Cambodia inflicted a painful stab into the hearts of Singapore football fans right in the home of Singapore football when they turned out 2-0 winners in the third and fourth placing Merlion Cup match.
Always considered the minnows of regional football, the Keisuke-Honda led side ensured that the tables were turned at the Jalan Besar Stadium, a result which will long be remembered by fans who follow Singapore football.
The last time the Young Lions were ignominiously served a painful result at this level was at the Southeast Asian Games in 2015, when Indonesia knocked hosts Singapore out of the competition by a solitary goal before a Jalan Besar Stadium which was packed to the rafters.
With Singapore not having made the semi-finals of the biennial SEA Games since 2013, and with Singapore seemingly unable to defeat the likes of Cambodia, the road ahead will be a long and painful one for Singapore football fans, where disappointments will be a norm and not an exception.
Two goals by Vouen Va and Ky Rina within the first half hour of the match were enough for the Cambodians, host for the upcoming SEA Games in May, to claim the third spot in the Merlion Cup, which Singapore won in 2019.
Jordan Emawive saved Singapore’s blushes with a set-piece in the middle of the second 45, claiming what turned out to be nothing but scant consolation.
The Cambodians had lost 4-2 to Malaysia in the first match, while Singapore’s Young Lions were beaten 1-0 by Hong Kong.
Talent on the field aside, shouldn’t the bigwigs at the Football Association of Singapore also be questioning the ability of coach Philippe Aw?
What are his credentials at leading a national youth side and does he have the necessary skills and experience to bring the U22 to the next level?
The Young Lions at the upcoming SEA Games will be one of the least experienced ever fielded by Singapore at the biennial games.
In terms of experience, the same can be said about the coach as well, which does not augur well.
MAIN PHOTO: FAS
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