S'pore loses 4-1 to China in 2nd leg of World Cup qualifier match

The match took place in China.

Syahindah Ishak | March 26, 2024, 10:39 PM



Singapore lost 4-1 to China in the second leg of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday (Mar. 26) night.

The match kicked off at 8pm (Singapore time) at the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium in China with some 50,000 spectators in attendance.

Key players absent

Singapore had to face China without centre-back pairing Safuwan Baharudin and Lionel Tan, both of whom were suspended after the firstΒ leg match on Mar. 21.

Midfielder Anumanthan Kumar also missed the game due to an injury.

Head coach Tsutomu Ogura made a couple of changes to his starting line-up, with key striker Ikhsan Fandi on the bench and Shawal Anuar taking over up front.

Image via Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

China also made changes to their starting eleven.

Captain Zhang Linpeng was benched after he made headlines recently for announcing and then retracting his decision to retire following the draw against Singapore in the first leg.

Forward Wu Lei, who scored both of China's goals in the first leg, took hold of the captain's armband for his side.

First half

China started the game strong, taking control and creating opportunities early on.

In the 21st minute, Wu Lei slotted the ball into the back of the net, much to the delight of thousands of home fans.

But barely a minute after, China's defence appeared to have lost their focus as they allowed a long ball through to Lions winger Ryhan Stewart.

Maintaining his composure, Stewart crossed to Faris Ramli who cooly headed the ball past China's keeper.

The first half ended with a 1-1 scoreline.

Second half

The second half took a turn for the worse for the Lions.

In the 63rd minute, China was awarded a penalty after the referee deemed that Jacob Mahler had committed a foul.

The Lions were visibly upset at the referee, believing that he made the wrong decision.

But Mahler received a yellow card anyway and Fernandinho (or Fei Nanduo) sent Lions keeper Hassan Sunny the wrong way.

China took the lead in the 65th minute.

In the 79th minute, China's Li Yuanyi was given a red card after he gave Singapore's Joel Chew a hard tackle from behind.

Chew, who came on the pitch mere minutes before, took the hit hard and had to be assisted off. He was later seen on the sidelines with a bandage on his leg.

As Singapore had already used up all its substitutes, this meant that both teams were down to ten men.

Things didn't look good for the Lions when captain Wu Lei doubled his goal tally and scored in the 85th minute.

And about five minutes after, China's Wei Shihao sealed the victory for his side.

The match ended with a 4-1 scoreline to China.

Both China and Singapore are in Group C of the World Cup Qualifiers.

With this loss, Singapore remained at the bottom of the table with one point.

The other two teams in Group C are South Korea and Thailand, who also played against each other on the same night.

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Top images via Football Association of Singapore (FAS).