|Indonesia’s Evan Dimas Darmono (6) celebrates scoring his side’s first goal with his teammates. Photo credit: SINGSOC|
SINGAPORE–Singapore were knocked out of the SEA Games football tournament on Thursday after slumping to a 1-0 loss to Indonesia, who completed the semi-final lineup.
Midfielder Evan Dimas scored the only goal in the 46th minute as the country banned by world governing body FIFA last month for government interference in their football association kept up their bid for a first soccer gold since 1991.
The under-23 side were only allowed to compete in Singapore as the ban had come after the tournament had started.
Singapore needed to win the fixture to leapfrog their opponents and finish second in the pool behind already qualified Myanmar but their plans came unstuck at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The hosts slim hopes were all but ended when leftback Ho Wai Loon was shown a second yellow card in the 65th minute for a mistimed challenge.
Indonesia next face hot-favourites Thailand in the last four at the 55,000-seat National Stadium on Saturday after Myanmar take on Vietnam earlier in the day at the same venue.
The Thais have won nine of the last 11 football golds at the biennial games for the 11-nation bloc and breezed through Group B with five wins from five after beating Vietnam 3-1 in the battle for top spot on Wednesday.
Singapore’s loss in the football was a rare blemish at a Games where everything has gone better than expected.
The host-nation has dominated the medals table from the outset and at the of Thursday, the republic led the standings with 66 golds and 193 medals in total. Vietnam is second with 57 golds followed by Thailand (55) and Malaysia (32) with a further 129 golds to be decided over the last five days.
Earlier in the day, organisers of the SEA Games said they were investigating an outbreak of food poisoning which affected competitors in cycling events.
A handful of riders in the men’s and women’s individual time trials complained that they woke up feeling ill and officials said they would look into the cause while offering advice on what meals to eat before competition.
“They have been advised to keep their bodies hydrated and our sport dietician is helping them in meal planning,” said Team Singapore’s chief medical officer doctor Teoh Chin Sim.
The men’s race was won by Indonesia’s Robin Manullang while the Philippines’ Marella Vania Salamat won the gold medal in the women’s race.