Singapore edge closer to semi-final spot in AFF Suzuki Cup with 2-1 win over Philippines

The Lions scored two quick-fire goals in the second half to put one foot in the semi-final spot.

Brandon Leong

Compulsive playlist maker.

Published: 8 December 2021, 11:00 PM

Singapore made it two wins from two as they beat the Philippines 2-1 in a tense and fiery affair at the National Stadium.

The first half was cagey with few chances and plenty of stoppages for stop gap fouls in a gritty physical contest. 

The best chance of the half fell to left wing back Shakir Hamzah, who curled a shot agonizingly wide of the far post with the last kick of the half. 

The second half exploded to life with three goals in the space of seven minutes. 

Singapore finally broke through in the 61st minute when skipper Hariss Harun headed home from close range after Safuwan Baharudin flicked on Zulfahmi Arifin’s corner delivery. 

Barely two minutes later, the Lions doubled their lead. Faris Ramli tapped in at the far post following a delicious cross from right back Zulqarnaen Suzliman, much to the rapturous home supporters. 

Philippines got a lifeline in the 67th minute however, when Amin Nazari flicked a header in at the near post from a corner kick.

The final 20 minutes became nervy for the Lions as Philippines probed for a way back into the game, but they managed to see out the game with some stout defending. 

The win means that the Lions will need to secure just one victory from their final two matches, against Timor Leste and Thailand, to advance from the group stage. Singapore have not gone past the group stages in the last three editions of the tournament and the last time they did so was in 2012, when they won the competition. 

Singapore finished matchday two top of their group and will next be in action against bottom of the group Timor Leste on Dec 14 at the National Stadium. 

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