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International Friendly
  • Alexander Akande (42')
  • Yang Huang (70')

Singapore suffer defeat in Hong Kong ahead of AFF Suzuki Cup

Singapore have still yet to find form ahead of next month's AFF Suzuki Cup after they were beaten 2-0 by Hong Kong in Tuesday's international friendly at the Mong Kok Stadium.

Alex Akande got the hosts on their way with a clinical strike four minutes before the break before a powerful drive from Huang Yang in the 70th minute to put the result beyond doubt.

The defeat means that the Lions are still looking for their first official win since beating Myanmar at the start of June. They are fast running out of time to boost their confidence ahead of their Suzuki Cup opener against co-hosts Philippines on Nov. 19.

Although they were held to a 0-0 draw against Malaysia last Friday, the Singaporeans had performed admirably, and looked as though they would continue in the same vein on Tuesday.

With Irfan Fandi, the eldest son of Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad, given a first senior cap, the visitors showed plenty of energy and initiative in the opening exchanges.

Hariss Harun was a powerful force in the engine room, Khairul Amri was trying to find openings in the attacking third, and Irfan even had a decent chance shortly before the half-hour mark. But he glanced a header harmlessly wide from a Madhu Mohana cross.

However, the hosts gradually forced their way into the contest, and issued their first warning sign in the 33rd minute.

Catching the opposition defence napping, Sandro threaded a neat through-pass to Akande. But Lions' keeper Izwan Mahbud was alert to the danger, and raced off his line to deny the Kitchee striker.

The visitors should have learnt from that close shave. But their failure to do so saw Hong Kong break the deadlock eight minutes later.

It was another visionary pass that made the difference. Lam Ka Wai lofted the ball between Daniel Bennett and Baihakki Khaizan, and into the path of Akande. He did well to control the bouncing ball before coolly firing into the far corner.

Buoyed at taking the lead, and with the majority of the 4,136 fans cheering them on, the hosts looked the likelier of the two sides to score after the break.

But Singapore did have an opportunity to equalise in the 69th minute when the lively Iqbal Hussain latched onto Shakir Hamzah's cross. He did well to create space for himself on the turn, only to blast wide of the near post.

Just a minute later, Hong Kong got the sealer they were looking for. Roberto's floated pass was nodded down by Jaimes McKee to Akande, who turned provider by laying the ball off for Huang to drill an unstoppable effort past Izwan.

Deep into injury-time, the Lions had three chances to pull a goal back.

First, Iqbal had a snapshot that forced Yapp into a flying reflex save. That was followed by Yasir Hanapi sending a free header off target from the resultant corner.

Right at the death, Yasir, who showed positive signs after coming on as a substitute, had another opening. He effortlessly brought down a high ball but could only fire wide on the turn, spurning the final opportunity to at least salvage some pride for the visitors.

Hong Kong: Yapp Hung Fai, Cheng King Ho, Festus Baise (Andy Russell 65'), Helio, Lee Hong Lim (Leung Chun Pong 78'), Huang Yang (Lo Kwan Yee 87'), Lam Ka Wai (Jaimes McKee 65'), Sandro (Wong Wai 77'), Xu Deshuai (Roberto 65'), Godfred Karikari, Alex Akande

Singapore: Izwan Mahbud, Madhu Mohana (Faris Ramli 80'), Baihakki Khaizan (Fahrudin Mustafic 58'), Daniel Bennett, Shakir Hamzah, Iqbal Hussain, M. Anumanthan, Hariss Harun (Izzdin Shafiq 64'), Gabriel Quak (Shawal Anuar 77'), Irfan Fandi (Faritz Hameed 59'), Khairul Amri (Yasir Hanapi 78')