Singapore's Hafiz Sujad (centre) and Safuwan Baharudin trying to gain possession during their World Cup qualifier against Syria at the National Stadium last night.
The Lions, who had Madhu Mohana red-carded, lost 1-2.
Singapore, with 10 points from seven games, sit third in the five-team Group E standings, ahead of Afghanistan, who have six points but also have a game in hand.
The Lions are almost certainly through to the third round of Asian Cup qualifying if table toppers Japan beat fourth-placed Afghanistan on March 24 next year as the World Cup qualifiers also double as the continental qualifiers.
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