Who stood out during Singapore’s loss against Syria? Shanjayan Muniappan dishes out the grades for Stange’s men.
Izwan Mahbud 7
The Syrians would have wished to test the custodian more than they did on the night. Busy in Saitama, Izwan was rarely called into action against Syria as he made several routine saves. After 314 minutes without conceding a goal for the Lions, Izwan’s goal was finally breached and there was little he could have done to keep out Syria’s winner as Oday Al-Jafal was left unmarked at the far post to head in.
Nazrul Nazari 6
If he is watching replays of the match, Nazrul might want to skip the 59th minute mark. The right-back was too easily beaten by Sanharib Maiki, who put in a perfectly weighted cross for Al-Jafal to open the scoring. Apart from that, the Singapore defender put in a decent shift against larger opponents on his flank.
Baihakki Khaizan 7
You snooze, you lose. Baihakki had a solid outing for most of the match, continuously winning headers and tackles against a fearsome looking Syrian attack but he allowed Al-Jafal to ghost in behind and fire home the goal that led to Syria's win.
Madhu Mohana 7
Won a handful of aerial battles against Al-Jafal and helped create goal scoring opportunities when going forward during free-kicks and corner-kicks. The centre-back would have wanted to keep another clean-sheet like the one in Japan after showing plenty of promise defensively with Baihakki.
Shaiful Esah 6
Syrian winger Mahmoud Al Mawas kept the Shaiful on his toes the entire game until the veteran left-back was subbed off after an injury. The Tampines Rovers full-back, who usually marauds forward to whip in deep crosses from left flank, was on the back foot for most of the contest trying to keep out Al Mawas and his accurate crosses.
Izzdin Shafiq 6
Perhaps a quiet night for Izzdin, but the midfielder did what was required from him by breaking down play and playing passes where he needed to.
Hariss Harun 7
Hardworking in midfield, Hariss tried to dictate the rhythm of play between attack and defence. Some of his passes were key but others led to either a throw-in or a goal-kick.
Hafiz Abu Sujad 6
The best moment from Hafiz was when his shot was saved by Syrian goalkeeper Ibrahim Salleh after a one-on-one situation.
Fazrul Nawaz 6
Fazrul was not as threatening as Amri or Hafiz going forward but provided great cover defensively for Nazrul Nazari on the right-hand side. From an attacking point of view, he could have impacted the game more for the Lions.
Safuwan Baharudin 6
Safuwan played higher up than usual in midfield and won few crucial free-kicks for the Lions. Helped link up the play for Khairul Amri on several occasions.
Khairul Amri 7
It was one of those nights for Khairul Amri. He had three glit-edged chances but the ball refused to end up at the back of the net. The striker also worked hard defensively on a couple of occasions, tracking back to foil Syrian counter attacks.
Faris Ramli – Came on late in the second half and added invention to the wing in place of Fazrul Nawaz but saw little of the ball as Singapore opted to go long to Khairul Nizam or Amri instead.
Khairul Nizam – Came on late in the second half and won crucial free kicks in dangerous areas while adding a physical threat up front. Perhaps an earlier introduction could have swung the outcome.
Shakir Hamzah – Came on late in the second half and did not have much time to make an impact.
Photo: Football Association of Singapore