Forum > Singapore Football > Lions affirm Asean supremacy with third title
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Ting Fu
Posts: 867

4-Feb-2007 11:38:46 PM

Substitute Khairul Amri's stunning goal nine minutes from time helped Singapore to a 1-1 draw with Thailand in the second leg of the Asean Football Championship final and ensured that Singapore retain their crown.

The draw in Bangkok's Suphachalasai Stadium, on top of Wednesday's 2-1 win in the first leg meant that the Lions won their third Asean title 3-2 on aggregate.

Thailand had taken the lead eight minutes before the break through Pipat Thonkaya but they were to endure a long night as their push for the all-important second goal came to naught.

The visitors made two changes to the team that started the first leg at the National Stadium.

Forward Indra Sahdan had not recovered from the hamstring injury that forced him to be taken off at half-time on Wednesday and his place went to Itimi Dickson. Meanwhile, Shahril Ishak was named in place of the suspended Fazrul Nawaz.

Thailand made three changes themselves, with Pichitphong Choechiu, Natthapong Samana and Hadthporn Suwan in for Sarayoot 'Joe Five Yards' Chaikamdee, Nirut Sirusiang and Nataporn Phanrit respectively.

And perhaps more importantly for the team in red, their star forward Kiatisuk Senamuang made the team - albeit as a substitute - despite street talk around Bangkok saying that he would not be fit for even a place on the bench,

Ten minutes in, Singapore had the ball in the back of the net but unfortunately for Radojko Avramovic's side, the goal was ruled out for offside.

Shi Jiayi's freekick had been deflected into Shahril's path by Niweat Siriwong but the linesman on the far side had his flag up already before the Young Lions midfielder prodded the ball in off the inside of the post.

With a quarter of an hour gone, Thailand had their first shot on target. Pichitphong's attempt from 20 metres out however, was easily smothered by Lionel.

Three minutes later, Datsakorn Thonglao's curling freekick from distance seemed destined for the top right hand corner before it was spectacularly fisted away by Lionel.

The Home United man came up trumps again in the 25th minute with a fine double save from first Pipat Thonkaya, and then Suchao Nutnum as Chanvit Phalajivin's men went on the offensive.

Four minutes later, Sutee Suksomkit's grasscutter from 25 metres out just missed sneaking into Lionel's bottom left hand corner.

By this stage, Singapore were struggling to cope with the constant wave of Thailand's attacks and Pipat's cool close-range finish off Datsakorn's chip-pass gave the hosts a well-deserved lead.

Just as he did in the first leg, the No.23 ghosted past more static defending to slot past Lionel Lewis to send the Suphachalasai Stadium into raptures.

The Thailand No.7, who just completed a move to V-League giants Hoang Anh Gia Lai, was a constant menace to the Singaporean defence all evening, playing the conductor's role to a T.

After robbing Aide Iskandar of possession inside the Lions' half, Datsakorn tried an audacious lob from 25 metres.

But unfortunately for the hosts the ball sailed harmlessly wide, as the collective groan of disappointment quickly changed into a rousing cheer applauding the sheer cheek of the midfielder's attempt.

The start of the second half was more of the same as the Thai assault continued on both flanks.

Suree Sukha was reveling in his role as the attacking wingback, which meant the Itimi was unable to venture as high up as he wanted.

But even the man nicknamed 'Magic' couldn't keep his shot down as it flashed his shot high into the Bangkok night after the Lions struggled to clear their lines yet again

The defending champions are not nothing but resolute and the sheer physical presence of tournament top scorer Noh Alam Shah meant that Thai defence had to have their wits about him.

Having received the ball off Amri in the six yard box, Alam Shah 's close range attempt under pressure was too tame to trouble Kittisak Rawangpa.

As the onslaught intensified, so did the heartbeats of the small army of traveling Singapore supporters as Sutee's corner was narrowly headed wide by Suchao in the 68th minute with Lionel stranded.

Barely a minute later, Mohd Noh Rahman flung himself to deflect Suchao's goalbound attempt away for a corner.

Amri's goalbound attempt off a Jia Yi freekick from the right flank was cleared away by the under-worked Thai defence as another rare Singapore attack resulted went in vain.

Then came the goal that silenced the capacity crowd.

Amri brought Lionel's huge punt upfield with some ease and then proceeded on a mazy run.

Perhaps untroubled by the attempts of the lightweight midfielder so far, the Thai defence left his run unchecked but their inactivity was punished as Amri slammed a right-footed shot into the back of Kittisak's net before a red shirt could get their foot in.

In the end, the Lions held their nerves for a well-deserved draw and more importantly, ensuring that they equal Thailand's feat of three Asean titles.

Ting Fu
Posts: 867

4-Feb-2007 11:41:20 PM
honestly....thai dont' deserve to loss....they played brillant attacking football this time round....while they were trying soooo hard in search of a 2nd goal......suddenly out comes Khariul Amri wicked shot tat can't saved by the thai was struggling for most of the times.....but I guess...lucks plays a big part bah.....

Posts: 2389

6-Feb-2007 11:55:37 PM
indeed. the thais didnt deserve to lose, looking at how they approached the game. unfortunately, they didnt capitalized on their chances.
reminds me of liverpool.

still, a good win for singapore. amri's strike was really unstoppable as the thais paid the price for not closing him down.

hopefully, singapore can win another one with lesser, if not, no foreigner in the team.

Steady lar!

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