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Lions suffer 1-3 defeat to Thailand in World Cup Qualifier

Singapore was defeated by Thailand 3-1 in Bangkok on Tuesday, marking the end of the Singapore national football team’s 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with yet another loss. Forward Ikhsan Fandi provided a rare bright spark for the Lions at the Rajamangala Stadium, scoring their only goal in the match.



THAILAND: Singapore was defeated by Thailand 1-3 in Bangkok on Tuesday (11 June), yet the Thai team’s victory wasn’t enough to secure a place in the third and final round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

Despite the win, Thailand needed a three-goal margin to surpass China in Group C.

The frantic finish at the Rajamangala National Stadium saw Thailand fall short of the necessary goal to advance.

China managed to proceed after a narrow 1-0 defeat to South Korea in the other Group C match earlier Tuesday evening.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) revealed earlier that the Lions’ head coach Tsutomu Ogura was unable to be in the dugout for the 11 June match against Thailand due to testing positive for COVID-19.

National team assistant coach Gavin Lee stepped in to take on coaching duties for the fixture.

The match began with Thailand on the offensive, as midfielder Suphanat Mueanta scored from a Chanathip Songkrasin cross in the 36th minute.

Shortly after, Supachai Chaided missed a one-on-one opportunity against Singapore’s goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, who made several crucial saves throughout the night.

The first half ended with Thailand leading 1-0, prompting Singapore to bring on forward Ilhan Fandi for defender Ryhan Stewart.

Thailand continued to dominate the second half, with Supachai and Suphanat both being denied by Hassan Sunny’s brilliant goalkeeping.

Ihksan Fandi’s stunning strike:

However, Singapore’s Ihksan Fandi equalized in the 56th minute with a powerful shot from outside the box, defying the run of play.

Thailand persisted in their attack, sending crosses into the box without finding a decisive finishing touch.

In the 65th minute, the home side made three substitutions, introducing more attackers in a bid to score the necessary goals.

Despite relentless pressure from Thailand, Singapore’s defence held strong.

In the 78th minute, substitute Poramet Arjvirai restored Thailand’s lead with a shot past Hassan Sunny.

Singapore had a chance to level the score again when Ihksan missed a header from a Faris Ramli cross just minutes later.

Thailand’s substitute Jaroensak Wonggorn added a third goal with a header in the 85th minute, ensuring a tense conclusion to the match.

In extra time, Singapore’s Nur Adam Abdullah almost reduced the deficit, but his chip was cleared off the line.

Jaroensak’s shot wide in the 95th minute marked the last chance of the match, leaving China to claim second place in the group.

Singapore concluded their group-stage campaign with a single point, having no wins, one draw, and five losses.

The Lions had previously lost their opening two matches in November, falling 3-1 to Thailand and 5-0 to South Korea in Seoul.

Head coach Ogura, appointed in February following the departure of his compatriot Takayuki Nishigaya, has yet to secure a win with the Lions.

Alongside a 2-2 draw, he witnessed his Lions side display a courageous effort in China, only to suffer a 4-1 defeat on 26 March.

On 6 June, South Korea delivered a football masterclass, dominating Singapore with a resounding 7-0 victory in a World Cup qualifier held at the Singapore National Stadium.

Ogura humbly apologized for his team’s performance, expressing regret to the Singaporean supporters for the Lions’ underwhelming display, and commended the South Korean side, acknowledging their superior performance.

South Korean player Son Heung-min, honoured as the Man of the Match, praised the Lions for their resilience and acknowledged their clinical performance.

“When you look at the results, probably everybody will say the Singapore team was really poor, but it wasn’t the case.”

Additionally, Son highlighted the rapid improvement of football standards in Asia, particularly evident in this year’s Asian Cup.

He emphasized the necessity for continuous hard work, stating, “They need to persevere because change won’t happen overnight.”


Captain Son Heung-min from South Korea shares his thoughts on the Singapore team’s performance in their World Cup qualifier #sgsports #sgnews #football

♬ Doge – Chris Alan Lee

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I have a feeling that they would play better if they trained outside of Singapore.

Just a hunch.

Sometimes in losing you win. It is not whether you beat the other team but if each player improved in his own game. If it is a yes, you didn’t lose. There will be more games, wins and losses just enjoy the journey to improve yourselves in every game.

Poor Lions lost again…