JAKARTA (18 Nov 2011) – It’s back to the drawing board for Singapore when they narrowly missed a place in the semi-finals of the meet this year. The Young Lions have been the bronze medallist at the last two SEA Games in 2007 and 2009.
But this time round, being placed in a tough Group A against defending champions Malaysia, hosts Indonesia, powerhouse Thailand and Cambodia was always going to be tough.
However, the Young Lions put up several strong performances where after holding Malaysia to a scoreless draw in the first game, they then beat Cambodia 2-1 for the first three points in the group.
And despite losing to the hosts 2-0 in their third tie, the Singaporean bounced back to beat 13-times SEA Games champions Thailand 2-0 to rake up seven points from four matches.
“Despite the determination showed by our boys throughout, we did not achieve our pre-tournament target of reaching the final,” said Zainudin Nordin, the president of the FA of Singapore (FAS).
“When the SEA Games draw was made, we knew It was going to be a tough road ahead with most of ASEAN’s strongest football nations especially at age-group level, like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia all sitting in the same group as us.
“From our initial roster of players under consideration for the SEA Games squad, a number of our key players like Hariss Harun, Safuwan Baharudin, Fazli Ayob, Gabriel Quak and Raihan Rahman were unable to train on a regular basis due to their national service commitments, which we acknowledge comes first.
“We fought against time as the team officials worked hard to formulate tactical plans and prepare the team while awaiting clearance for these key players to be excused from national service duties so as to ready themselves competitively to participate in the tournament.”
Slobodan Pavkovic, the chief coach of Singapore, said that the immediate task would be to evaluate the positives and negatives from the SEA Games campaign.
“When the draw was made, we knew we were up against very good opponents in Group A and worked towards preparing the team for the tournament,” added Pavkovic..
“You could see against Thailand, the team was fighting for every ball and were really up for the challenge to get the result we were searching for. Our finishing in front of goal could have been better but it was good to see the number of scoring opportunities we created throughout the match.
It was a very good performance by the boys and I am pleased for them. You cannot fault their effort tonight and throughout the tournament, they followed the game plans we had and tried their very best.”
SEA GAMES 2011 SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES
GELORA BUNG KARNO
|Loser||vs||Loser 2nd Semis||1600 hrs||
GELORA BUNG KARNO