3rd Men’s Junior AHF Cup
Oman vs Singapore
Back To Basics For Singapore (26/07/2011)
By Eddie dos Passos/HKHA
Singapore coach Solomon Cassojee wants to have his players heading back to the classroom despite his side finishing on a 3-1 win over Oman at King’s Park.
Despite emerging the better team, playing a more controlled game and showing more desire, the South-African born coach was not completely satisfied with their execution of the game.
It was, however, a vast improvement to their game against tournament favorite’s China, which ended on a 3-1 defeat for the Singaporeans.
Cassojee felt his players did not play up to expectations against Oman and that they had a lot of work ahead of them if they wanted to be a success in this tournament.
“Tonight our basic skills and fitness let us down, we were just making too many minor mistakes,” said Cassojee. “We may have to do more in these areas (in our final training) to ensure we get it right.”
He said an increase in their intensity by another 50 to 60 percent might ensure they remain on course to meet China again in the final.
Oman coach Koothanda Poonacha was happy with the outcome against Singapore despite being on the receiving end of a 3-1 score line.
“We played outstandingly. We had a lot of chances but we missed,” the Bangalore-born coach said.
He said with a side averaging about 16-17 years old playing in their first international tournament, he was pleased with their performance so far, despite holding up Pool A in bottom place and are to face the might of China, who are Pool A leaders.
As to his rivals for the night, he felt that Singapore had played well and had matured as a side and would hardly be hard pressed against sides like Oman.
The Singaporeans did well, starting off in full control and held possession for the majority of the match, as they bided their time looking for a crack in the Oman armor.
Eventually, that chance came for Singapore when they opened up the game through a sixth minute penalty corner conversion off Nur Ashriq Ferdaus Zul’ Kepli.
However, they were unable to capitalize on their ball possession and were giving away too many turnovers giving Oman a chance with solid chances on goal.
Oman’s fast runs and tough approach, did well enough in terms of pressure but they lacked the finishing power to their Singaporean counterparts, whose early goal saw them through to the break.
Second-half action was not much better as both sides battled on, despite Singapore faring well to maintain pressure on Oman’s goal.
But the Singapore pressure eventually took its toil on Oman as they stormed to a 2-0 lead, courtesy of an Enrico Marican reverse stick shot, four minutes upon resumption of play.
It took another 14 minutes for Singapore to again sound the boards, this time from a Mohammad Alfian Samsuri goal to extend Singapore’s lead 3-0.
However, Oman’s hard running and attacking style earned them a consolation with Mahmood Bait Shamaiaa, the provider in the 55th minute.