Defending champion Singapore out of Cup

SONGKHLA, Thailand, AP

Defending champion Singapore was ejected from the Tiger Cup tournament Monday, losing 0-1 to Malaysia after striker Azman Adnan scored in the 63rd minute. Azman’s lethal finish ensured Malaysia will move from Group B to the semifinals in Bangkok while Singapore will leave for home. Still, Singapore did not go down without a fight. As early as the first minute, Singapore almost took the lead but the finishing of Ahmad Latiff Kamaruddin, after capitalizing on a moment of indecisiveness by Ghani Malek in the Malaysian defense, wasn’t good enough. It was clear that Singapore was the more committed team going forward and there was little doubt that they were dominating the midfield and winning all the aerial balls as the match wore on. But in the 63rd minute it all came good for Malaysia. Ali Tahar’s clearance deep in his own half provided Azman the chance and with a neat little back flick and then two giant strides, he was already in the 18-yard box. A right footed shot flew past the outstretched hand of Rezal Hassan into the net. Singapore never recovered from the setback and no matter how hard they tried, the fire was no more there. “Well that’s football. You win some, you lose some and today we were the loser,” said Singapore coach Vincent Subramaniam. Singapore must be ruing the loss of the penalty kick in the 37th minute.