Singapore 1 Indonesia 0: Singapore shake off underdog tag

Albert Christian
Singapore shocked Indonesia by winning from a beautiful goal taken by captain Hariss Harun

If Singapore were entering the game against Indonesia as underdogs, there were definitely no signs of it as the Lions completely dominated Indonesia in the first half.

The Lions started in confident fashion against Tim Garuda as they began pinging a series of balls over their opponents. Tim Garuda’s rearguard was caught off guard and struggled to keep up with Singapore. Nine minutes into the game and Yasir Hanapi missed a glorious one on one chance against Indonesia’s goalkeeper after some excellent midfield play.

Indonesia for their part tried to execute their gameplay by hitting the Lions on the counter through the wings with players such as Febri Hariyadi and Irfan Jaya. However the four-time AFF Suzuki Cup winners were able to neutralise the threat in midfield through their impressive skipper Hariss Harun.

Indeed it would be Hariss, Singapore’s most outstanding player so far who would score the goal after excellent work by Gabriel Quak on the flank, to cross the ball into the Indonesian penalty box. It caused a scramble between Indonesia’s players which led to Hariss harun connecting his right foot to the ball and unleashing a superb volley to put Singapore ahead in the 37th minute.

Ultimately the first half belonged to the Lions and in the second half the same narrative continued. 50 minutes in and Indonesia became tactically ill-disciplined as they allowed Singapore to counter on the break from a corner with just one defender at the back. Unfortunately the Lions couldn’t capitalise.

But Singapore continued to dominate possession in the second half limiting Tim Garuda to threaten Singapore’s goals only through set-pieces.

In the 74th minute Indonesia had a shot saved by Hassan Sunny and afterwards had a penalty denied by the referee after Riko Simanjuntak, was adjudged to have been fouled in the penalty box. In the dying embers of the game, the Lions seem contented to just keep possession and see out the game.  Before this game the Indonesians were in full voice and confidence but by the time the game ended, it seems the Lions have robbed Tim Garuda of the two.