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Ikhsan leads Singapore to much-needed win ahead of SEA Games

Singapore's under-23s finally earned a morale-boosting 4-1 win over Brunei in their final Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 championships qualifier.

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Singapore are slated to face Brunei in Kuala Lumpur for the SEA Games again, where they have been drawn alongside Myanmar, Laos and hosts Malaysia in Group A.

The Young Lions were already out of the running for qualification after 2-0 and 7-0 losses to Myanmar and Australia respectively, but were looking to at least end their campaign on a high.

They did just that on Sunday, with Ikhsan Fandi playing a vital role.

Ikhsan then earned his second in the dying embers of the game, shrugging off his markers before rifling home his side’s fourth goal

He provided the breakthrough after just 14 minutes, albeit in fortuitous fashion. A loose ball fell for the forward just outside the box but he took his chance and was richly rewarded.

Hanafi Akbar then got in on the act in the 38th minute, arriving inside the box in time to tuck away a cross.

The Bruneians did pull one goal back through Brunei DPMM midfielder Azim Izamuddin, who lashed in from all of 25 yards to ensure his side went into the break trailing by just a goal.

The Young Lions had to endure a nervy second half but they finally made sure of the win when Taufik Suparno scored three minutes from time.

Ikhsan then earned his second in the dying embers of the game, shrugging off his markers before rifling home his side’s fourth goal.

Photo: FAS