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Easy opener for Singapore
Cheering fans inspire host to 5-1 trouncing of Indonesia
17th Southeast Asian Games
     


The hard-running Krishnan Vijayan, Sani's acrobatics in goal and stalwarts Edwin, Noor Adam and Abdul Razak also impressed. But the defence seemed suspect.


The Singapore men's team drew inspiration from a 300-strong supportive crowd by trouncing Indonesia 5-1 in its opening Sea Games hockey match at Delta Sports Complex last night.

The fans cheered every Singapore attack and the players responded in the third minute when Rozli Ahmad created the opening with a flick for Gavin van Rooyen to slot in the first goal. But the skilful forward had to leave the pitch immediately after with a hamstring injury.

The speedy Indonesians, however, equalised nine minutes later when Randy Lie, 19, fooled two defenders before beating goalkeeper Mohamed Sani Salim.

That goal stunned the home team except for Edwin Tan and Ranjit Singh, who combined well together for Ranjit to make it 2-1 barely a minute later.

Indonesia startled the Republic in the 16th minute when Matheus Kharek's beautiful strike grazed the upright.

It continued to take advantage of the many gaps in the Republic's defence but could not score from the breakaways despite its impressive one-twos.

Singapore's experience on artificial turf eventually carried it through with goals from Mohamed Noor Adam in the 33rd and 56th minutes, and Rosli in the 64th.

The hard-running Krishnan Vijayan, Sani's acrobatics in goal and stalwarts Edwin, Noor Adam and Abdul Razak also impressed. But the defence seemed suspect.

Said Singapore coach Graeme Worth: "It's a good start for us. The Indonesians have quick players and they pressurised our defence. Our boys have to play a lot better if they want to beat Malaysia."

"The players were not as sharp as they appeared in our previous matches but at least now they are creating chances and scoring goals."

Assistant coach Veer Singh said: "The players lacked urgency. But the scoreline against Indonesia is better than our previous 3-0 win that was some time ago."



"The players lacked urgency. But the scoreline against Indonesia is better than our previous 3-0 win that was some time ago," said Veer Singh.



Women's defending champion Malaysia feels that Singapore is an impressive side.

"The pressure is on Singapore as it is playing on homeground," said coach R Arasaratnam. "Singapore and Malaysia have always been close and if we win, it'll be a hard-earned goal.

Said player Jayanti Kandayah, 22, confidently: "Singapore has only one good player, Melanie Martens, but we have many Melanies."

For Malaysian captain Lum Sau Fong, 32, the game could be her last and she is determined to bow out with a gold.
     

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