Toothless Lions crash to third straight loss

Toothless Lions crash to third straight loss

Hong Kong 1 Singapore 0

Three straight losses have left the Singapore national football team wounded, weary and no wiser to fixing their toothless attack. Bernd Stange's troops failed to muster a meaningful attempt on goal in a 1-0 away friendly defeat by Hong Kong on Tuesday night.

The pressure is building on the German coach, who promised victory against their 144th-ranked opponents - 11 spots above the Lions - but instead saw his charges out-hustled and out-muscled at Kowloon's Mongkok Stadium.

Despite missing key midfielders Shahril Ishak and Hariss Harun through injury, the visitors looked comfortable pinging the ball across their backline.

But once they crossed the halfway mark, short passes went astray and crosses drifted into the stands instead of the head of lonesome frontman Shahfiq Ghani.

Bai He's 60th-minute tap-in from close range - while a static Lions defence looked on - capped a convincing and feisty display from the hosts.

Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, filling in for the injured Izwan Mahbud, was forced into three top-drawer saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

On the back of last Friday's 6-1 hiding by China in Tianjin, Stange's main concern will be the viability of the 4-2-3-1 set-up built around the high-tempo, quick passing game he preaches.

In his first competitive match in charge last month, Singapore fell 0-2 at home to Oman in an Asian Cup qualifier.

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