| JAKARTA (11 July 2008) – An early goal from Ahmed Isa Ali gave Bahrain a well-deserved 1-0 win over Singapore on the second match day of the AFF Under-16 Youth Championships here at the Stadion Lebak Bulus.
A quick counter-attack on the very first minute of play allowed Ahmed to slam the ball home as Bahrain picked up their first three points of the competition and Singapore slumped to their second loss in as many matches.
“It was a difficult game as both teams had lost their first match of the competition on the first day,” said Zouaoui Hosni, the head coach for Bahrain.
“So the game this afternoon is not that attractive in terms of tactics as both teams were under pressure. The most important was the three points and keeping a close tab on what happened to the other teams.”
Singapore started off confidently but Muhammad Muhaymin Salim failed to get the last touch which would have surely given them the lead.
That failure would soon turn out to haunt them as off a quick counter-attack, Bahrain went 1-0 up when Ahmed poked the ball in after picking up a cross from Ali Habib Haji.
Bahrain pushed harder after going in front with Mohamed Adel Alyasi testing Singapore keeper Mouhammad Syazwan Buhari with a stiff grounder while five minutes later, a shot from lanky defender Sayed Hashem Adnan Mahfood was denied.
The substitution for striker Muhammad Danial Razali after the break brought pace to Singapore and three minutes into the second half, saw his shot beating Bahrain custodian Naser Yahya Mahboob only to see it coming off the crossbar instead.
In the 56th minute, Danial’s grounder missed the upright as Bahrain then rallied to come back into the game off the hard work from Habib.
The closest Bahrain came to adding to the score line was off Ahmed, whose attempt hit the woodwork in the closing stages of what was a largely entertaining tie.
And for the second time, Singapore had another player red-carded when Muhammad Shahfiq Ghani picked up his second yellow card in the same match.
This follows the matching orders suffered by Muhammad Firman Mohd Hanif on the first day of the competition.
“Again, our players did not concentrate well, evident by the fact that we conceded the goal early,” added Masanaga Kageyama, the head coach for Singapore.
“Danial just joined the team yesterday and he did make the difference to our game today. It was just unfortunate that we could not score a goal after two matches.”
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