M’sia Thrashed S’pore 7-0 in SEA Games Soccer Match, S’pore’s Worst Defeat Since 1971


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Last Updated on 2023-05-17 , 11:00 am

Singapore’s football scene isn’t exactly flourishing, and Singaporeans sure do not have a lot of nice things to say about it either.

That’s why the idea of Singapore making it to the World Cup by 2034 is laughable. It’s still a dream, like those of magically getting rich when we see Naomi Neo driving her McLarens and Lamborghinis.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the ongoing Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, well, Singapore did not win a single one of their matches.

And the last straw was our team losing 7-0 to Malaysia. Yup, you heard that right.

This is the most significant loss our national football team has suffered at the SEA Games since it became under-22 in 2001.

Image: Facebook (Football Association of Singapore)

Breakdown of the Match

Singapore was in Group B alongside Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. In their last match in the group stage, our team played against Malaysia.

Before this, Singapore first played against Thailand and lost 3-1 on 30 April. The following match was played against Vietnam on 3 May with another 3-1 loss.

Dubbed the Young Lions, our team had the best result in this year’s games against Laos on 6 May, a 0-0 draw.

Playing against Malaysia on 12 May, the Young Lions lost 7-0.

The match, which took place at Prince Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, started with the Malaysian players having more possession of the ball, giving their all.


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In the 14th minute, midfielder Saravanan Thirumurugan scored the first goal for Malaysia, the ball sneakily hitting the left side of the net.

Image: Youtube (Entertainment – Mediacorp)

Forward Haqimi Azim scored a header next, causing Malaysia to lead 2-0 by half-time.

Saravanan scored yet another goal just three minutes past the beginning of the second half.

He is clearly on a roll during this match because he scored another goal in the 53rd minute just minutes later, achieving the first hat-trick of the Games.

By the 62nd minute, Malaysia was already leading 5-0. Guess who scored this fifth goal? Yes, Saravanan again.

Captain Mukhairi Ajmal scored the sixth goal for Malaysia in the 87th minute, with the ball hitting the sidebar of the post before bouncing in.

Mohd Aiman scored his team’s seventh and final goal three minutes into stoppage time. At this point, all hope was lost for the Young Lions.

Image: Youtube (Entertainment – Mediacorp)

The full match highlights can be watched here:

Malaysia did not qualify for the semi-finals after being defeated by Vietnam and Thailand. Still, they sure put up a good fight in this match and incredibly redeemed themselves.


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Singapore leaves the Games with just one point in the leaderboard and a goal difference of -11.

Biggest Loss Since 1971

This was our national team’s biggest and most painful loss in football in 52 years.

Before 2001, football in the SEA games was not an age-group tournament, but now only under-22 teams of each country can participate.

At the 1971 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore lost 8-1 to Burma.

This is also the worst performance showcased by our team at the Games since 1987 when they only played two games and had no wins.

Online Backlash

Singaporeans are not pleased with the performance of the Young Lions. I mean, are we ever?


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After the stunning achievements by some of our athletes at the Games, such as those from swimming and athletics, this was a considerably disappointing loss.

Lots took to the social media platforms of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to express their dismay at the results.

Image: Instagram

The problem lies not with the players but with the fact that sports need more funding in our country. Thus, having success goals at the Games is too far-fetched.

Image: Instagram

The typical comments we see when Singapore suffers a defeat in football.

Image: Instagram

The embarrassment is clearly too much for us to handle.


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The piping hot tea is that the interim president of the FAS, Mr Bernard Tan, actually responded to some of the online criticism.

And people absolutely hated his response.

Facebook group SingaBrigade, which covers happenings regarding the national football team, posted a screenshot of an Instagram user calling for Mr Tan to resign and saying he wasn’t “worthy of the paycheck.”

Mr Tan responded that he doesn’t get paid, calling his role a “one-time offer” and telling the user to settle the problem with him personally.

The user responded, calling for the FAS to be more transparent to its fans, perhaps about the dire situation our football scene is currently facing.

The caption expressed anger towards Mr Tan, highlighting his rudeness to the fan.

Image: Facebook

Comments of the post were equally full of anger, claiming that the governing body of the football scene didn’t care, which was why they were doing so badly.


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Image: Facebook

The Instagram user who fought with Mr Tan also spoke out. The FAS is also not giving any explanation as to why the team performed so poorly at the Games this year.

Let’s celebrate other things as we watch this whole saga boil down. On the bright side, Singapore has accumulated 97 medals at the SEA Games this year. Not in football but in other things, of course.