Singapore beat Malaysia 5-3

Singapore saw off the challenge of a resilient Malaysia as the Lions defeated their arch-rivals 5-3 in a thrilling first-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup second round qualifier on Saturday. The aggregate after first leg is 5-3. The return match will be held on July 28, 2011 at Bukit Jalil Stadium Malaysia.

Comment after the match:
Harimau Malaya got a good start from Safee Sali's goal in the 1st minute, but Aleksandar Duric quickly put an equaliser from a free-kick in 8th minute. While Harimau Malaya still finding rhythm on slick artificial turf that looks more like a hockey pitch, Singapore put themselves one goal in front via Qiu Li (another imported player). Singapore continued to take advantage on Harimau Malaya poor defence and scored 2 more goals before half time to put Singapore 3 goals in front.

And again it was a set-piece that was Malaysia’s undoing with the 30-year-old Home United attacker curling in a sweetly-struck free-kick that left Malaysian keeper Sharbinee Ramli rooted to the spot.

Fahrudin Mustafic made it 3-1 a minute from the break before Shi Jia Yi extended Singapore’s advantage when the unmarked midfielder connected with Duric’s cross from the right.

First half ended Singapore 4 Malaysia 1.

In the second half, K. Rajagopal made more changes and tactical switch to put in more pressure and score goals. Malaysia’s hopes of getting back into the match were dealt a massive blow when frustration got the better of skipper Safiq Rahim was shown a straight red for a studs-up challenge on Hariss Harunfive minutes into the second-half.

Singapore receive same fate as Ismail Yunos was sent off for a second bookable offence just five minutes later. S. Kunanlan displayed his best action by assisting 2 goals for Malaysia, which was scored by Abdul Hadi Yahya 70' and second from Safee Sali. While fans of Harimau Malaya looking for an equaliser, the Lions pull one goal back through their imported old player, Aleksandar Duric. Match finished at Singapore 5 Malaysia 3.

To all Harimau Malaya fans, make sure we fill up whole Bukit Jalil Stadium next Thursday for the return leg. Malaysia need to score two goals to qualify on away goal rule. And the Lions, you will be wash out by us in return leg.

Singapore can win the match because their team is United Nations team, where buy foreign players to score goals. Malaysia have all their player originally from Malaysia, not even one imported. Shame on Singapore!!

What K. Rajagopal said:
National coach Datuk K. Rajagopal was disappoined by the team’s sloppy defending, which he said was the cause of their defeat.

“We had the best ever start when Safee scored after just 26 seconds of the game but after that, the whole defence collapsed and we gave away the goals just like that,” said Rajagopal.

It certainly was a goal feast for the Lions but the game could have gone Malaysia’s way if only they were not so porous at the back. Safee gave Malaysia a dream start when he scored after 26 seconds into the match.

Singapore's players celebrate Aleksandar Duric's goal against Malaysia during their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification soccer match in Singapore July 23, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

Singapore vs Malaysia at Jalan Besar Stadium (Singapore)

Singapore lineups:
Mohd Izwan Mahbud, Muhd Safuwan Baharudin, Shi Jiayi, Aleksandar Duric, Qiu Li (Shahdan Sulaiman), Hariss Harun, Mustafic Fahrudin, Daniel Bennett, Shahril Ishak, Juma’at Jantan, Ismail Yunos

Malaysia lineups:

Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Mohd Fadhli Shas, Mahalli Jasuli, Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar, Amar Rohidan, Safiq Rahim, S. Kunalan, Ismail Faruqi (Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal), Mohd Safee Sali (Izzaq Faris Ramlan), Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Abdul Hadi Yahaya)