Singapore bags Suzuki Cup for a record 4th time

Updated 22 December 2012
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Singapore bags Suzuki Cup for a record 4th time

BANGKOK: Singapore lifted the AFF Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time with a 3-2 aggregate win over Thailand, who could only muster a 1-0 second leg victory in Bangkok yesterday despite dominating the game.
Singapore took a two-goal advantage over Thailand and clung on despite near-relentless pressure from the spirited home side who were left to rue their dismal 1-3 first leg loss in the city-state on Wednesday.
Desperate to make amends Thailand’s War Elephants threw everything at the visitors, with a bullet header from Kirati Keawsombut just before half-time giving them hope of securing a victory in front of fevered home support.
But they could not find a second goal to take the game into extra-time, with Singapore’s defense resolute in the face of wave after wave of Thai attacks.
It was an impressive third cup victory for their coach Radojko Avramovic, who guided Singapore to the 2004 and 2007 titles.
But he will inevitably face criticism for negative tactics despite a pre-match vow to go for the jugular in Thailand.
In reality his side barely registered a shot in the Supachalasai Stadium and were guilty of blatant time wasting throughout as they set out to defend their lead.
“In the end we deserved to win, because we scored three goals,” an unrepentant Avramovic said after the game, which will be his last in charge.
“It was a long, hard campaign. Thailand were not the losers today, we won at home and they won here, but the difference is that we had some luck.” Baihakki Khaizan, who scored the killer third goal in Singapore on Wednesday, starred for the visitors, making a series of key blocks and headers at the heart of the defense to keep the plucky Thai front line — including the prolific Teerasil Dangda — at bay.
He was helped by his goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud who made a vital save minutes from the end after substitute Chanathip Songkrasin slalomed into the box before unleashing a shot which would have taken the final into added time.
“They all gave 100 percent but it was just not quite enough. I don’t like to come to second but I’m proud of it,” said Thailand’s German coach Winfried Schafer.
“This team was fantastic and everybody can see Thailand has enough talent.” Thailand, who have been runners-up three times in the last four years, probed throughout the first-half without making a breakthrough, hitting the bar and frequently finding space out wide to cross into the packed box.
Kirati’s goal came after 15 minutes of pressure, powering in a header from a right side corner which sparked delirium in the stands as a giant Thai tricolore cascaded down one stand and smoke from flares wafted over the pitch.
But they could not find the second despite the jinking runs of Jakkapan Pornsai, or the pin-point crossing of Piyaphon Buntao from right midfield.
Ultimately the Lions had their dominant first-leg performance to thank for their historic win, with goals from Mustafic Fahruddin, Khairul Amri and Khaizan leaving Thailand with too much to do.


Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

Real Madrid's players celebrate after their Welsh forward Gareth Bale scored the the 3-1 during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on May 26, 2018. (AFP / Sergei Supoinsky)
Updated 10 min 58 sec ago
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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

  • adrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

KIEV, Ukraine: Gareth Bale’s eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over a Liverpool side thwarted by a pair of goalkeeping blunders and Mohamed Salah being forced off injured.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.

Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

This was not to be Salah’s night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career, but even he could not argue that this was Bale’s evening.

The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the Real starting line-up but in the end was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final win over Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.

The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana.

His presence at the World Cup could now be in doubt, as could that of Dani Carvajal — the Real right-back came off with a hamstring injury before the interval.

Those injuries temporarily took the sting out of the game after an enthralling start, with Liverpool on top.

It had been uncomfortable for Real, but after Salah departed, they sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Ronaldo’s header from Isco’s cross was parried by Karius, and Benzema turned in the loose ball, but the Frenchman had come from a fraction ahead of the last defender and the flag came up.

If that was a let-off for Liverpool, they were their own worst enemies at the start of the second half.

Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net.

Klopp’s side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner’s corner.

But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale.

The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo’s cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.

Such a strike deserved to be the winner, although it was his long-range shot that beat the embarrassed Karius in the 83rd minute that made sure of the victory.

Mane hit the post for Liverpool in between Bale’s strikes, but they will have to wait a while yet before winning their sixth European Cup.