The opening matchday of the Boys Youth Olympic Football Tournament Singapore 2010 on Friday came as a fantastic prelude to tomorrow's Opening Ceremony, with the hosts cruising to a 3-1 opening victory over Zimbabwe, while Bolivia recorded a comfortable 2-0 win against Vanuatu.
Match of the day
Singapore 3–1 Zimbabwe
Goals: Ammirul Mazlan 1', Muhaimin Suhaimi 11', 30'; Albert Kusemwak 64'
The hosts got off to the best possible start with three goals in the opening 30 minutes helping them to a 3-1 win. Determined to showcase their talent, Kadir Yahaya's side came pressed from the first whistle and their first move produced the opening goal after just 11 seconds; Ammirul Mazlan scoring from 25 yards. The early goal sparked the stadium into celebration and spurred on by the vociferous home crowd, the Young Lions pressed harder, doubling their lead after ten minutes when Muhaimin Suhaimi's diagonal shot from 20 yards flew into the net off the keeper's outstretched palm.
The diminutive striker went on to score a second on the half-hour when he headed home Hanafi Mohd's free-kick from the right. Three goals to the good, the home side looked more comfortable on the ball and began to enjoy the match. The second half saw Zimbabwe rally to pull one back courtesy of Albert Kusemwa's spot-kick and although the Africans caused some problems in the later stages, the hosts kept their cool to collect the three points.
The other match
Vanuatu 0-2 Bolivia
Goals: Carlos Anez 19', Luis Banegas 42'
Bolivia simply proved to be too strong for Vanuatu with the South Americans coasting to a 2-0 opening win. Carlos Anez put his side in front after 19 minutes before Luis Banegas sealed three points with a clinical finish in the second half. The only side that openly stated their ambition for gold, Bolivia got the better of the game after the early exchanges, with their attacking duo of Jorge Alpire and Rodrigo Mejido constantly threatening the Vanuatu goal.
Their instinctive partnership led to their opening goal, when Alpire surged down the left before perfectly picking out his strike partner in the area. The Vanuatu goalkeeper could do nothing but bring him down for a spot kick, from which Anez converted, sending the keeper the wrong way. Bolivia continued their stranglehold on the proceedings after the restart, with the second half belonging to Banegas, who was on target two minutes after being introduced from the bench.
Goal of the Day
Trailing by a single goal, Vanuatu's hopes of a comeback against Bolivia were dashed when Banegas scored after 42 minuted. Running onto Yasser Manzur's chipped pass, the Real America striker surged clear into the area before coolly side-footing a low shot into the left bottom corner.
10: The number of seconds it took for Ammirul Mazlan to score the first goal – and the number of minutes between Singapore's first and second goals against Zimbabwe.
"I am happy we got off to a good start, but this doesn't mean we are the tournament favourites. At this age group anything can happen so we have to continue our good work." Kadir Yahaya, Singapore coach.