News • July 14, 2014

Courts Young Lions’ Sahil Strikes For Singapore Against FC Brno

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Written by: Khalis Rifhan

Singapore put on a brave and commendable performance in their 2-2 draw against FC Zbrojovka Brno, a top-flight professional team from the Czech premier league in a friendly match in Austria on Saturday.  FC Brno finished 9th out of 16 teams in the Czech’s premier division in the 2013-2014 season.

Bernd Stange’s side drew first blood courtesy of a Khairul Amri’s strike. FC Brno levelled things up through Pavel Mezlik from the penalty spot.

Courts Young Lions forward Sahil Suhaimi regained the one-goal lead for Singapore on the hour mark but the match ended in a draw as Tomas Brigant netted the equaliser in the dying minutes of the match.

“The weather is definitely different over here in Austria. Training have been good and we adapt well to it. I like to play with these higher standard teams and learn as much as I could,” commented Sahil after the match.

While Stange praised the players for their performance, he pointed out the areas which his side need to improve on.

“It was a good team performance on the whole. I’m delighted to see the best football the team has played in a year for the first 60 minutes of the game,” said Stange.

“We  dominated, kept possession, and scored goals. But we lacked a little bit of fitness from the 60th minute onwards. We had to slow down and play more defensive football.”

The Lions looked unfazed in the opening exchanges against the Czech side, and matched them in terms of possession and fifty-fifty challenges.

The Lions defence also coped well whenever FC Brno was in possession with Baihakki Khaizan, Hariss Harun and Hassan Sunny doing very well. Although both sides created good chances at either end, it was Singapore who took the lead in the 43rd minute, when Shahril Ishak displayed some excellent footwork to set up Amri.

Amri did well to bring the ball under control and finishing it past the keeper Martin Dolezal.

Early in the second half, there was a penalty call for Singapore which was waved away by the referee. Almost immediately after, FC Brno was awarded a penalty when Baihakki was adjudged to have brought down a FC Brno attacker in the area. Mezlik made no mistake from the spot to bring the score to 1-1.

Singapore took the lead again in the 60th minute when Faritz Hameed raced down the right hand side and sent a perfectly-weighted cross to Shahil, who nodded the ball past the goalkeeper.

However, the Lions were unfortunately unable to keep the lead when Brigant scored a long-range shot into the top corner in the 90th minute.

The latter stages of the match saw Stange shifting players and trying out new tactics and he was pleased with what he saw from his team.

“For the last 30 minutes, I gave the instruction to focus on counter-attacks, and we had a great chance to score the third goal when we had two-against-one situation with Fazrul and Shahril,” explained the German

“But I think 2-2 is a fair result as both teams played on the same level, and we had an entertaining match which was fast-paced and of very high intensity. It is a good result but we expect tougher games ahead for the remainder of the trip.”

Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK) (Izwan Mahbud 45’), Shaiful Esah (Shakir Hamzah in 56’),  Baihakki Khaizan, Gabriel Quak (Adam Swandi in 85’), Shahdan Sulaiman, Faritz Hameed,  Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak (C), Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 72’), Safuwan Baharudin, Zulfahmi Arifin (Sahil Suhaimi 45’)