Ikhsan Fandi, Shahril Ishak combine to earn Singapore draw against Mauritius

Singapore managed a comeback 1-1 draw against Mauritius in Fandi Ahmad’s first international game as Lions head coach at the Bishan Stadium on Friday night.

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Mauritius silenced the crowd early on through a Jonathan Justin goal before Ikhsan Fandi equalised with his first international goal in what was his first start.

Singapore were dealt an early blow in the fourth minute when former Etoile FC striker Jonathan, who played in the S.League in 2011, opened the scoring.

Some good work by Jeremy Villeneuve saw him cut in and rifle a low shot at Izwan Mahbud who could only palm it out for Jonathan to smash home the opener.

The Lions began to find their rhythm after conceding with a couple of long-range efforts.

First it was Ikhsan who tested goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis with a speculative shot in the 15th minute before Safuwan Baharudin and Zulfadhmi Suzliman went close.

Safuwan’s half-volley in the 21st minute caught Kevin out but it was debutant Zulfadhmi who had the perfect opportunity a minute later when he was clean through on goal but his shot was pushed out by the goalkeeper for a corner.

There was a moment of panic in the Singapore defence on 28 minutes when Jonathan and Safuwan went on a footrace and the ex-Etoile man won the ball and laid it off to Gary Noel who scuffed his shot with only Izwan to beat.

Singapore almost leveled matters when the ball fell to Izzdin outside the box in the 39th minute and he lashed it through a sea of bodies but Jean-Louis produced a superb save to keep his team’s lead intact.