Sloppiness costs Lions dear again
Yoshida disappointed, but refuses to talk about individual errors which lead to Myanmar's goals
|(Gabriel Quak 25)
|(Kyaw Ko Ko 6, 68)
Singapore coach Tatsuma Yoshida insisted pre-game that he was not concerned about the individual errors from the first match.
On Saturday, Singapore defeated the Solomon Islands 4-3, in a match littered with individual errors that led directly to goals.
Last night at the National Stadium, Yoshida’s words came back to bite him and the Lions.
Myanmar capitalised on the Lions’ sloppy mistakes to beat them 2-1 and hand Yoshida his first defeat as their boss.
The first goal came after only six minutes. With most of the players in the Myanmar half, where the Lions were in attack mode, Shakir Hamzah’s misplaced pass was picked up by Aung Thu, who drove towards the penalty area.
The Muangthong United forward then shrugged off Anumanthan Kumar and laid the ball to striker Kyaw Ko Ko, who swept it past Hassan Sunny to give Myanmar (ranked 140th in the world) the lead.
Singapore (160th) responded and found the equaliser through Gabriel Quak’s second goal in as many games in the 25th minute.
Balestier Khalsa midfielder Huzaifah Aziz lofted a precise pass on to Quak’s path. While Quak’s initial effort was saved, he was quick to latch on to the rebound and put the ball past goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Htet, sending both teams into the break level at 1-1.
But, again, it was more sloppiness from the Lions in the second half.
In the 68th minute, with Singapore holding a high line near the middle of the pitch, Quak’s under-hit pass meant for Anumanthan was intercepted by Myanmar before the ball broke to Kyaw Ko Ko, who was clear on goal.
With only Hassan to beat, Kyaw Ko Ko finished coolly to double his tally for the night.
The Lions were rattled and, again, there was more lackadaisical defending on display.
In the 72nd minute, Amirul Adli’s mistimed clearance looked to put Aung Si Thu clear but Hassan was quick to charge out and prevent a third goal.
Yoshida made five changes from his first game, with Huzaifah, Hassan, Amirul, Irwan Shah and Fadli Kamis coming into the starting line-up.
Unlike the previous game where the Lions lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, Yoshida opted for a 3-4-3 system yesterday.
It was not tactics, though, that decided the game but individual errors.
After the game, Yoshida said: “I am disappointed with just the result. We changed some players and they showed their ability. These opponents were better than the Solomon Islands.
“The boys sometimes switch off. For example, for the first 40 minutes we could play and then in the last five minutes, we rush.
“We have to take the next step. If we won this game, the confidence would be more. Now that we lost, our confidence is halved.
“I don’t want to talk about individual errors.”
Goalkeeper Hassan, however, addressed them.
“We lacked concentration at the back and that cost us the two goals.
“We have to give credit to coach. The game plan has been different from previous years. We have to give him some time... he has given us so much of trust to play football, so there will be mistakes.
“I rather it happen now during a friendly than later in a competition. We need to learn from our mistakes.”