Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan suffer narrow defeat in Singapore

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan’s Deputy Representative to Singapore, Jeremy Liang, second row second right, gives a “thumbs-up” to encourage the Taiwanese soccer team as he joins them for a group photo after their 3-2 loss to Singapore in a friendly match at the Jalan Besar -Stadium in Singapore yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan continued their improved showing following their unfortunate exit from the World Cup qualifiers at the hands of Malaysia, with a narrow 3-2 loss to Singapore in a friendly at the Jalan Besar Stadium in the city-state on Monday.

Singapore would have been Taiwan’s opponents if they could have overcome Malaysia in the first round of qualifying for Brazil 2014, a match that was drawn 4-4 on aggregate after Taiwan won the home tie 3-2 at the Taipei Municipal Stadium, but failed to progress because of the away-goals rule.

Two goals from Aleksandar Duric and a late strike from substitute Fazrul Nawaz gave Singapore the edge in their warm-up match before their meeting with Malaysia later this week, but second-half goals from Lo Chih-an and Hiang Shih-lu threatened to ruin the evening for Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic.

“I think it was generally a good game, although we have some points on which we must improve for the next game [against Malaysia],” Avramovic told espnstar.com. “Overall though, it is more positive because we passed the ball and created chances. One thing that was disappointing was that we conceded goals because we made mistakes, but this happened and I think it is better to happen now rather than later on [in qualifying].”

Singapore forged ahead through Duric’s 17th-minute goal. Left with just a simple tap in after receiving a low cross from Hariss Harun, he made no mistake to give his side an early lead.

Despite Taiwan’s best efforts, they were unable to break down the Singapore defense before halftime.

The second half began better for the visitors when Lo struck Taiwan’s equalizer, but Singapore regained their lead when Duric scored his second in the 54th minute.

Taiwan pushed forward looking for the equalizer and it came in the 62nd minute when substitute Hiang fired home.

Singapore settled the match when substitute Nawaz broke clear of the Taiwan defense to coolly slot home the winner.

“We kept passing the ball and had more possession. We did make mistakes today and we will learn from it, and make changes to our game,” Singapore captain Shahril Ishak told the-afc.com.

Taiwan coach Lee Tae-ho said: “It was tough, but I think we did OK. Singapore’s forwards have more experience and they are organized.”

Asked about the difference between Singapore’s style of play and Malaysia’s, Lee said: “Singapore have more stability and they are mature, while Malaysia are a bit unstable and they are not mature.”

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