Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Singapore Faces 5-0 Defeat Against South Korea in World Cup Qualifier

by: EdwardB


In a challenging World Cup qualifier at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Thursday, Singapore’s national football team succumbed to a 5-0 defeat against the formidable South Korean squad. Lions coach Takayuki Nishigaya and his team displayed resilience in the first half, holding South Korea at bay until a 44th-minute goal by Cho Gue-sung shattered their hopes and paved the way for a relentless second-half onslaught by the Asian giants.

First Half Struggle: Lions’ Spirited Display

Despite being 131 places below South Korea’s 24th rank in the world rankings, Singapore exhibited commendable spirit in the opening period, restricting the hosts to minimal chances. However, the superior quality of their opponents became evident in the second half, with Hwang Hee-chan, South Korea captain Son Heung-min, Hwang Ui-jo, and Lee Kang-in securing additional goals.

Coach’s Pride: Nishigaya’s Positive Perspective

Nishigaya, acknowledging the strength of the South Korean team, expressed pride in his players, stating, Our plan was to not concede a goal, especially in the first half. But unfortunately, we did. Despite the defeat, he highlighted the positive aspects, emphasizing that the intensity of the game provided valuable learning experiences for the players, exposing them to a level significantly higher than their local league.

Challenging Conditions: Lions Face the Cold and Tough Opponents

The cold 6-degree Celsius temperature at kick-off added to the challenge for the Lions, who faced a formidable South Korean lineup announced to a sell-out crowd of 64,381 spectators. Taegeuk Warriors coach Jurgen Klinsmann praised Singapore’s tactical and defensive performance in the first half, describing it as “outstanding” and emphasizing the team’s physical commitment.

Strategic Changes: Nishigaya’s Tactical Adjustments

Nishigaya made five changes to the starting lineup from their previous 1-0 victory over Guam, with notable additions like Irfan Fandi and Safuwan Baharudin. The Lions adopted a narrow 5-4-1 formation, aiming to stifle the Korean attack. However, as the match progressed, the lack of a clear plan to retain possession became evident, making it challenging for Singapore to match the fitness and purposefulness of the Korean side.

VAR’s Influence: Luck on Both Sides

The absence of video assistant referee (VAR) added an element of luck for both teams. A stray arm from Lee Jae-sung hitting Safuwan in the face went unpunished, while an offside call against Cho in the 23rd minute, revealed as an incorrect decision upon review, benefited Singapore.

Goalkeeper’s Brilliance: Hassan Sunny’s Heroic Effort

Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, earning his 110th cap, showcased remarkable skill in thwarting the Korean attacks until the 44th-minute breakthrough, where Cho capitalized on Lee’s cross. The second half saw Hwang Hee-chan, Son Heung-min, Hwang Ui-jo, and Lee Kang-in securing goals, highlighting the relentless pressure applied by the South Korean team.

Looking Ahead: Singapore’s Next Challenge

Despite the defeat, Singapore looks ahead to their next challenge, hosting Thailand at the National Stadium next Tuesday. South Korea, on the other hand, will face China in Shenzhen. The experience gained from the match against a top-tier team like South Korea is expected to be invaluable for Singapore as they continue their journey in the World Cup qualifiers.

Holabet News, your trusted online betting site in Singapore. Your winning journey starts here!