Stange's Lions go on rampage against Laos
The new Singapore coach led his team to a second consecutive victory as they withstood a spirited second-half fightback from the hosts to triumph
By Khalis Rifhan
Singapore registered their second win in as many games under new coach Bernd Stange as they cruised to a 5-2 victory over Laos in Vientiane on Friday.
Singapore took a three-goal lead into the halftime interval thanks to strikes from Indra Sahdan, Hariss Harun and Safuwan Baharudin, but Koichi Kimura's side came out for the second half with renewed determination.
Ketsada Souksavanh scored for the host minutes after the restart and Khonesavanh Sihavong added a second after the hour mark, but Gabriel Quak (pictured above) and Hafiz Rahim scored in the final 10 minutes to ensure victory for the Lions.
The visiting camp were already in a celebratory mood six minutes into the match as captain marvel Shahril Ishak's through ball was not dealt with properly by Laos goalkeeper Chintana Souksavath, with Indra on hand to tap the rebound into an open goal.
Midway through the half, Quak came on for his international debut after Stange was forced to replace Khairul Amri, who looked to have pulled a muscle in his right hamstring.
The substitution did not affect the Lions' attacking play as they doubled their lead in the 27th minute. Hariss connected with a header as Indra swung in a corner and sent the ball sailing into the net for his first international goal since making his debut in 2007 against North Korea.
Four minutes before both sides headed towards the dressing room, Safuwan got the third from the set-piece after Shahril was fouled at the edge of the box.
The deficit was reduced three minutes after the restart as Kuanta Sivongthong’s shot was parried by Hassan Sunny into the path of Ketsada, who blasted home from the rebound.
The hosts scored their second goal after they surged forward on a quick counter and Sopha Saysana's delicate cross to the far post was met by Khonesavanh, who made no mistake from close range in the 62nd minute.
Stunned by those goals, Singapore regrouped and managed to dominate the last 10 minutes of the match, with Shahril setting up Quak to coolly slot home for a dream debut goal in the 83rd minute.
The scoring was completed when a neat interchange of passes between Hariss and Quak was capped off by substitute Hafiz Rahim, who put the gloss on the victory with his first goal for the Lions as well.
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