Ikhsan Fandi double sees Singapore down rivals Malaysia in FAS Tri-Nations Series

Ikhsan Fandi notched a clinical double at the National Stadium on Saturday evening to hand Singapore a 2-1 win over Malaysia in the FAS Tri-Nations Series 2022. Football Association of Singapore

Singapore have opened their FAS Tri-Nations Series 2022 campaign with a gritty 2-1 win over fierce rivals Malaysia at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Ikhsan Fandi opened the scoring for the Lions on the half-hour mark when he applied the finishing touches to an incisive counterattack, after Song Ui-young had broken free down the left and found him with a neat layoff.

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But Malaysia -- who got off to a winning start in the triangular tournament with a 2-0 win over Philippines on Wednesday -- hit back in the 57th minute through a composed finish inside the area by substitute Liridon Krasniqi.

Just when it looked like a draw might be on the cards, Ikhsan came to the fore once more with 14 minutes remaining, producing a fine individual effort and leaving a couple of defenders in his wake before expertly placing a shot into the bottom corner to win the tie for Singapore.

The triumph was particularly impressive given Singapore are yet to appoint a new fulltime coach following the departure of Tatsuma Yoshida, who left after leading the Lions to a semifinal finish at last year's AFF Suzuki Cup.

Filling the void has been ex-Singapore captain Nazri Nasir, who will get another chance to stake his claim for the job on a permanent basis in the final game of the FAS Tri-Nations Series 2022 against Philippines on Tuesday.