Singapore leave it late against Myanmar

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Singapore coach V. Sundramoorthy was in a positive mood following his side’s 1-1 draw with Myanmar in a friendly at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night, despite the Lions scraping a draw with an injury-time goal.

Aung Thu’s 65th minute goal looked like it would settle matters until Nazrul Nazari popped up in the 94th minute to volley home the equaliser from Khairul Nizam’s cross.

The result left Sundram reasonably pleased ahead of Saturday’s crucial home AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Taiwan.

“We were the better team today, possession-wise and stats-wise,” Sundramoorthy said after the match. “On the break, [Myanmar] had a couple chances… they are fast paced. For their quick break, we put too many players in the box, then the corner wasn’t delivered in. It was outside, and we were a bit short numbered.

“But we equalised, and it’s a boost for our morale. It’s an excellent cross by Nizam and Nazrul scored a great first-time goal. So, there’s players who are showing me that they’re up for selection, which is good to see.”

The Lions dominated the game and could have won had their notoriously goal-shy attack managed to convert one of several clear cut chances.

Half-time sub Safuwan Baharudin hit the bar once while Faritz Hameed missed a glorious chance when he poked wide from close range when it looked easier to score.

Singapore have struggled in front of goal under Sundram’s, with just seven goals in 14 games, but he remained optimistic ahead of Saturday’s important clash.

“[Not scoring] is always a concern, but the most important thing is that we hit the target a few times,” said the 51-year-old.

“On another day, we could have scored three. The goalkeeper made an excellent save from Safuwan. And how Faritz missed that chance, I don’t know, how he missed that chance, maybe the ball bobbled. But whatever, I think we had the better chances overall.”

A win over Taiwan would put Singapore in a strong position to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup which will be held in the UAE.

However, Sundram refused to underestimate Taiwan, who lie below the Lions in the FIFA rankings at 160th.

“They have improved so much and have good attacking players. The performance on the day is the key to us winning the game,” he said.