Three and easy for Fandi's fledglings
Singapore trounce the Philippines in Merlion Cup opener, real test awaits in Sunday's final against Thailand
|SINGAPORE U-22||PHILIPPINES U-22|
|(Amiruldin Asraf 26, Irfan Fandi 62,
Ikhsan Fandi 67)
An easy 3-0 win over the Philippines at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday (June 7) put Singapore through to Sunday's Merlion Cup final, where they will face Thailand.
Singapore took the lead in the 26th minute when striker Amiruldin Asraf capitalised on a weak back-pass from centre-back Pete Forrosuelo to blast the ball past custodian Michael Asong.
In the 62nd minute, midfielder Hami Syahin floated a free-kick towards the far post, where a towering Irfan Fandi headed the ball in.
Just five minutes later, winger Daniel Goh tore down the right flank and crossed for an unmarked Ikhsan Fandi to score with an easy tap-in.
Philippines coach Anto Gonzales said: “We expected a tough game and we got one. We had eight new players who didn’t blend in immediately, especially defensively in the first half.
"We’ll have to make those adjustments in the next game.”
With his two oldest sons Irfan and Ikhsan among the scorers, Singapore coach Fandi Ahmad was naturally pleased with the win, saying: “We started creating chances from set-pieces which are our strength. Defensively, we are still not that tight and need to improve on that (on Sunday).”
Singapore's next opponents Thailand defeated Indonesia 2-1 in the earlier match.
The final of the Under-22 tournament will take place at 7.30pm on Sunday at Jalan Besar Stadium, after the third-placing match between Indonesia and the Philippines at 4.30pm.