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[Aftermath of Singapore 1-1 Malaysia] Beware of the "Grenade" pass in the SEA Games

The Cubs are through to the SEA Games semis (file picture)
Should Singapore U23 want to ensure any chance of a medal at the SEA Games football competition, it will have to fix the Achilles Heel in giving away crucial dead-balls in injury moments.

In spite having their berth confirmed in the semi-final of the most coveted event of the biennial meet, the Cubs, for the second time in four games, saw victory slipped away in stoppages that left that bit of a sour taste in their 1-1 draw against "Auld Enemy" Malaysia in Naypyidaw.

Defender Afiq Yunos's close range tap-in in the hour mark placed the Cubs on the lead position before a well-taken free kick by Md Rozaimi in the injury time save the Harimau Muda's campaign.

A victory against the defending champions would be seen as a major morale booster for the Cubs who had not had a smooth-sailing preparation besieged with hiccups, as compared to the consistency enjoyed by the Harimau Muda.

Finished the group stages on a undefeated record would look good for any team but it wouldn't mean the Cubs are just ready for the knockout stages given the profligacy in front of goal.

Afiq Yunos (left) with Hafiz Abu Sujad after 1-1 draw
Five goals out of five games in matches where they enjoyed much possession with countless chances created and yet failed to convert would be something the team must not repeat in the final four stages.

Other than that, closing up the gaps and not allowing opponents any space in the box are also some of the top most priorities for the coaching panel to look into.

After all, it is now a different ball game if the Cubs aren't careful of any ball thread into the box that would look like a grenade thrown at them that causing a mayhem.


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