The Singapore coach thought his team did everything to try and get a result in the 3-1 defeat to Jordan, but admitted there is still a gulf in quality between the two nationsIt was a match that Singapore needed to win to stand any chance of qualifying for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
But Jordan showed their superiority and emerged as 3-1 winners at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday evening to seal their qualification berth to Australia next year.
Singapore put in a determined performance but goals from Thaer Bawab, Ahmad Hayel and Yousef Rawshded eventually saw the home side off despite Khairul Amri netting a consolation goal from the spot.
Singapore coach Bernd Stange admitted that his side threw caution out of the window to try and salvage the game despite being a man-down after Baihakki Khaizan’s dismissal late in the first half, but to no avail.
“We did everything what we could today with very short preparations and I think we paid the price because we have not enough experience to face these teams,” he said at the post-match press conference.
“We risked everything, these boys are young; why should I tell them to wait? I gave advice to go forward and to make it 2-2 but 2-2 is not helpful for us, it’s a negative result.”
The German was aware that the defeat would be fodder for bad press, no matter how encouraging he thought the performance was against tougher opposition.
“There is no 'if' or 'should', these are clear and current facts: if we lose a match, there is more to criticise than there is to praise,” he stated.
“3-1 is negative. I have to criticise. I cannot say it was the best game. Our best game was with Syria because we played average but we beat them, and we need points to make it for qualification.
“Our team is becoming better and better in the way we play, I respect that, and I feel we are on a very good way but we are not strong enough, not powerful enough and not clever to make results. The way we play is okay, but we don’t make results.
“This is the whole situation now, we are out and Jordan and Oman are in. They are a little bit better they are more experienced and they have a bigger pool of players.”
Jordan coach Hossam Hassan (right) was pleased to see his side record a victory, but was concerned when Singapore threatened to equalise after Amri scored a late penalty to make it 2-1.
“I thank my players, they worked really hard these few days in Singapore and in Oman and they killed themselves to win and they got their goal,” he said.
“The penalty may not be right but there was some stress on the players and I was worried about this."
The coach was also critical of the referee’s performance, especially when it came to the dubious decision to award Singapore a penalty after Baha Abdel-Rahman was harshly adjudged to have blocked a cross with his arm.
“I am just upset for some of our players because they take yellow cards for no reason,” he said.
“The referee was very good and I don't talk much about referees but the penalty was wrong and he gave Singapore a chance to get back.
“But we kept our tactics the same and scored the third goal.”
Still, Hossam had encouraging words for Singapore, whom he thinks are moving in the right direction.
“The Singapore coach is a good and perfect manager, and in a few years and he can give more for Singapore.”