Singapore U23 5 Laos U23 1: Aide all smiles as Young Lions register convincing win
Coach Aide Iskandar was delighted as he witnessed five different goalscorers find the net on Saturday evening, even as Faris Ramli and Sahil Suhaimi struck for the LionsXII across the causeway to help the LionsXII lift the Malaysia FA Cup.
Despite being shorn of some of his key players who had rejoined the LionsXII team in Kuala Lumpur to face Kelantan, the Singapore U23s still had enough quality to beat Southeast Asian rivals Laos in their penultimate warm up match before the SEA Games.
Laos opened the scoring, but the Young Lions hit back through Irfan Fandi, Adam Swandi, Shahfiq Ghani, Muhaimin Suhaimi and Amy Recha to complete the route.
The Singapore U23s were fresh back from their week-long training trip to Japan, and were quickly on the back foot after Laos took the lead through a 12th minute set piece from Thenthong Phonsetta.
Star player Irfan was played up front for this game, and duly came up with an equaliser in the 26th minute after some fine build-up play.
The scores stayed level till the break, but Adam soon put the hosts ahead ten minutes after the half with a well-taken free kick.
Shahfiq then made it 2-1 with yet another set piece on 74 minutes, before Muhaimin and Amy put some gloss on the win with two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time.
"I am very happy for Faris and Sahil," Aide said after the game.
"Meanwhile, being without them today gave me the opportunity to try out other options upfront such as Suria Prakash, Shameer Aziq and Irfan, and I am glad to see so many players finding the net tonight.
"This result will be a good boost to the team's morale entering into the SEA Games.
"I am also happy to see the fitness of the players have improved. The centralised training stints at the Sports School and in Japan have helped our players to become fitter.
"However, there is still room for improvement in some areas and we must keep our feet on the ground and focus on one game at a time."