New coach's young side seal shock win in style

New coach's young side seal shock win in style

GROUP A

SINGAPORE 2

(Khairul Amri 62, Gabriel Quak 81)

SYRIA 1

(Raja Rafe 89)

He has performed football miracles with Belarus by leading them from 90th in the Fifa rankings to 36th, masterminding surprise victories over world powerhouses France and Holland along the way.

Singapore's 2-1 win over Syria last night would hardly be turning water into wine then, but it surely must be the first sign that Bernd Stange's insistence on imposing his particular style of attacking football on the Lions is starting to bear fruit.

"This is not a good result, it's a very good result," the 65-year-old German proclaimed to raucous applause by his Football Association of Singapore colleagues after the win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Indeed it was, even as bookmakers and critics left the Lions for dead after a string of poor results and performances since Stange became coach in May.

Odds for a Syria victory plummeted from $1.85 to just $1.35 as the value of a Singapore win shot up from $3.50 to $6.70.

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