Singapore nips Philippines in SEAG soccer opener

Sheikh Hadi celebrates after scoring Singapore's goal against the U-23 Azkals.
Screen capture from Youtube
By Ivan Saldajeno

SINGAPORE--The U-23 Azkals fell to Singapore, 0-1, in their South East Asian Games football tournament opener at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday night.

Sheikh Hadi scored the marginal goal for the Singaporeans as he drilled a header off a free kick past goalkeeper Jun Badelic just before halftime.

After a relatively flat first half, however, the Azkals got their acts going in the first 15 minutes of the second half. But they failed to score an equalizer after three tries, the last coming from Patxi Santos, who sent his beautiful attempt straight to the Singaporean keeper.

Singapore held on to the lead until the final whistle as it restored order in the final 30 minutes.

The Azkals will try to bounce back on Wednesday against Cambodia.