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Singapore Selection Unlucky to Lose

Delwinder Singh (left) was rock solid in the match against the Kuwait Olympic Team. (Photo: SSC File Photo)
 
This was not the main international team or let alone the under 23 team that went down under for training but though the scoreboard at the final whistle showed Singapore 1 Kuwait 2, these group of boys certainly churned out an A-grade performance.

With only four days to train and missing potential match winners such as Shahdan Sulaiman and Hariss Harun, V. Sundramoorthy’s Singapore Selection team acquitted themselves well against Kuwait’s Olympic team.

Though this was the first international outing for most of the boys, what they lacked in experience was made up with their commitment and dogged determination, covering every blade of grass on the Jurong West Stadium pitch.

SAFFC’s Erwan Gunawan gave Singapore the lead with a brilliant 30-metre strike; it was a goal that left coaches from both teams gaping in awe. “The player showed great technique to surprise our goalkeeper,” said Kuwait coach Maher Alshammari.

But their inexperienced showed as our local players were undone by two cases of poor defending.

Within a minute of taking the lead, the Singapore defence failed to keep their focus and Kuwait were back on level terms via an Ahmad Rashidi shot.

The second-half was a robust affair with chances falling to both sides, but it was the away side who grabbed the late winner. Deep into stoppage time, Jaber Mjma Almutari’s free kick caught substitute goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin out of position to grab the Kuwaitis the victory.

A lost like this would be hard to take, especially since the boys were almost on the verge of coming out as equals.

However, this performance certainly augurs well for the future of Singapore’s football with 17 of the players turning out for the first time.

It was a performance that the players should be proud off as even Kuwait coach Maher Alshammari said, “I have coached Kuwait teams to play against Singapore teams four times and this is the first time Singapore scored.”

Also earning praises from FAS specialist striker-coach was the centre back pairing of Woodlands’ Madhu Mohana and Tanjong Pagar’s Delwinder Singh. Despite playing for S.League cellar-dwellers, the duo excelled with their “stability and composure” in the heart of the defence.