Tag Archives: South Korea

Singapore’s hockey teens finish sixth in U-18 Asia Cup

Heartiest congratulations to our national boys’ hockey team for finishing sixth out of 10 teams at the recent Boys Under-18 Asia Cup in Myanmar which ended on Nov 21.

The Singapore Hockey Federation had set the team the target of finishing fifth or sixth, and our lion-hearted hockey teens duly delivered.

Singapore was grouped with Taiwan, South Korea, Myanmar and Japan, and got their campaign off to a confidence-boosting  start with a 3-0 win over Taiwan.

But they were beaten by the Koreans 0-3 in their next game.

The Republic then brushed aside host Myanmar 4-0, a result which meant a chance at qualifying for the semi-finals if they could beat Japan in their final game.

However, it was not to be. Singapore gave it their all but  the cautious Japanese, needing only a draw to reach the semis, did just that.

Singapore was thus edged out of a spot in the semis by goal difference, and found themselves drawn to face India in the fifth-sixth place play-offs.

India were the defending champions of the competition but a poor showing in the group stages saw them missing out on the semis. The gulf in standards between the two countries was clear as India ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.

According to its website, the Singapore Hockey Federation said it was satisfied with the team’s performances and results, and take them as signs that the Republic is gradually bridging the gap between them and the region’s powerhouses.

So well done, guys, and good job.

I was not able to provide regular updates on the results as it was  practically impossible to find information about how you guys were doing in the tournament. There was no coverage of U-18 Asia Cup it in the local and even in the Malaysian newspapers. I guess the Malaysians were more caught up with their men’s senior team’s efforts to try to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

But from the looks of the scores that Singapore recorded at the tournament, it looks like our boys had a decent outing which they could be proud of.

You can go to here and here for more information about how we fared in the tournament.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Previous report:

12 Nov 2009: Singapore’s lion-hearted hockey teens are back in action again

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Asian Youth Games: All the results from the first round of football matches

Here are the results of the first round of the Asian Youth Games’ football tournament which ended today. As hosts, Singapore was given the privilege of a direct entry into the next round of the competition which begins on 27 June:  

Group A:

Iran 6 Taiwan 0

(Iran’s scorers: Saeid Aghaei Nojehdeh, 10th, 34th, Mehdi Pourdadashvend, 21st, Siavash Haghnazari, 40th, Armin Sohrabian, 45th, Seyadreza Mirahmadi, 71st)

* Iran goes through to the next round. The third team, the Philippines, has been ruled out of the tournament after being quarantined for the H1N1 virus

Group B:

South Korea 2 Pakistan 0

(South Korea: Choi Jaehua 10th, Kim Su Bin, 44th, pen)

China 7 Myanmar 3

(China: Wang Chengkuai, 2nd, 12th, Liang Xueming, 8th, 39th, Wang Yiran, 55th, 63rd, Xiao Yufeng, 72nd),

(Myanmar: Htwe Aung Myo, 14th, 44th, 64th)

Pakistan 0-0 China

South Korea 5 Myanmar 1

(South Korea: Lee Woo Seok, 17th, Jeong Chung Geun, 22nd, Min Arkar, 50th, own goal, Kim Gun Hee, 51st, Kim Young Gyu, 56th)

( Myanmar: Tun Zaw Win, 67th)

South Korea  3 China 2

(South Korea: Kim Sun Bin, 11th, Lee Hui Chan, 37th, Suh Myeongwon, 41st)

(China: Yan Peng, 12th, Xiao Yufeng, 80th)

Myanmar 1 Pakistan 1

(Myanmar: Htwe Aung Myo, 22th min)

(Pakistan: Tario Fahad, 81st)

* South Korea (9 points) and China (4 points) go through to next round

Group C:

North Korea 3 Thailand 2

(North Korea: Ro Kwang Yong, 29th, Ri Jong Hyok, 66th,  Jo Sol Song, 69th)

(Thailand: Daochalermwong, 61st, Chaoroenruen, 73rd)

Malaysia 1 Nort Korea 0

(Malaysia: Muhd A Yakob, 22nd, pen)

Thailand 2 Malaysia 1

(Thailand: Charoenruen , 47th, 58th)

(Malaysia:  Muhd A Yakob, 75th)

* Thailand (3 points) and North Korea (3 points) go through. Although Malaysia also has 3 points, it didn’t qualify as it scored one goal less (2 goals) than North Korea (three goals)  

Group D:

Saudi Arabia 3 Laos 1

(Saudi Arabia: Al Harun Abdullah, 34th, Alnakhli Mohd Qasem,36th, 65th)

(Laos: S. Thinnakone, 52nd)

 * Both Saudi Arabia and Laos  go through to the next round because the third team, Hong Kong, has been ruled out of the tournament after being quarantined for the H1N1 virus

Second round:

The eight teams are now divided into two groups:

Group A: Iran, Thailand, China, Singapore

Group B: Laos, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, South Korea

Singapore will play against Iran on 27 June (Saturday) at 5pm. It then meets Thailand on 29 June at 4pm before taking on China in its final group match on 1 July at 730pm. Singapore will play all its matches at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Battling Singapore takes its place among Asian rugby elite

The report:

The Straits Times carried a report today on the national rugby team winning promotion to the Five Nations of the Asian Rugby Football Union Championships.

The result means that Singapore will get to play against Asian powerhouses Japan (to date, still the only Asian country to play in the Rugby World Cup Finals), South Korea, perennial arch-rivals Hong Kong and Kazakhstan.

My thoughts:

Although I was really thrilled to read about Singapore’s promotion, I was left disappointed with the report as it lacked all the details which would have given a better idea of how Singapore fared against Taiwan and Sri Lanka in the Division One competition which was held in Taiwan earlier this month. And that is why I am not reproducing it here.

Instead,  here’s my compilation of all the information regarding the Division One competition (external links included) as well as my assessment of Singapore’s chances next year:

Prior to the start of the tournament, one would have been hard-pressed to openly predict that Singapore would earn promotion to the Asian Five Nations (A5N) competition. 

After all, Singapore’s recent results against Sri Lanka and Taiwan have been a mixture of narrow wins and defeats.

However, Singapore’s chances did brighten considerably after China suddenly withdrew from the Division One tournament.

After all, according to the International Rugby Board’s most recent world rankings, China is ranked 44th compared to Singapore’s 48th

(Note: when you consider that China only made its international test debut in 1997, losing 3-33 to Singapore, its current ranking is a frightening indication of how far Chinese rugby has progressed since).

It is believed that China pulled out of the Division One because of passport arrangements into Taiwan. China regards Taiwan as part of China whereas Taiwan regards itself as an independent country.

Still, Singapore’s chances of earning promotion to the A5N was really touch-and-go. Furthermore, Singapore’s 18-24 loss to in a warm-up friendly to a largely expatriate Guiness Cup select XV just prior to the Division One tournament definitely didn’t bring up the optimism levels.

In fact, Singapore narrowly escaped defeat to Sri Lanka in its opening match. Trailing 13-20 with just two minutes to go, Singapore scraped a draw when full-back Gareth Pritchard scored a try and John Forrester converted to force the 20-20 draw.

Thanks to Gary Carbines’ excellent and obsessive blog (http://rugby-international.blogspot.com) on international rugby, you can read the match report here.

Singapore then bounced back from the draw with Sri Lanka to score a 23-22 win over host Taiwan two days later to give itself an outside chance of promotion. Once again, Singapore required a last-minute try to save its skin.

Trailing 16-22 with only just a minute left, Singapore did its second Houdini in 48 hours when it drove back the Taiwanese before hooker Gaspar Tan leapt over the line to score the try. Mohammad Ismail then calmly converted the try to give Singapore the win.

You can read the full-match report here.

But even though Singapore reached the top of the table with its draw and win (giving it a total of eight points), there was still every chance that Sri Lanka, lying second with three points, could pip the Republic to the sole qualifying slot. All the Sri Lankans needed was to beat Taiwan in its last match by two points to shatter Singapore’s dreams.

As such, you can imagine the butterflies in the stomachs of the nerve-wracked Singapore players as they watched the Sri Lanka-Taiwan test from the stands.

But thankfully, all that worrying came to naught and instead, the Singapore team erupted with joy as Taiwan easily defeated Sri Lanka 35-23 (you can read the match report here which also has a nice picture of Singapore skipper Chris Gilbert receiving the Division One trophy from HSBC representative Peter Davies.)

So Singapore will now take its place among Asia’s rugby elite next year.

But to be realistic, it is going to be a mammoth struggle for the Republic to avoid relegation in its first year in the A5N.

Singapore has not played against Japan and South Korea since 1992 and 1994 respectively but the results weren’t pretty. Singapore was hammered 3-120 by Japan at the 1992 ARFU competition and crashed 3-90 to South Korea two years later in the same competition.

And although Singapore has come a long way against Hong Kong since its world-record 13-164 mauling in 1994, it has still not been able to beat the largely expatriate Hong Kong side (it lost 10-12 and 5-25 in 1999, 6-30 in 2000 and 8-26 in 2001).

And although Hong Kong lost to Japan (29-75) and South Korea (24-50) in this year’s A5N, it evnetually finished third by beating Kazakhstan 23-17 and the Arabian Gulf 20-12 (the Arabian Gulf were subsequently relegated after finishing last in the competition).

So unless Singapore can pull off a win over Kazakhstan in next year’s tournament, chances are it will be heading for a drop back into Division One when the dust settles on the A5N.

What I think could be Singapore’s strength though is this never-say-die spirit that it seems to be exhibiting. The fact that the Republic pulled off those two last-gasp wins also attests to a high fitness level which could stand the team in good stead next year.

This assessment aside, Singapore’s promotion means a television treat for local rugby fans. They could get to watch the Singapore tests on television as all the Asian Five Nation matches were screened on ESPN STar Sports (Ch 24) this year. 

I’ll certainly be looking forward to catching all the action on television.

In the meantime, the Singapore Sports Fan sends his heartiest congratulations to the Singapore team for earning promotion. You can find the full squad listed below.

Let’s take it one step at a time – and just savour the joy of promotion first. Cheers to all.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

The Singapore ARFU SQUAD


Props: Norman Sin, Mark Lee, Nick Dance

Hookers: Gaspar Tan, MD Suhaimi Amran

Locks: Chris Gilbert (Capt), Steve Horsfall, Jeremy Chan

Flankers: Rong Jing Xiang, Andy Bennett, Romi Musa, Jonathan Lee

No. 8: Ben Wheeler                         

Scrum-halves: Tong Chin Hong, Andrew Lee

Out-half: John Forrester                       

Centres: Daniel Thiam, MD Ismail Kadir, Lionel Robinson

Wings: Jonathan Chen, Eric Ng, Pete Williams

Fullbacks: Gareth Pritchard, MD Zaki Mahmood


Related links:


22 Sept – A toast to our rugby heroes of ’78 – and to some fundamental principles of sport 


24 July: Remembering the National Stadium – Best Memory #5

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