Group B: S'pore survive Myanmar fight-back to win 4-2
(Kyaw Zayar Win 55, Kyaw Ko Ko 62-pen)
(Shaiful Esah 16, Hariss Harun 34, 42, Khin Maung Lwin 75-og)
Singapore survived a second-half scare to post a 4-2 victory over Myanmar in their Suzuki Cup Group B clash at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
Coach Bernd Stange fielded an unchanged line-up from the side that lost narrowly to Thailand on Sunday as he sought to get the crucial win to kickstart their campaign.
While Myanmar threatened to catch the Lions off guard in the opening exchanges with their pace, Singapore found their feet and asserted themselves as Shaiful Esah put the hosts in front with a curling free-kick after 16 minutes.
Hariss Harun doubled the lead 18 minutes later with a sumptuous volley from the edge of the box after he controlled a Faris Ramli cross with his chest.
The Lions' midfield general struck again three minutes before the break as he volleyed home from the box when Myanmar failed to deal with a Singapore corner.
While Stange's men looked to have the clear upper hand at the break, Myanmar coach Raddy Avramovic's half-time team talk clearly achieved its intended effect as the White Angels returned to the pitch with a renewed spirit.
Good build-up play in the 52nd minute led to Kyaw Zayar Win slotting home Myanmar's first goal after a delightful one-two with Min Min Thu in the Lions' penalty box.
Former Singapore boss Avramovic then saw his side reduce the deficit to one goal seven minutes later when Safuwan Baharudin conceded a penalty by taking out Kyaw Ko Ko.
The Myanmar No. 10 then dusted himself off to take the spot-kick, sending Hassan Sunny diving the wrong way as he slammed the ball down the middle.
While the visitors grew in confidence, Singapore re-emerged from their shells to contain their opponents' threat.
They secured the result in the 75th minute when Khin Maung Lwin deflected a Shaiful free-kick past his own goalkeeper to make it 4-2.
Despite the victory, there were two injury concerns for Stange. Sahdan Sulaiman fractured and dislocated his right ankle when Khairul Amri fell on his foot in the first half while defender Ismadi Mukhtar was also forced off soon after with an injury.
Singapore now have a good chance of advancing to the semi-finals from Group B, with a draw with Malaysia sufficient to see them through if Myanmar cannot beat Thailand by five goals on Saturday.