Ahad, Disember 02, 2012

Malaysia, Singapore make AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final

Malaysia, Singapore make AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final
Singapore relief after vital victory
Football: Singapore, Malaysia advance to AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals

Malaysia, Singapore make AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final
KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 2, 2012): Malaysia beat Indonesia 2-0 to make the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 semi-final in a Group B match at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here last night.

The win put 'Harimau Malaya' second in Group B with six points behind Singapore who also collected six points but top the group on goal difference. Singapore beat Laos 4-3 in another group B match at Shah Alam Stadium tonight.

As Group B runner-up, Malaysia will face Thailand who won Group A in the semi-final to be held here on Dec 9 and in Bangkok on Dec 13. The other semi-final will be between Singapore and Group A runner-up, the Philippines on Dec 8 and Dec 12.

Despite Malaysia's win, it was Indonesia who started well when Samsul Arif Munip shot wide from outside the penalty box as early as the 3rd minute.

Three minutes later, Malaysia's defence was once again tested but quick action by goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias denied an attempt by Indonesian midfielder Taufiq. Indonesia again came close in the 17th minute when Irfan Bachdim shot form inside the penalty box but the ball was pushed out by Mohd Farizal.

Malaysia's first chance came in the 19th minute through a header by Mohd Safee Sali but it was pushed out by Indonesian goalkeeper Wahyu Tri Nugroho. The effort encouraged Malaysia to press on and was rewarded in the 26th minute when a cross from Mahali Jasuli was finished by Azammuddin Mohd Akil.

Three minutes later, Mahali got on the score sheet when he dribbled pass the Indonesian defence before unleashing a shot in the penalty box for Malaysia's second goal.

Stung by the two goals, Indonesia replaced captain Elie Aiboy with Andik Vermansah (Indonesian Messi) but the Malaysian defence remained solid.

After the break, Indonesia came looking for goals but it was Malaysia who got the best chance in the 50th minute and 73rd minute via Mohd Safee.

In Shah Alam, as predicted Singapore managed to collect three points after beating Laos 4-3 in another group B match. However, it was Laos who drew first blood when Khampheng Sayavutthi scored in the 21st minute.

Laos' second goal was scored by Keoviengphet Liththideth in the 40th minute. However, the joy was shortlived as Singapore came storming with four goals via Mohammad Shahril Ishak (45th,53rd) Khairul Amri (64th) and Fazrul Nawaz (66th).

Laos reduced the deficit in the 82nd minute when Khampheng Sayavutthi scored from the penalty spot. – Bernama

Singapore relief after vital victory

Radojko Avramovic feels Singapore almost contributed to their own downfall after they had to come from behind to beat Laos 4-3 and reach the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals.

Needing only to avoid defeat to claim a place in the last four, Singapore were sensationally 2-0 down within 40 minutes of their Group B game at the Shah Alam Stadium as Khampheng Sayavutthi and Keoviengpheth Lithideth made the most of some shocking defending to score.

Lions captain Shahril Ishak, who was winning his 100th cap, reduced the deficit before half-time and then doubled his haul after 53 minutes, before further strikes from Khairul Amri and Fazrul Nawaz eventually saw Singapore claim all three points and earn themselves a two-legged semi-final clash against the Philippines.

Speaking to reports after the match, Avramovic, although delighted with Singapore's progress, declared that it was his side's own errors which had made the result much harder to achieve than it should have been.

"I don't think we underestimated Laos because we have been talking about them for the past few days, how they have improved and how this was going to be a hard game'" the Serbian explained.

"Laos played exactly how we expected them to - push up players in numbers and surprise us. But we helped them in some way.

"We started well, but then we started to watch the game rather than play. In any game, when you give opponents the time to receive and pass the ball, you are asking for trouble and you will be punished," Avramovic added.

Singapore, winners of the competition on three previous occasions, will travel to the Philippines for the first leg of their semi-final match against the Azkals on December 8. The return leg is scheduled to take place in Singapore four days later.

With a Suzuki Cup final potentially only two games away, Avramovic believes his charges will need no extra motivation heading into the game in Manila.

"If I need to specially motivate the boys to reach the final, then something is wrong," he declared.

"They have to be up for it and I think if we go through, we will most probably meet Thailand in the final"

Thailand play Malaysia in the other last four encounter.


Football: Singapore, Malaysia advance to AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals
KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore and Malaysia are through to the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup after winning their respective matches against Laos and Indonesia on Saturday.

Singapore ensured their place in the semi-finals after beating Laos 4-3 in their final Group B encounter on Saturday evening.

They will take on the Philippines in their semi-final tie on December 8.

In the other Group B match, Malaysia beat Indonesia 2-0 to secure its semi-final spot against Thailand.

Singapore had to come from behind to pick a plucky Laotian side.

Laos took the lead in the 21st minute when Khampheng Sayavutthi scored with an easy tap in from Soukaphone Vongchiengkham cross.

And five minutes before the break, it was 2-0 to Laos, thanks to a brilliant solo effort by striker Keoviengphet Liththideth.

Singapore's captain Shahril Ishak pulled one back for the Lions to make it 2-1 going into the break.

A second goal from Shahril in the 53rd minute saw the floodgates open.

Two quick goals by Khairul Amri in the 63rd minute and Fazrul Nawaz, two minutes later put Singapore 4-2 in the lead.

Nine minutes from time, Laos earned a penalty to reduce the deficit but it was not enough to deny Singapore the three points and a semi-final berth. -