Singapore made to work for World Cup win over Cambodia

Singapore boosted their Asian Cup qualifying chances with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Cambodia in their AFC World Cup Group E qualifier at the National Stadium on Tuesday night.

The home team took a 2-0 lead through Faris Ramli and Fazrul Nawaz before Sos Suhana pulled one back for the visitors as Singapore held on for a second consecutive home victory. Khairul Amri missed a first half penalty for the home side.

Bernd Stange's charges were matched pass-for-pass by the Cambodians in the opening stages, only to see their hard work undone in the 16th minute when Faris opened the scoring.

It was the LionsXII combination of Madhu Mohana's long throw, with Safuwan Baharudin helping it on to Faris, who ghosted in at the far post to slot it home.

Cambodia almost found an equaliser on 22 minutes when Suhana drilled a powerful shot that needed a good save from Izwan Mahbud to avoid any embarrassment.

Suhana had another header on target two minutes later, off a Sam Oeun Pidor cross, but it went straight to Izwan.

Amri was presented with a golden opportunity in the 25th minute when Sahil Suhaimi's pinpoint cross gave him the simple task of converting at the far post only to see the ball go narrowly wide.

Singapore's profligacy was a worrying sight for Stange as Amri's 42nd minute penalty was saved by Um Sereirath. To compound matters, the veteran forward had to be substituted immediately after with a hamstring pull.

His substitute Fazrul Nawaz made an instant impact when he pounced on a Nhim Sovannara back pass before curling his effort beyond the Cambodian keeper for a 2-0 lead after 47 minutes.

That second goal was a shot in the arm for Singapore as piled on the pressure on a tiring Cambodian defence.

It soon became shooting practice for the home side, with the likes of Safuwan, Hariss Harun and Sahil Suhaimi taking turns, as Singapore pushed for a third goal.

However, the National Stadium crowd went silent in the 65th minute when Cambodia pulled one back against the run of play through Suhana.

Chan Vathanaka's dribble down the right saw him cut the ball back to Suhana whose cheeky back-heel went past Izwan.

But Singapore held on for the win, taking them to 10 points from five matches in Group E. Their qualifier will be on Nov. 12 at the National Stadium where they host mighty Japan.

Singapore: Izwan Mahbud, Shakir Hamzah, Baihakki Khaizan, Madhu Mohana, Nazul Nazari, Izzdin Shafiq, Hariss Harun (C), Safuwan Baharudin (Shahril Ishak 81'), Faris Ramli, Sahil Suhaimi (Yasir Hanapi 71'), Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 45')

Cambodia: Um Sereirath (GK), Soeuy Visal, Sam Oeun Pidor, Sos Suhana, Hoy Phallin (Bin Chanthacheary 53'), Nhim Sovannara (Nen Sothearoth 51'), Nub Tola, Keo Sokpheng (Prak Mony Udom 82'), Chhin Chhoeun, Chan Vathanaka, Kouch Sokumpheak