match up to the aggressive Indonesians next.
Catch Singapore’s second game, against Indonesia, on 28 November 2012. Live telecast on Singapore’s Mediacorp Channel-5, 5.55pm!