Friday, July 29, 2011
Malaysia 1-1 Singapore (4-6 agg)
Football: Singapore through to 2014 World Cup qualifying third round
By Patwant Singh | Posted: 28 July 2011 2157 hrs
KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore advanced into the third round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers on Thursday after a 1-1 draw against Malaysia and a winning aggregate of 6-4.
The Lions had won the first leg 5-3 at Jalan Besar Stadium last Saturday, but the Malaysians were determined to turn things around in the second leg, what with the support of their 85,000 supporters at the Bukit Jalil stadium.
It was a sea of yellow in the stands, but a small group of Singaporeans fans were also at the Bukit Jalil stadium to cheer for the Lions.
Poor defending by the Malaysians provided Singapore quite a few chances, but quick reflexes from Malaysia's goalkeeper Khairul Fahmie Che Mat denied Singapore the chance to take the lead.
And though Malaysia had their chances, play on the bumpy pitch was definitely slower than the first-leg as both teams took a cautious approach.
Hence, it was no surprise the first half ended goalless.
In the second half, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali scored for Malaysia in the 57th minute. Singapore managed to equalise through Shi Jiayi in the 72nd minute.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, who watched the live telecast of the match on a big screen with 2,000 supporters in Kedah, said he was proud of the players who had shown loads of determination and commitment during the match.
"We were in for a tough time due to the two-goal deficit since Singapore had won 5-3 in the first leg last week.
"However, I am happy to see their fighting spirit. I want the players to consider the loss as a lesson to strengthen their performance in the future," he said.
In Singapore, football fans turned up in good numbers at St James Power Station to watch the game.
Many were relieved when the scoreline remained a draw after 90 minutes.
One supporter said: "It means we have a bright future, moving forward. So, we are very proud of the team."
Another supporter added: "This is a very good step, we beat our local rivals ... that's what we want."
Another fan said: "I think they gained a few more supporters."
Second-leg results from round two of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup:
Maldives 0 Iran 1
(Iran win 5-0 on aggregate)
Yemen 0 Iraq 0
(Iraq win 3-0 on aggregate)
Palestine 2 Thailand 2
(Thailand win 3-2 on aggregate)
India 2 United Arab Emirates 2
(United Arab Emirates win 5-3 on aggregate)
Malaysia 1 Singapore 1
(Singapore win 6-4 on aggregate)
Vietnam 2 Qatar 1
(Qatar win 4-2 on aggregate)
Hong Kong 0 Saudi Arabia 5
(Saudi Arabia win 8-0 on aggregate)
Indonesia 4 Turkmenistan 3
(Indonesia win 5-4 on aggregate)
Bangladesh 2 Lebanon 0
(Lebanon win 4-2 on aggregate)
Kyrgyzstan 0 Uzbekistan 3
(Uzbekistan win 7-0 on aggregate)
Tajikistan 0 Syria 4
(Syria win 6-1 on aggregate)
Laos 1 China 6
(China win 13-3 on aggregate)
Philippines 1 Kuwait 2
(Kuwait win 5-1 on aggregate)
Myanmar 0 Oman 2
(Match abandoned due to crowd trouble - Oman lead 4-0 on aggregate but final match result yet to be confirmed)
Nepal 1 Jordan 1
(Jordan win 10-1 on aggregate)