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Tired Lions Shared The Spoils With The Turkmens

Hassan Sunny looked helpless as he saw the ball rolled in the goal
It should be a game Singapore could have wrapped it up convincingly, if only they had been consistent till the final whistle that eventually had them shared the spoils with Turkmenistan in AFC Asian Cup Group E qualification match played last evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Buoyed by the new lease of life following the recent draw against Hong Kong on the same surface that saw a much adventurous Singapore side departed themselves from the usual pragmatic defensive game, the fans were hopeful to see a repeat of the same display that could place the Lions' fast fading continental dream back to the pedestal.

The crowd of 3,127 were not disappointed when the home team took onto the field by initiated a few attacking moves to unsettle their guests from Central Asia at the early part of the game.

Khairul Amri (19) lasted only 36 minutes of action
But such an adventurous performance failed to yield any dividend with plenty of chances being created in the game that were failed to see them crossed the goal line to the back of the net.

It proved to be a mammoth task for V Sundram moorthy's men when their striker-in-chief Khairul Amri was stretchered out of the game due to an injury with his replacement and fellow Tampines Rovers team mate Fazrul Nawaz failed to make any impact since came on the 36th minute.

The duck was finally broken in the 63rd minute with a well-taken strike from right-back Shakir Hamzah to give the Lions a jab of confident.

Safuwan Baharudin (21) played upfront in the game
Unfortunately, the elusive second goal of the match was not scored by the team in red but some sloppy defending in the Singapore backline that resulted an easy roller into the goal in the 82nd minute by Annadurdyyev Altymyrat.

By that time when the Turkmens levelled the scores, the Lions already found themselves handicapped by several substitutions made due to various injuries carried by the key players like Irfan Fandi and Nazrul Nazari prior to the equalizer.

Skipper Hariss Harun was lauded by Coach Sundram for his work rate
As the result, tactical changes were deemed necessary to preserve the slender lead by added the likes of Madhu Mohana and Faritz Hameed to shore up the defence but only to see them conceded the goal from Altymyrat which Coach Sundram opined was due to "ball watching" in his post-match assessment.

"The conceding of the equalizer was because of ball watching by the defenders," said the former national striker."I think in this match we had created chances that we could have scored the second goal."

"But when we have Nazrul, Irfan, Amri down and I don't have a Messi, we just have to be more confident.

"Overall, the boys had done well but in the last quarter of the game we should have done better probably we got tired faster than our opponents."


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