Singapore achieved their first win in over 16 months after they defeated Maldives 3-2 in an international match at the National Stadium on Friday night.
This was also their first victory in 15 matches, after beating Cambodia 1-0 in November 2016.
A well-deserved win
Despite the Maldives being ranked 150th in the world - 21 posts higher than Singapore - this was a match the Lions expected to win.
In the 38th minute, The Lions’ captain Hariss Harun opened the scoring from a Zulfahmi Arifin’s corner.
However, Singapore’s lead lasted too little, as Maldives levelled matters through a free kick from Mohamed Umair.
Back from the break, the Lions retook the lead via a 66th-minute penalty scored by Shahdan Sulaiman.
Six minutes later, Shakir Hamzah added a third goal for Singapore with a low grounder that defeated Maldives’ goalkeeper.
The visitors pulled one back through Ibrahim Mahudhee Hussain on 81 minutes.
After some nervy moments, the home side managed to seal the victory, a much needed for Singaporean football fans.
International 'A' Friendly:— Singapore Football (@SGfootball) 23 March 2018
Singapore 3-2 Maldives
38' Hariss Harun
66' Shahdan Sulaiman
73' Shakir Hamzah
Singapore scoring three goals for the first time since 2015!#SGfootball pic.twitter.com/c1ZdyHSmMd
'This win is good for our confidence,' Lions’ coach V. Sundram Moorthy said after the match.
'We created many chances and should have led 3-1 after the first half, but we didn't defend a free kick well and it was 1-1.
'But we got a deserved penalty in the second half and Shakir scored from nowhere so things squared out.
'Scoring has been our main issue, so it was good for us to score three and hopefully get things going ahead of the Suzuki Cup, our main competition for this year.'
Singapore’s next match will be an Asian Cup Group E qualifier against Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
Both teams are already eliminated from the competition.