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The Singapore coach reacted strongly when asked on Daniel Bennett's performance and instead credited his opponents for putting on a strong fight

By Khalis Rifhan

Although Singapore ended the group stage at the summit, they did not have it easy in their last match against Laos who were once the whipping boys of the region.

Laos took a surprise two goal lead before Singapore coach Radojko 'Raddy' Avramovich made tactical switches to his side, bringing on the adventurous left back, Shaiful Esah and forward, Khairul Amri.

“After the substitution, we played better and went into situations and got into positions to deliver the ball into scoring position,” said Raddy

“With Shaiful, we at least started to push forward and a few crosses came in. It was a different game.”

Despite struggling to see off their opponents, Raddy took to heart that his charges did not give up and gave their all till the end: “It is good that we qualified for the next round, but we did it the hard way.  Laos pushed their players up in numbers and surprised us.”

“At least we came back and began preparing for solutions to find goals.

“We scored and one good example was Fazrul Nawaz's goal.”

When pointed out that Daniel Bennett was having a bad day during the matches, Raddy was having none of it and credited his opponent for giving them a good fight.

“Laos was too good, all teams in South East Asia have improved," he added.

"If you give them a chance, they will score. That was what had happened.

“I never judge individual players. Don’t ask the questions. I don’t like it, whether it is his fault or not.”

Raddy also touched on his centurion captain Shahril Ishak who did well despite having to cope with the unpredictable Laotian midfield, saying: “Shahril has done his part but it is not easy for him because his role was to mark Kanyala Syomvang. It was not easy as they kept changing positions and he was running from one side to the other.”

Singapore will meet Philippines on December 8 at Rizal Memorial stadium in Manila before hosting the return leg on December 12 at Jalan Besar stadium.