S'pore U-23s: Search for goals continue

S'pore U-23s: Search for goals continue

Last week, Singapore national teams' coach Bernd Stange stated that the Under-23s' lack of firepower up front was the only worry for the side, ahead of the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar next month.

If last night's friendly against S-League side Hougang United was supposed to provide options for team coach Aide Iskandar, it wasn't forthcoming.

The U-23s played out a 1-1 draw with Hougang at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

While the result probably did not matter to Stange and Aide, the struggles of the attacking unit will be a concern, especially for a team that have targeted a place in the football final.

While Aide's charges dominated the game and created numerous chances, they had little to show for it.

With likely SEA Games starter Shahfiq Ghani rested for the first half because of a slight hamstring strain, up stepped option No. 2 - Courts Young Lions striker Sahil Suhaimi.

Sahil, making his debut for the U-23s, caught the eye with a well-taken goal in the 23rd minute - tapping home a Faris Ramli cross.

But the coaches would have noted the 21-year-old's three glaring misses in the opening period.

With just the goalkeeper to beat, Sahil shot wide, sent another effort over the bar and saw yet another chance saved by Fadhil Salim.

"Those were clear chances. Sahil should have scored four goals and finished off the game at half-time," said national coach Stange, who made notes on the bench during the game.

Sahil, who worked hard up front, came off in the 68th minute for the team's third striker, Iqbal Hussain, who had a quiet outing.

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