Gritty Lions hold Jordan to 0-0 draw
Singapore held world No. 98 Jordan to a 0-0 draw at the Amman International Stadium on Sunday (Oct 6), earning their first clean sheet in six matches as they prepare for the World Cup qualifier against 70th-ranked Saudi Arabia in Buraidah five days later.
Lions coach Tatsuma Yoshida handed first international starts to midfielder Hami Syahin, 20, and forward Fareez Farhan, 25, injecting more youthful exuberance into a side that had beaten Palestine 2-1 and drawn 2-2 with Yemen at home last month.
Pressing from the front, the Lions kept frustrating the hosts, who are 59 places higher on the Fifa rankings.
Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny was hardly troubled in goal, with centre-backs Irfan Fandi and Safuwan Baharudin resolute in keeping Jordanian dangerman Baha Seif at bay.
In the second half, Yoshida also handed Geylang International defender Darren Teh, 23, and Balestier Khalsa midfielder Hazzuwan Halim, 25, their debuts, taking a look at more options before facing the Saudis.
“We could try some things and prepare for Saudi Arabia,” Yoshida said on the Football Association of Singapore website. “We used two formations but the game was difficult; Jordan are very strong physically and their technique is also good.”
On the other end, though, the Lions had few chances, with a free-kick from Safuwan that went over being one of the closest they got to scoring.
“Our attack (can be better), especially the transition from defence to attack,” said Yoshida. “If we always clear (the ball) when we win the ball… (and) the opponents play well, maybe we cannot get the ball.”