Young Lions snatch 2-2 draw with Laos thanks to 96th-minute equaliser
Singapore's Under-23 football team snatched a late point in the opening game of their SEA Games campaign on Saturday (May 7) after a 2-2 draw with Laos.
Down 2-0 with a minute left in regulation time, substitutes Glenn Kweh and Jordan Emaviwe struck in the 89th and 96th minute respectively for the Young Lions.
This is however the third straight Games where the Singapore side has failed to win its opening match. In 2019 against the same opponents, the match ended goalless.
On Saturday at the Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh, Vietnam, the Young Lions struggled to keep a hold of possession in the early stages and were punished when Laos scored the opener in the 14th minute.
Zulfahmi Arifin, one of three overaged players failed to clear his lines in midfield before the ball found its way to Laos forward Ekkamai Ratxachak, who took advantage of tentative defending from Ryaan Sanizal to fire past Zaiful Nizam.
The Republic did not learn from its mistakes and in the second-half they paid for even more slack defensive work.
Four minutes after the restart, Chanthavixay Khounthoumphone was not closed down in midfield and had ample time to pick out winger Chony Wenpaserth, who rifled the ball in from outside the box.
Laos had never beaten Singapore before and appeared on track for a first victory in front of 22,500 spectators. But when their defence failed to clear a cross from the left, Kweh took advantage and halved the deficit.
The Young Lions continued to apply pressure and were rewarded in injury time as Emaviwe produced a deft flick after fellow substitute Saifullah Akbar had headed the ball into his path.
Singapore next face 16-time champions Thailand on Monday.