Ten-man Lions hold Philippines to goal-less draw
Singapore ground out a hard-fought goal-less draw in their opening AFF Suzuki Cup match against hosts Philippines on Saturday night.
The Lions will be pleased with the point, after playing with only 10 men for almost an hour, when Hafiz Sujad was dismissed in the 34th minute for a high boot on Phil Younghusband near the halfway line.
The Philippines dominated possession thereafter but were unable to convert their chances.
Substitute Hikaru Minegishi had the best opportunities to put the home side ahead.
The 25-year-old second-half substitute almost scored with his first touch in the 47th minute but in-form Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny pulled off a fine save.
On the hour mark, Stephan Schrock found himself with time and space in the penalty box but Juma'at Jantan's last-ditch block took the sting out of his shot.
Nine minutes from time, Minegishi should have buried home the winning goal, but he skied his effort from close range.
The attacking midfielder was thwarted again by Hassan during time added-on, as Singapore's defence desperately held their ground.
Said Singapore captain Hariss Harun after the match: ""It was a disciplined performance (by us). We held well and we will now look forward to our next game."
Singapore play Thailand in their next Group A game on Tuesday, while Philippines will take on Indonesia later that day.