Tag Archives: Illyas Lee

Newsbreak: Heartbreak for Singapore as Cubs lose 0-2 to Haiti in YOG football semis

The report:

Okay, I am disappointed by the result tonight but I think I will refrain from berating the Cubs for losing to Haiti. The boys clearly gave their all and I guess it didn’t help matters that there was so much hype about them leading up to tonight’s semi-final.

I am sure they were weighed down by all the sudden public adulation and expectations of an easy win.  Besides, they are just 15-year-olds  and have a long learning journey ahead of them. I still look forward to seeing many of them playing for the Lions one day.

I am impressed by the Haitians though. For a bunch of lads playing at Under-15 level, they certainly tackled as hard as adults and resorted to trickery, play-acting and blatant time-wasting tactics like seasoned conmen.

Well done, lah.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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S’pore fall 0-2 to Haiti

(The Straits Times Online, 22 Aug 2010)

By Gerard Wong

SINGAPORE’S dreams of reaching the Youth Olympic Games football final crumbled to dust in front of a packed Jalan Besar Stadium as the Cubs fell to a shock 0-2 loss to Haiti in the semi-finals on Sunday night.

The Cubs went in as the favourites after beating Zimbabwe 3-1 and Montenegro 3-2 in their group matches. Haiti, on the other hand, had squeaked into the semis after coming from behind to beat Vanuatu 2-1. They had been thrashed 0-9 by Bolivia in their first group match.

But it was Haiti who triumphed in the end, thanks to their guile, poor finishing by the Singapore attack and two mistakes by the Cubs’ defence. Singapore gradually dominated the match after a cagey opening 10 minutes but missed two wonderful opportunities to score.

Midfielder Ammirul Mazlan dived to connect with Jonathan Tan’s inswinging freekick in the 19th minute but headed just wide. Two minutes later, Hanafi Mohd Akbar brilliantly dribbled past two Haiti defenders before whipping a cross to the unmarked Brandon Koh at the far post but the midfielder headed upwards in front of an open goal.

Hanafi Mohd Akbar also missed a chance to score in the 30th minute when his low shot was palmed away by Haiiti goalkeeper Jeff Petit Frere. A lapse by Singapore goalkeeper Fashah Rosedin three minutes before the break then gave Haiti a shock lead and dealt a psychological blow to the Cubs.

The 15-year-old – who was also at fault when Montenegro scored their first goal on Thursday – looked like he had Bertrand Vilgrain’s 37th-minute shot safely gathered. But he inexplicably let the ball slip out of his hands and an unmarked Jean Bonhomme pounced to head the ball into the net to silence the 6,000-strong crowd.

Singapore went all out in the second half in search of the equaliser but were frustrated by Haiti’s decision to pack their defence and their time-wasting tactics. Although the Haitians did succeed in unsettling and frustrating the Cubs by easily falling to the ground upon contact, to their credit, they also looked dangerous on the counter-attack and threatened to score on a number of occasions through Bonhomme.

The Haiti striker would eventually create the 78th-minute goal that sealed the win for his country. He had beaten one Singapore defender and was shaping to shoot in the box when Singapore defender Illyas Lee barged into him from behind. Bonhomme went to ground and Hungarian referee Istvan Vad did not hesitate in pointing to the spot. He also showed Illyas the red card.

Haiti skipper Daniel Gideon then slotted the ball past Fashah to make it a magical night for his team. Haiti will now face Bolivia in the final on Wednesday. The South Americans had earlier defeated Montenegro 3-1 in the other sem-final. The result means that Singapore and Montenegro will meet again on the same day for the bronze medal.

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Newsbreak: S’pore beat Montenegro 3-2, to meet Haiti in semis

My thoughts:

Did you catch the Singapore-Montenegro match on television tonight?

My word, watching the Singapore Cubs in action and seeing the packed terraces gave me a severe attack of the goosebumps and brought back some good memories of a Singapore national football team that I once knew and supported fervently

Looking at the composition of the team — a mix of Malays, Chinese and Eurasians — made me think of the Lions of the 1980s and early 1990s, before the Football Association of Singapore started recruiting foreign-born players for the Lions and turning them into naturalised citizens.

(Let’s hope some fine Indian players or raw gems will be discovered and unearthed soon to add to this potentially potent mix)

Well done, lads. Good show tonight.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll see you guys not only in the YOG final but also in the senior team in the years to come.

Singapore boleh! Local talents boleh!

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

The report:

S’pore beat Montenegro

(The Straits Times Online, 19 Aug 2010)

A LATE goal by midfielder Brandon Koh gave Singapore a 3-2 win over Montenegro in a thrilling Youth Olympic Games boys’ football Group D clash at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.

The crucial win sends the Cubs to the top of the group and means that Singapore will now avoid free-scoring Bolivia, the top team in Group C, in Sunday’s semi-finals. Instead, Singapore will face Haiti who defeated Vanuatu 2-1 in an earlier match on Thursday night to finish second in Group C, while Montenegro will face the South Americans.

In front of a roaring capacity crowd of 5,850, which included Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and three other ministers, Singapore got off to a dream start when they took a shock lead in the second minute. The goal was created by midfielder Mohd Hanafi who sent striker Suhaimi Muhaimin through on goal with an incisive pass.

Suhaimi – who scored twice in Singapore’s 3-1 win over Zimbabwe last Friday – then brought the fans on their feet when he squeezed past his two markers before slotting the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Marko Kordic. But Montenegro struck back six minutes later to silence the partisan crowd.

Singapore goalkeeper Fashah Rosedin was clearly at fault for the goal. Montenegro skipper Nebojsa Kosovic had floated a harmless-looking freekick into the Singapore box which onrushing teammate Aleksandar Boljevic failed to connect with his head. But instead of making an easy save, Fashah inexplicably fumbled the ball into the net.

Montenegro then made it 2-1 after they were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute. Referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot after deciding that Singapore defender Illyas Lee had raised his boot too high when challenging Boljevic for the ball. Kosovic then calmly slotted the ball into the net to give his country a 2-1 lead.

But Singapore skipper Jeffrey Lightfoot gave the Cubs a huge psychological boost when he headed in the equaliser in the 35th minute during a corner. Montenegro goalkeeper Kordic had weakly palmed the inswinging corner away but quick-thinking Brandon Koh bicycle-kicked the ball back into the danger area. An unmarked Lightfoot then ran in to head the ball into the empty net to bring the crowd to their feet again.

Singapore goalkeeper Fashah then redeemed himself in the second-half with several brave and good saves but the turning point for Singapore came in the 63rd minute when Montenegro midfielder Nickola Jovanovic was sent off for punching Mazlan Ammirul while both were on the ground. Singapore piled on the pressure after that and the Cubs’ aggression were eventually rewarded in the 74th minute.

Montenegro defender Danilo Sarkic had robbed Mohd Hanafi of the ball at the edge of box but undid all his good work by sending a weak back pass to his goalkeeper. Seeing the golden opportunity, Brandon sprinted in to slot the ball past Kordic to spark wild celebrations in the stands.

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