Singapore win Sultan of Selangor's Cup after first-half blitz

Singapore Selection won the Sultan of Selangor's (SOS) Cup on Saturday evening after claiming a thrilling 3-2 win over Selangor Selection at the National Stadium.

First-half goals by Khairul Nizam and Shakir Hamzah put Singapore firmly in control of proceedings before the break, before Faris Ramli added a third from the penalty spot on the hour mark.

However, Selangor hit back through efforts from Safee Sali and Gonzalo Soto. But they failed to find an equaliser to force the penalty shootout, allowing their hosts to hold out for the victory.

The 16th edition of the SOS Cup was not the first time in eight years that the annual event was hosted on Singapore soil. It was also the competition's debut at the National Stadium which was rebuilt and reopened in 2014.

Despite the game effectively being a glamourous friendly, there was a sense of occasion as the home side responded better from the opening whistle.

They took the lead after 11 minutes when a lovely floated ball by Yasir Hanapi to the back post found Nizam. He climbed above two defenders to power a header into the back of the net.

Buoyed by taking the lead, Fandi Ahmad's charges began to grow in confidence, and they doubled their advantage a minute before half-time.

Yasir was again the architect and it was Shakir who was the beneficiary of his vision. He latched onto the midfielder's slide-rule pass before coolly using the outside of his left foot to guide his shot past Zamir Selamat.

The visitors had a golden opportunity to pull one back seven minutes after the restart when Safee Sali was brought down inside the box by Afiq Yunos. But the Malaysia international spurned the opportunity by blazing over from 12 yards out.

Seven minutes later, Singapore were awarded a penalty of their own when Nizam was barged over inside the area by Soto.

It was Faris who stepped up to the plate for the hosts. Unlike Safee, he kept his cool to send Zamir the wrong way to find the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

However, Safee made amends three minutes after the hour mark to hand his side a lifeline with a brilliant individual goal.

Latching onto Shahrul Azhar Ture's diagonal pass down the left, Safee got past Faritz Hameed with a clever nutmeg before bending a sublime shot past Hassan into the far corner.

Then, in the 77th minute, Selangor reduced the deficit further as Matias Jadue's powerful header from a corner was saved, but fortuitously deflected off Soto's shin and into the back of the net.

Nonetheless, Singapore were not to be denied as they played out the remainder of the contest to emerge as winners of the SOS Cup.

Singapore Selection: Hassan Sunny, Faritz Hameed, Irfan Fandi (Zulfahmi Arifin 65'), Yasutaka Yanagi (Afiq Yunos 46'), Shakir Hamzah, Hariss Harun, Kento Nagasaki, Yasir Hanapi (Khairul Amri 56'), Faris Ramli (Hami Syahin 87'), Jordan Webb (Gabriel Quak 90'), Khairul Nizam (Shahril Ishak 68')

Selangor Selection: Zamir Selamat, P. Gunalan, Nizam Abu Bakar (Bobby Gonzales 90'), Gonzalo Soto, Azmi Muslim (Alif Haikal 56'), Shahrul Azhar Ture (Azreen Zulkafali 66'), Fauzan Dzulkifli, Shim Un-seob (Matias Jadue 40'), Nazrin Syamsul (Khyril Muhymeen 86'), Safee Sali, Patrick Wleh (Lucas Espindola 81')