Shakir, Safuwan score as Singapore pip Palestine 2-1
|(Shakir Hamzah 3,
Safuwan Baharudin 39)
|(Yaser Hamed Mayor 13)|
Singapore bagged the first win of their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign, upsetting Palestine 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday (Sept 10).
Palestine, who sit 60 rungs higher than 162nd-ranked Singapore in the Fifa rankings, came into the match on a high after stunning world No. 84 Uzbekistan 2-0 in their opening Group D match last Thursday.
Singapore, meanwhile, were impressive in their opener against Yemen, but could only muster a 2-2 draw at the National Stadium on the same day.
On Tuesday, the Lions went one better to give new coach Tatsuma Yoshida his first competitive win since taking over in May.
In front of a sell-out crowd of 6,011, Singapore went ahead after just three minutes, following some frenetic pressing saw them win the ball in the Palestine box, before left wing-back Shakir Hamzah rifled home.
As was the case against Yemen, Singapore were pegged back soon after as Yasser Hamed Mayor scored past Izwan Mahbud just 10 minutes later.
But the Lions regained their lead six minutes before half-time as Safuwan Baharudin rose highest to meet a corner with a powerful header.
Next up for the Lions next month are Group D’s big guns - world No. 68 Saudi Arabia, who qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and Uzbekistan.