Monday, June 2, 2008

Singapore beaten by Uzbekistan 3:7 (World Cup qualifier)

The first 30 mins of the game was really exciting. Both sides showed showed great flair and spirit in going for goal. But sadly, after that, Singapore's defense just came crashing down.

Mohd Noor was excellent in the back, he went for the ball and worked hard in trying to keep the ball away from the net. Baihakki's performance, however, wasn't good. He made a number of misses that cost the game. He wasn't quick and not pressuring the Uzbek's forwards enough. Precious's usual dominance in defense was no where to be seen. We are talking about players who have experienced in European football, tall men like Precious isn't going to instill fear in their hearts. Precious has to work on his speed, agility and aggression. The Uzbek's forwards were fast and more experienced, so definitely the defense has to counter it with quick feet and strong pressure in the next match.

Singapore's midfield's was fairly good to me, saw some good skills from the midfielders even though I feel that they should have been more 'hard' in the game. For the first time, I am seeing players like Wilkinson showing good ball control and skill on the field. His tackling was right on and manages to win the ball for Singapore in many occasions during the match. Being in the right position, at the right time. Wilkinson has improved since I saw him in the last match. His scoring was excellent too.

Singapore's forwards were pretty good. They tried many options to score and never felt like holding back. They went forward and tried a few shots which were denied by the goalkeeper and defense. But still they manage to score 3 goals. Duric's score was an uplift for Singapore, and I hope to see more of him in the next match. Amri always gives his all in every match but I think he needs a little more support. The defense is always marking him and it is proving really difficult for him to even penetrate the line. If he had a partner that would compliment his skill, that would be great, much like how Fandi and Abbas used to play.

Overall, Singapore's defense has to improve a lot. There are weak players at the back which I am sure there will be some change in players. The midfield has to be more hard and keep controlling the game as much as possible to disallow any attacks by the Uzbek's to even try penetrating the defense. Their go for goals, to me, is essential in the next match. Because long shots from goal is always a surprise for the goalkeeper but it has to be with good accuracy and power if there are to beat the goalkeeper.

What I find lacking is set pieces. Singapore has to have to be creative upfront to beat the defense line of the Uzbek's. Today, we saw that the Uzbek's can be scored against. Even though Singapore has lost greatly in this match, we are the only country in the group who has scored against them. I think this reality shows that the Uzbek's can be beaten if we work hard enough.

I did saw the Uzbek's coach looking concern during the match. I think he underestimated Singapore's fighting spirit in the match and their ability to score. Frankly, I think both sides have to work on their defense strategies. Singapore being the one who has to do a lot of work on that aspect.


ED said...

Goal 3, Goal 4 & Goal 5 of ... these 3 goals are total disgrace to Singapore. For 3 goals in a row, defenders are caught flat-footed in the penalty area and not covering up the slots.

Especially Goal 5, Uzbekistan scores a direct goal from a corner, I thought this is the kind of goals we will only see in top flight soccer. Lewis is just making a half-hearted leap.

If only they played with urgency like they had in second half, the scoreline will be probably much more respectable.

Fitness | Design Jurulatih said...

Yeah true. But I guess they lost heart in the game, the Uzbeks capitalized on that and went for it.

Frankly, like you said, if they played with urgency, they would have made a difference in the game.

Let's see how it will turn out for the next match.