Skip to main content

[Instant Reaction] SEA GAMES Semi-Final - Singapore 1-4 Vietnam [edited]

Cubs' coach Terry Pathmanathan (above) - unfazed by the criticism of the widely perceived "negative" display of football against the Laotians on Thursday.

I hope all the dust had settled by now, following the public outcry of the "negative" display of football by both the national U23 (or CUBS) and their Laotian counterparts on Thursday night.

To be honest, due to some prior arranged commitments I did not catch the match on "livestreaming", and felt it doesn't make any sense to watch the delayed telecast of the game upon received those messages, SMSes I gathered after the game was over.

Basically, what matters to us is that we had qualified for the final-four and met the target we set for the Cubs before leaving for Laos, therefore, the utmost agenda is to see what can the Cubs achieved from here.

Nonetheless, I did notice something that whenever any of the national teams performed badly, tonnes of criticism would be targeted at the team which something I thought, at times, are out of focus when they pinpointed all the way down to stuff like players' development, the league set-up, etc.

While things maybe intertwined here and there, let us stay focused on the match itself and please do curb your emotion before things do get out of hand.

Of course, from another perspective that if "TOUCH WOOD" we can't progress to the next round after the Monday, I'm sure the critics out there be out in full force to justify their claims they made in the first place.

So Cubs, you hear the ruckus and now it's time to show your fullest potential.


No point of playing a defensive tactic and wait for the opponents to score.

Just look at Thailand it tells you that to be offensive is the best way, maybe the cubs should ensure to have a comfortable lead before they play with a lone striker.”
JC, a Lions supporter
The hardest part of the match against Vietnam, for these Young Lions, is going to be re-focussing on a hard game again after the ludicrous way their last group match was played against Laos.

With four players back after a rest and some intensive training behind them we must hope the players can get into gear from the start and not concede any early goals; if they do get their noses in front they must keep them there by nagging at the heels of the Vietnam players to stop them getting anywhere for the rest of the game.

The ‘one game at a time’ mentality is important here. This batch of home-grown players may be even better next time around, it’s true, but if they can achieve success in this tournament it will be a huge shot in the arm for our local game in using local players who will eventually wear the national team colours in the senior ranks.

We can only wish them all the best and a to find the desire to work for something worthwhile over this match and the next”
Greenrover - a long time observer of Singapore football
I think the game will go into a penalty shoot-out. We (definitely) need some luck in this match (against the Vietnamese).

However, I think it's going to be Singapore vs Malaysia in the final, if luck is on our side, but my prediction is Malaysia to take the gold medal because during a friendly (that took place few months ago), they beat us (convincingly).

Furthermore, they upset the odds by defeated the Thais (in the group stages that knocked the eight-time defending champions out the tournament).”
Taufiq, student
I was not expecting much from this game.

Actually and to be honest, my mindset was to accept whatever it would turn out to be.

This was the same referee (pictured above from TV screen) that caused the Malaysians to lose their cool the other day.

After all, prior to the kick-off, the Cubs already achieved what they were asked to do in the first place - a place in the semi-final.

Alas, the 4-1 outcome came as a lump in the throat for many fans were felt let down by some refereeing decisions that went against us, the lack of striking options, etc.

(Snap from TV) Vietnamese supporters invaded the pitch after the game.

Probably, the most damaging factor was the exit of the spiritual Shaiful Esah due to a knock he sustained in the Vietnamese box in the second half.

On the hindsight, we still get to keep the core of the team for at least two more SEA Games (not before we fix the problem on the right).

ANOTHER NEW RECORD SET (1,781 on 14th December 2009)

Thank you very much for logging on to this blog and helped to set another high for the daily viewership, which unfortunately, always took place when any of the national teams had been the losing side :( (hopefully, this would revert in times to come).

At the meantime, I spotted two well-written review of the match as fellow:-
These two blogs can be found on my "Blog List" menu on the left.


  1. the match is now at 1900hrs singapore time

  2. Hi "Anonymous",

    Thanks for the update, necessary changes had been made.

  3. Singapore has done well so far and are being in the semis is proof of that. Of course they couldve played better but that is all academic at this stage. Semis will be a close one but I believe that Singapore will qualify for the finals. It would be better for the Cubs to meet Laos again as the Cubs will beat Laos this time. Final against Malaysia will be harder as Malaysia is a bogey team for Singapore. They may lose to all other teams but yet still find it in them to beat Singapore. Best to avoid Malaysia.

  4. Well from what i watct the game against laos, it seem singapore are playing mind game.I think if they play with their fullest strength, they might take the Gold medal.

  5. shame on you, Singapore, defeated by 1-4 by Vietnamese!
    Yes, u r Lion, but caged n tamed!

  6. Congratulations Vietnam. You guys ROCK

  7. I feel the Young Lions played well in the competition. they have a brave heart against bigger, older n tougher teams.

    Let them grow another 2 yrs... They will be ROCKING

  8. simply put, we were outclassed and outplayed by a better team. never mind all the talk about dependency on the end of the day, it was obvious that our young lions still have a lot to learn.

    might also have been our comeuppance for settling for second place in the group stage.

  9. I think the weakness of the Singapore team now is being too young. Otherwise it's good team.

  10. Vietnamese is the winner, but i think the Young Lions is good, they has been defeated because they have no experience

  11. Whatever you guys may think, our so call young lions have no vision, no abilities and most of all no team spirit. Lets be honest to ourselves, and focus on a new team with the ability to perform and develop the potential.
    There are abundances of good players here in Singapore.
    "Football is all about team work"
    Football is not about Young or Old, the melting point here is skill and the determination of fire to be the best.

  12. I was looking forward for Singapore to meet Malaysia in the finals of the Sea Games soccer. A show down of the previous 1989 sea games final was not meant to be. Cubs, you disappoint me.

  13. It's just the result.Vietnam and Singapo ...Both of them are winner.Fighting until the last second

  14. Same old story again,why is the juniors and the seniors alike play the same kind of football??lousy ball skills..can't pass properly..same old pattern of play pass once or twice and pump high ball to a mass of players and hope for the best..pathetic and woeful football to watch.

    Is this how are players are being trained? Look at the way the vietnamese create chances to score and how comfortable they are with the ball.It really makes our football Sucks big time....

  15. Singapore players not only lack football skills and brainS but LACK THE WILL POWER TO FIGHT WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN. To the guy who has a vision of 2010...where are we heading to actually may i ask??

  16. Every event competitions in sports, Nations will send its best sport delegates to paticipate. I don't understand why our nation send its inexperience soccer team to this event. Is it to gain experience?, or just for the sake of sending? What I ment was the young Lions are not really ready in this arena, yet. I see them struggling to control, and especially the lack of skills. If the score sheet reflected the margin difference of 1, I will accept the reality, but 4-1 for Vietnam....hmmm we need to improve alot...lots more. We have to examine the real factors of the failure, so coaches and tactiction this is where you come in. Stop dreaming of luck possibilities and concentrate on managing a winning team. Vietnam congratulations.

  17. I am a vietnamese. Although the winner is vietnam, I thinks Singapore played good. They hadn't enough experience, they are still the raw gems. But in the future, certainly the young lion will play better. Congratulation vietnam and singapore

  18. Those comments by the vietnamese above are very kind. Are you sure you are not Singaporeans in disguise? ;-P

    Vietnam deserves to be in the final. I think it will be a good one with the spirited Malaysians. Singapore have been outclassed.

    Singapore really have to re-look the whole set-up. We are not going anywhere with this kind of potential. It is not about the youngest team or whatever. The basics are simply not there - passing, ball control, technique, mindset etc.

  19. Singapore players really need more confidence to control and pass the ball. Simple football can be very pleasing and effective. But they cannot even execute some basic passing moves. What have they been training??? Let's no kid ourselves. This is very disappointing.

  20. all the scores of VN team are beautiful!

  21. I'm a Vietnamese, too. I'm proud of our team and their performances (not the score).

    Your young Lions are just nearly U19. They have done lots of things already. Give them more time to prove themselves.

  22. @ismet ulamraja: I was also looking forward to the finals. But we do have a chance of grabbing a medal!

    @Anonymous (14 Dec 2009 04:36): You might be right, I think they might have been able to play better and come out top. But it doesn't matter now :)

    @Anonymous (14 Dec 2009 21:09): Is it really that bad to lose 1-4? Maybe your expectations were too high ... it's always easy to make that mistake when things are going well, kind of. This result's a good reminder of where we stand, I believe.

    @Anonymous (14 Dec 2009 21:43): That's the same view I hold. We will do better, we need more consistent competition and the boys need to play together more often too. Put them all in the Young Lions! It doesn't matter if they keep losing in the S.League, they need time to grow. Or make them meet more regularly to play friendlies.

    @Anonymous (14 Dec 2009 23:19): So we should keep throwing away teams that don't play well and look for new ones? Football is not about age, you're right, but experience and team cohesiveness plays a huge part. If they had been playing together from the age of 8, at 15 they could probably even perform well against 18-year-olds, perhaps.

    @iceszman: It's a totally different competition now ... in 1989 it was a senior tournament, how can compare like that? That's not to say that Singapore v Malaysia in the final wouldn't have been nice. It might still happen in the 3rd/4th placing :P The tournament is not over, and losing is not the end. Let's keep our heads up, go for bronze!

    @fabius: I would be in a better position to agree if I'd seen the match (8am my time here... I was busy :() but 1-4 doesn't happen by chance.

    @Anonymous (14 Dec 2009 23:46): Maybe the juniors learn from the seniors? Maybe it seems to work so they keep doing it? I don't know. If I knew I would be coach.

    @Anonymous (14 Dec 2009 23:55): I hope the Cubs can prove you wrong by working hard and winning the bronze medal. I am inclined to agree with you, but we have to remember they still need time to grow.

    @Anonymous (15 Dec 2009 00:39): I agree, we need to improve a lot more. But where would you suggest we get experienced players who are under 23? Would you consider a team that has played 50 friendlies together as experienced as a team that has played 2 regional tournaments together, regardless of result? I think the experience they get is quite different. Give the Cubs time, I think they will get a lot better. I hope someone makes them play together more... this is the best way to gain experience in my opinion.

    @all the vietnamese people: Thanks for your graciousness. I wonder if the Singaporeans would have been as gracious had we been the ones to win 4-1.

    We certainly have a long way ahead of us. Let's move in the right direction. Start with a good performance in the bronze medal playoff to build morale, guys!

  23. Not an unexpected result, nevertheless lets not forget that these batch of cub are still young and they're in for the long run.

    I expect the same squad (except for some seniors of course) to be in the s-league for the next 3 years at least before a new batch comes in.

    If you really want to judge them, wait till the next two sea games when most of them will be 'senior' u-23 players.

  24. The game clearly show the young lion played out of shape, lack toughness and speed and even need to pause before deciding where the ball should go just outside the penalty box. Is a shame to Singapore and to the one who picks up these wrong boys who play monkey ball on field, especially the keeper who can't even dive......

  25. The chips may be down but lets give them a chance. Malaysia lost to Vietnam too but had a chance to redeem themselves, Singapore met Vietnam at the knockout stage and therefore have to go back. The Malaysian team was crucified by the press and public when they lost to Vietnam too, and many called for further action against the red carded players. Everyone and his grandmother's uncle came out in arms. Today, praises and all brickbats have been taken back. If they lose the finals, guess what will happen? So let us give a chance to the cubs, expose them more and they can hold their heads up in the region. Btw, the young Malaysian team surely gained a lot by playing MU.

  26. Yeah you Singaporeans don't slaughter your young players hhehe. They are young and need time to develop. And don't be too sad about the score, last SG your team beated ours at 5-0 and now we reply with 4-1 ^^ It's just a game, the results differs from time to time and don't take it too serious. What matters is that we're having fun with all the cheering and supporting and going crazy for winning ^^ That's what footbal all about right? ^^

  27. No point crying over lossing to a better team like vietnam, Vietnam is a good team and our lions can match them in term of skills and our lion seens got problem to defend and allow the vietnam to score. so shameful to loss 4 goals.

  28. @icewater.....There are lot of good players under 23 in s-league. I've seem them and must admit their performences' are well beyond expectation, the fact is they are so well adapted, to have the abilities to tackle and control the game with great skills and determination. The young lions should be exposed to friendly matches instead of participating in this honorable event, when, where they are phyically, mentally and skillfully prepared.

  29. The lions will need another 20 years, maybe got chance to play in the Final and win something. We alway win the useless bronze medal and it doesn't matter whether to win bronze or not, it far too many already. Our fans is alway disppointed on how our players play and the players is not really not convincing to prove they are good to win.

  30. Such a good chance for the lion to win the gold medal as the Thais failed to qualify. But they throw the game away with 1 nil lead. To be quite sure this time Vienam should be easily win the Gold medal.. i doubt the other 2 team can match them.

  31. @Anonymous (15 Dec 16:13): Did I reply to a message you posted earlier? If you really want to have a conversation, log in and use your name, it's confusing otherwise.

    On topic, though: I believe this tournament is very good training as they will probably not get exposure at a higher level as a team. Not all the players are playing at the senior level, and as far as I know only Shaiful Esah had ACL experience.

    @Anonymous (15 Dec, 16:14): not sure if you're the same person as above, but my comment about logging in applies. :)

    Is a bronze medal nothing to be proud of? We are always #1 in most things, but it doesn't mean that #1 or nothing is the right attitude to take. If the fans are disappointed, ask them first whether they have been supporting Singapore throughout, and not only flocking to the stadiums when we win against weaker opposition.

    The boys need our support, regardless of results... maybe then the administration will take our complaints more seriously and change their mindset for sports development in Singapore!

    It's a cycle, and the fans can help make it happen or help to kill Singapore football ... it's your choice. I can't do anything myself as I'm physically overseas, but I encourage everyone who can to watch less European football and watch more S.League ... pick a team and follow it.

    It can be done, after all, we have Spurs, Everton, Leeds and Birmingham fans in our midst ... if they can follow teams with relatively little success, why not follow a local team you can actually see, cheer on, curse at and shake hands with?

  32. I've also got two radical suggestions:

    > use the Young Lions as the core of our senior team, with a maximum of 3 players above 23.

    > encourage the Young Lions to try buying over players within the age range that are in other S.League clubs instead of just relying on NFA and scouting.

  33. have been frozen for a couple of decades...please defrost yourself is good for the team, if you are so call die hard fan or ?..and not able to accept it...well what can I say?. Everyone here are giving their views and suggestions. Like you said " I don't know. If I knew I would be coach." you might like to take a waik and smell the to speak.

  34. Hi Guys...

    Thanks for the feedback and active discussions that took place since last night.

    While I acknowledged that each and individual is entitled to his/her opinion, but let us be RATIONALE, NOT getting too emotional and avoid making any kind of personal remark that is "out of the discussion range" even if any individual don't see eye-to-eye on any issue discussed.

    I would like to reiterate that:-
    "While I allow comment/feedback to be posted using the moniker "Anonymous" but comments containing discrimination of race, derogatory terms and seditious remarks will NOT be tolerated and will be deleted, if necessary, at the blog owner's discretion!

    Please don't abuse it, thanks"

  35. So guys n gals (got gals ah in this forum?), who will win the finals? My head says Vietnam but as a lover of the underdog, will root for Malaysia... This Vietnam team is the best that they have had for quite some time & have been given a lot of exposure. Vietnam 3, Malaysia 1.

  36. Pohui, thank you for time well spend in your blog...appreciated. I will exit from here.
    Just that I feel like everyone else their criticism, opinions, feedback and suggestions. I believe its good for the Young Lions and the coaches to take a pinch of salt to marinate, hoping one day they will be successful.

  37. Hi "Anonymous" (posted on Tuesday, 15 December 2009 22:32:00 GMT+08:00 ),

    Let's hope the discussions, views exchanged here will reach the eyes and mind of those people at the top.

    Let us adhere the decorum of active debating, avoid getting over-react when things turn emotional or even ugly.

    This purpose of having allowed "anonymous" posting is to respect those would not want to disclose themselves and retain certain level of privacy when joining the discussion.

    And please don't abuse this privilege, thanks

  38. I am from Thailand but admit that Vietnam has already reached a higher class and deserves the King of SouthEastAsian football. They play sort of Arsenal weaving football while the rest of SEA show poor & outdated English longball.

  39. Full of excuses and protective of players,coaches and management when we failed to make the mark but proud and arrogant when
    we won the stupid tiger cup.
    Face the fact, accept constructive criticism man.
    Mind u i'm a full blooded Singaporean long enough to know the sorry state of singapore soccer and as old as Fandi Ahmad;)

  40. @the anonymous post From Thailand on 16 December: I'm thrilled to read your comment on our football team though I know the team needs so much improvement to deserve such beautiful words. Thank you so much!
    @Singaporean guys: I don't think your boys lack the will and the spirit to play as you said. What they need, I guess, is the experience since they're too young. They'll surprise you one day, you see.

  41. Congraduation Singapore boys to win the bronze medal work hard for next sea game progress to the final to win the gold back and show us you can do it.

    Congraduation to the malaysian team, you have show that you are better and beat the strong team vietnam and deserves to be the winner and for vietnam stortage of luck but try harder for the next one.

  42. what matters to us is that we had qualified for the final-four and met the target we set for the Cubs before leaving for Laos.

    Thank you.........

    Soccer Team Uniforms
    Soccer Team Sales


Post a Comment

While I allow comment/feedback to be posted using Anonymous mode but comments containing discrimination of race, derogatory terms and seditious remarks will NOT be tolerated and will be deleted, if necessary, at the blog owner

Please do not abuse it, thanks

And the blog owner WILL not be responsible for comments by visitors except those of his own

All comments are subjected to moderation and publish upon determination, thanks

Thank You for your kind attention

Ko Po Hui

Please Check Out These Posts Below Before You Leave

Wishful Thinking...

[Guest Column] - "Yoshinaga is not the problem"

Strategic Player Selection Crucial for Singapore in Upcoming AFF Championship

Singapore's 1987 "Malaysia Cup" Squad