It was the 50th minute in Singapore’s 1-0 win over Indonesia. An impressive Hassan Sunny delivered an accurate clearance which allowed Faris Ramli to get through Indonesia’s defence but unfortunately Faris’ lob effort struck the crossbar.
Significantly that moment underlined the kind of display Hassan had put on throughout the night as he provided Singapore with a safe pair of hands. While Hariss Harun rightly earned the accolade for being the man of the match, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that Singapore’s custodian could have stake a claim for the tile.
Hassan was alert and sharp when the Lions’ were defending. The goalkeeper was quick to smother any balls in the penalty area which provided a reprieve for his rearguard. Moreover his handling was exceptional as any air balls from set-pieces or crosses were well-dealt with while his experience meant that he was able to defuse any threat before it took on importance.
If anyone had the perfect label for the 34-year-old, it would be ‘consistent’. In fact consistence is a quality that Hassan needed to become Singapore’s number one. Since making his debut for the national team he has had to compete with the likes of Lionel and Lewis and now Izwan Mahbud for the goalkeeping spot.
Between 2011 and 2012 Hassan missed nearly two full years of football after he tore his ACL in his right knee. That injury kept him out of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup which the Lions won. Now Hassan is back and most definitely will be raring to go against the Philippines: Singapore’s next opponent.
Just like Indonesia, the Azkals will provide stiff competition for the four time AFF Suzuki Cup winners. After their win over Tim Garuda, Fandi Ahmad’s charges will have the confidence they can go all the way. And with Hassan in goal, Singapore can be assured they will be in safe hands.