Singapore U22 2 Cambodia U22 2: Anu penalty rescues draw

A late penalty conversion from Anumanthan Mohan Kumar rescued a draw for Singapore Under-22s as they held Cambodia Under-22s to a 2-2 friendly draw at Jurong West Stadium on Sunday evening.

Iqbal Hussain had given Richard Bok’s men the lead just before the half hour, but the visitors replied after the break through a double from half-time substitute Chan Vathanaka, including a penalty to take the lead on 76 minutes.

Anumanthan's late equaliser ensured that there would be no second successive win for the Cambodian visitors on their five day-tour, after their 3-1 win over Singapore U23s on Thursday.

The pre-Olympic team started the brighter of the sides as they took the initiative with good interchanges from defence to attack, putting the Cambodians under early pressure.

Skipper Iqbal served notice of the hosts’ intentions at the quarter hour when he unleashed a powerful shot from 30 yards that clipped the crossbar.

The Courts Young Lions forward was not to be denied 14 minutes later when he received a cross from Faris Aizenuddin on the right, turned and drilled in a low shot past Cambodia goalkeeper Um Sereirath to open the scoring.

Singapore sat deep late the first half as the visitors began to string passes to test their defence, but the centre-back pairing of Irfan Fandi and Amirul Adli held firm as they went into the break a goal up.

The introduction of Chan after the break swung the match in the visitors’ favour as he forced a save off Zulfairuuz Rudy with a rasping shot from distance three minutes after coming on.

He promptly equalised on 55 minutes when he nodded home a Prak Mony Udom cross into an empty net.

The visitors grew in confidence following the leveller as their attacking players stretched and teased the Singapore backline with quick thinking and deft footwork in the final third.

Their pressure would pay off 20 minutes later when R. Aaravin was judged to have handled the ball inside the box to concede a penalty.

Chan stepped up to send Zulfairuuz the wrong way as he put Cambodia 2-1 ahead and a step closer to a second successive victory against a host age-group side.

Shaken after falling behind, Singapore pushed forward and regained the momentum they had early in the game as they searched for their own equaliser.

A handball inside the Cambodia box saw another penalty being awarded with two minutes to go, this time in the hosts’ favour, as Anumanthan converted the resulting spot kick to ensure a share of the spoils.

Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo