Singapore in Tiger Cup semis

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Singapore advanced to the semi-finals of the 2004 Tiger Cup by defeating Cambodia 3-0 in their last preliminary match in Group A at Hanoi.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Singapore's coach and former Yugoslav goalkeeper, Radojko Avramovic was under pressure as his team took on whipping boys Cambodia in the final preliminary match in Group A at the Lach Tray Stadium in Hanoi on Wednesday. Singapore needed an outright win in the final group match to advance to the last four and eliminate hosts Vietnam, who were playing Laos in a same time kick off match. After a dull start, Singapore took the lead in the 21st minute. Indra Sahdan crossed from the right and Cambodian defender Sun Sampratna tried clearing the ball with a low header. Unfortunately the ball went straight to Itmi Dickson's chest and bounced back into goal. The Nigerian-born player delightfully claimed the goal and Singapore were ahead 1-0. Another defensive blunder helped Singapore double the lead in the 26th minute. Baihakki bin Khaizan headed a cross straight to goal keeper Hong Visokra, who failed to collect cleanly and allowed the ball to roll into the net. That gave Singapore a comfortable 2-0 lead at half time. Cambodia earned their only clear chance to reduce the margin in the 53rd minute. Sun Sovannarith found space down the left flank but could only shoot wide from inside the box. Singapore took the match beyond the reach of Cambodians with their third goal in the 55th minute. Substitute Khairul Amri deflected the ball towards the goal from close range and the Cambodian custodian once again failed to deal with it and let the ball roll into goal. Singapore won the match 3-0 and qualified for the semi-finals. Over at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, hosts Vietnam took on Laos at the same time on Wednesday. New coach Tran Van Khanh seemed relaxed as his team were as good as eliminated from the tournament after an earlier loss to Indonesia. Vietnam took an early lead as Le Chong Vinh scored in the 9th minute after Laotian goalkeeper Siththalay Khanyavong made an error. Three minutes before the break, Vietnam doubled the lead after Nguyen Minh Phuong fired in from close range. Vietnam sealed the win in the 75th minute as Thach Bao Khanh scored with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. Vietnam won the match 3-0 but were knocked out of the tournament. The 2004 Tiger Cup semi-finals and finals will be played in a home-away format later this month and early January. (AP)

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