Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Singapore narrow win

HO CHI MINH CITY, 20 October 2009: A superb John Wilkinson header midway through the first half sealed a 1-0 win for Singapore over the Korea University Selection Team in the opening match of the Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament at the Thong Nhat Stadium.

Man-of-the-Match Wilkinson timed his run into the box perfectly to meet club-mate Shaiful Esah’s wickedly struck freekick directing his header into the corner giving the rooted Korean keeper no chance.

Khairul Amri made his first appearance for the Lions in almost a year after an injury-plagued season, starting up front with Aleksandar Duric and had an useful 60-minute workout.

Geylang forward Masrezwan Masturi also put on a Singapore jersey for the first time in almost three years after being in the international wilderness and played the first half on the right side of midfield.

Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament
(John Wilkinson 25’)
Thong Nhat Stadium
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Comments from Coach Radojko Avramovic:

On the opponents:

The Koreans are a good side physically and they were exactly what I expected. They were very disciplined in defence and overall they were a good test for us.

On Singapore’s performance:

We did well and overall it’s important that we keep having this winning mentality of going into every game looking to win. I would say it’s a very encouraging performance.

On the return of Khairul Amri:

It was not just Amri but Tengku and Masrezwan who have not played for the National Team for a long time. They did their part but they are still a long way from competition form as they’ve not played international football for a while.

On the goal:

It was a good delivery from Shaiful and John timed his run perfectly. It’s the kind of standard situation that we’ve been working on and whether it’s John or someone else at the end of it, a goal is a goal.

On the importance of the clean sheet:

Precious and Daniel at the back did very well although we allowed too many crosses to come in. That will be something we have to look to cut out. Lionel and Hassan generally were very comfortable at the back.

On the rest of the tournament:

It’s a very good tournament with good teams and I’ll be looking to give everybody opportunities to play. It’s coming to the end of a long season and it’s important that everyone remains fresh and fit for the challenges ahead.

Remaining fixtures for Singapore:
Thurs, 22 Oct (1600hr) (local time)SINGAPORE vs TURKMENISTAN
Sat, 24 Oct (1615hr) (local time)VIETNAM vs SINGAPORE

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