SINGAPORE — They had not won a match at the SEA Games since 1985. In fact, they had not even taken part in the biennial event between 2003 and this edition.
But with virtually the last kick of their match against Laos, substitute Izzati Rosni gave Singapore's women's football team their first victory in nearly 37 years, in a 1-0 victory at the Cam Pha Stadium on Friday (13 May).
The Lionesses were ranked 135th in the world, but stunned their 83rd-ranked opponents when Izzati intercepted a clearance and fired an unstoppable shot from just inside the penalty box to spark jubilant scenes among the Singapore squad.
"I am so glad that I was able to be the finisher for the team because they were working so hard, and we wanted so badly to prove that we can compete at the regional level," she said.
Her goal is the first scored by the Lionesses since the 1995 Games in Chiang Mai. Then, Goh Lay Nah netted in a 1-2 defeat by the Philippines.
The Lionesses had beaten the Philippines 2-0 at the 1985 Games in Bangkok, the last time they had managed a victory in the biennial meet. In fact, throughout the SEA Games' 63-year history, Singapore women's football had only participated in five editions.
The win over Laos puts Singapore third in the four-team Group B, with three points from two matches. They had earlier lost 0-3 to Thailand in their opening match on Tuesday, and will next play world No.45 Myanmar on Sunday.