Singapore Lionesses ‘worked the system’ to absorb 1 - 0 tight loss to Hong Kong
Playing the same opponents at the same venue, the Singapore Lionesses were given a rematch opportunity at the 2nd leg of the Singapore versus Hong Kong friendly on 26th July 2022 at Jalan Besar where 1,166 spectators turned up to cheer on their respective teams.
When asked about playing in front of the Jalan Besar crowd and having Hong Kong fans waving the Hong Kong flag, Player of the Match and Captain Chan Wing Sze commented, “Very happy. It’s been difficult to get this precious opportunity to travel out to play during this pandemic, not to mention playing in front of an audience. I think it was also the first time that some of the younger players experienced hearing fans shouting “香港加油！(Hong Kong, fighting!)” throughout the match. It’s truly touching and really motivates us all.”
In the 2nd leg, Singapore Head Coach Stephen Ng stuck with the game plan of having a back-three formation with two wingbacks, but made 6 changes in the starting line-up from the 1st leg of the Women’s ‘A’ International Friendlies. In comparison, Hong Kong Head Coach Rambo Jose Ricardo made only 1 change to the starting line-up, starting Hui Yee Sum instead of Ma Chak Shun who featured in the first-11 in the 1st leg.
The Singapore game plan had caught the Hong Kong team by surprise, the Hong Kong Head Coach Rambo Jose Ricardo shared “I was a bit surprised at the formation of the Singapore team at the first game because I had watched the previous 3 games played by Singapore which was very different. So it surprised me at the beginning. So we tried to play from that situation. In the 2nd half, Singapore released more fresh legs which put more pressure on us. Overall, the team was really competitive, with individually good players.”
"It was a much improved and settled performance as compared to the first game. We came in with a clear game plan and importantly, the girls worked the system” Singapore Head Coach Stephen Ng evaluated the 2nd leg game. "There will definitely be areas to improve on - it's an ongoing thing in football matches because as we prepare, other teams are also preparing at the same time. On a whole, the two games helped us get good intensity practices.”
On adapting to the new tactical game plans and formations, Singapore Lioness Putri Nur Syaliza who is not used to operating as a wingback has had to put in the extra effort to prepare for her new role, leaning on her brother Syahrul Sazali’s experience in the wingback position. “I get really nervous at times because what if opponents get pass me, but this new position will definitely help me in the future.” Putri admitted. Her nerves were however not visible on the pitch, as she came in as a substitute after the break and was able to contribute to a few attacking chances, the biggest chance coming at the 83rd minute where she sent a well-placed cross to Izzati Rosni only denied at the final moments by the Hong Kong’s defense.
Hong Kong Head Coach Rambo Jose Ricardo was also happy to see the younger players stepping up their game and hopes for more opportunities like this Women’s ‘A’ International Friendlies to increase their playing time.
While the Hong Kong team does not have any other scheduled international matches coming up, the Singapore Lionesses will be departing for Manila, Philippines on the 1st of July for the AFF Women’s Championship 2022 Philippines.
Upcoming games schedule for the Singapore Lionesses:
AFF Women’s Championship 2022 Philippines (1 Jul - 14 Jul 2022)
Monday, 4 July 2022, 4pm GMT+8
Singapore vs Malaysia
Wednesday, 6 July 2022, 7pm GMT+8
Philippines vs Singapore
Friday, 8 July 2022, 7pm GMT+8
Thailand vs Singapore
Sunday, 10 July 2022, 4pm GMT+8
Singapore vs Australia
Tuesday, 12 July 2022, 7pm GMT+8
Indonesia vs Singapore
For more updates on AFF Women’s Championship: https://www.aseanfootball.org/v3/