SINGAPORE — Singapore's men's football team gave themselves a fighting chance to advance out of the SEA Games group stage, after a narrow 1-0 victory over Cambodia on Wednesday (11 May) at the Thien Truong Stadium in Vietnam.
A 36th-minute header by Saifullah Akbar, following fine interplay between the forward and midfielder Shah Shahiran, gave the Young Lions the precious three points needed to keep themselves in contention of finishing among the top two spots in Group B.
Singapore National Olympic Council president Tan Chuan-Jin, who watched the match from the stands, praised the Singapore team's battling performance against their fast-improving opponents.
"Told our boys thank you and well done for fighting hard all the way to the end," he wrote. "All I have asked for our Team Singapore warriors from any sport is to give their best and more, and to never ever give up."
Following a 2-2 draw with Laos and a 0-5 defeat by Thailand in their opening two matches, Singapore had to win their remaining two games against Cambodia and Malaysia - and hopes results go in their favour - to advance to the semi-finals for the first time since the 2013 Naypyidaw Games.
They will face Malaysia in their final group match on Saturday.
Singapore has never won the men's football gold medal at the SEA Games, ever since they began taking part in the competition in 1965. The last time they reached the final was back in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur.