Football

S'pore U-15s flop at AFF tourney in Thailand

Five games, five defeats, 16 goals conceded and zero scored.

The national Under-15 football team had a forgettable AFF Under-15 Championship campaign, where they exited the group stage as the worst-performing team in the competition.

The tournament features the youth teams of 11 Asean nations and Australia.

Singapore were in Group A with group winners and hosts Thailand, second-placed Australia, Myanmar, Laos and Indonesia.

Minnows Timor Leste, whose senior team are ranked 196th out of 211 in the world by Fifa, were also booted out of the tournament without scoring a goal.

But at least they picked up a point after a goalless draw with Brunei in Group B.

Singapore's U-15 boys, who are coached by Sofiyan Abdul Hamid, opened the tournament with a 2-0 defeat by Cambodia on July 9.

THRASHED

Two days later, they were thrashed 8-0 by Australia.

The Cubs then saw out the rest of their tournament with three 2-0 losses - to Myanmar (July 13), Thailand (July 15) and Indonesia on Monday.

In response to The New Paper's queries, a Football Association of Singapore spokesman said: "Technical director Michel Sablon would need to have discussions internally before giving a proper accounting of what happened in Thailand.

"He requests for a little time and will meet the media soon to answer all queries."

The AFF U-15 Championship is seen as as a warm-up tournament for Asean nations before they compete in the AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers in September.

Singapore are in Group J along with Japan, Malaysia and Guam.

The matches are scheduled to take place in Bekasi, Indonesia, from Sept 20 to 24.

The 10 group winners and six best second-placed finishers, will qualify for the Finals next year.

- SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ