Young Lions go down fighting to Iran


Despite battling hard, Singapore Under-21s were unable to best Iran as they lost 1-0.... 

Singapore Under-21s suffered a 1-0 defeat to Iran in the International Challenge Cup final on Saturday night at Bishan Stadium.

The Young Lions battled hard but were unable to convert the chances that came their way as they fell to Mehdi Mehdikhani's 31st-minute strike.

It took only seven minutes for the game to see its first effort, with Dhukilan Jeevamani curling a free-kick over after Amiruldin Asraf was brought down outside the danger area.

Two minutes later, Amiruldin came close with a 25-yard shot but Iran goalkeeper Nima Mirzazad pushed the ball over.

Zharfan Rohaizad gave the Young Lions a scare in the 14th minute as he fumbled a header but the bar came to his rescue.

Reza Karamollachaab then found himself through on goal four minutes later, but Zharfan managed to deny him.

The deadlock was broken just after the half-hour mark, as Mehdikhani found space from range and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.

It could have been two near on the hour mark, but Mohammad Gholamreza blazed over after breaking free in the box.

The Iranians' assault continued but Mehdikhani wasted two glorious opportunities in the space of ten minutes.

Singapore nearly grabbed an equaliser in the 80th minute but Adam Swandi failed to get his shot away after Amiruldin did well to create space for him.

Singapore Under-21 head coach Richard Tardy was disappointed his side conceded a sloppy goal but he believed his charges should be applauded for the effort they showed.

"What we can take away is the spirit of the players, they wanted to prove something," Tardy said.

"We need more technical quality, the players missed it today but we are one year from the SEA Games."

Main Photo: FAS