A 30-yard rocket from Izzdin Shafiq gave the hosts, made up of largely Under-23 players, a narrow victory over the visitors.The Singapore Selection Team led by Aide Iskandar brushed off the challenge off the Pakistan national team by defeating them 1-0 on Friday evening at the Bishan Stadium in a friendly.
The Selection team was made up of an Under-23 side along with four over-aged players and they secured the win thanks to an Izzdin Shafiq goal from 30 yards out a minute before half-time.
The Lions showed their statement of intent right from kick off, stroking the ball around while waiting for the right moment to attack the Pakistani defence and could have gone ahead as early as in the 5th minute through Zulfahmi Arifin, but Pakistan custodian Jaffar Khan produced a wonderful save to deny the home team.
The Lions did not let their heads down however, and continued prodding until they found the breakthrough in the 44th minute. Left with all the time and space in the world, Izzdin let fly a rocket from 30 yards out which Jaffar could only palm into his own net.
In the second half, both teams made a number of substitutions, which slowed down the tempo of the game as it ultimately ended in a 1-0 victory to the hosts.
Speaking after the game, Pakistan head coach Zavisa Milosavlievic conceded that Singapore were a better team. He said: “Some of my players were without international experience. It is our first match after a year, and both matches will be good opportunities to give our players some exposure.
“This Singapore team have good potential, and your No.11 [Safirul Sulaiman] did well. They have good potential and the future is bright,” he added.
Singapore Selection head coach Aide Iskandar felt that his side played a good game, but there was still room for improvement.
“The boys did well in the first half, but the second half was a mix of good and bad,” the former Singapore skipper quipped.
“Overall it was a good performance, but I think in terms of keeping possession, especially in the second half, they have to improve. There is still plenty of time and games for them to improve on it as well."
Pakistan will next face the Singapore senior squad on Monday, November 19 at the Jurong West Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:45pm.
Singapore Selection: Hassan Sunny (GK) (Al-Faiz Ishak 63’, Abdul Qadir 85’), Jufri Taha (Shannon Stephen 68’), Delwinder Singh (Tajeli Selamat 85’), Gabriel Quak (Amy Recha Pristifana 63’), Shahfiq Ghani (Syafiq Zainal 72’) , Safirul Sulaiman (Nurullah Hussein 74’), Samuel Benjamin (Ignatius Ang 76’) , Zulfahmi Arifin (Shamil Sharif 76’), Agu Casmir (Sahil Suhaimi 46’) Ismail Yunos(C) (Firman Hanif 90’), Izzdin Shafiq (M Anumanthan 62’)
Pakistan: Jaffar Khan(GK, C) (Jahangir 65’), Muhammad Ahmed, Kamran Khan, Samar Ishaq, Zia Us Salam, Adnan Farooq Ahmed (Faisal Iqbal 46’), Hasan Bashir (Muhammad Ali 65’), Muhammad Rasool (Saeed Ahmed 46’), M Hameed (Saddam Hussain 46’, Naveed Ahmed 72’), Muhammad Adil.