The Lions looked fired up after the restart and would hunt higher up the pitch. And that pressure would create space for a Song snapshot in the 52nd minute but his speculative effort was held by Kampon.
Their opponents were by no means out of the game, and a skewed Ekanit Panya shot in the 58th minute was a warning sign for the Lions.
Then came the game-winner – a brilliant through ball from second-half substitute Teerasil Dangda found the onrushing Suphanat who finished with aplomb.
As the Lions pressed for the equaliser, Suphanat would drill home minutes from the full-time whistle.
Speaking at a post-match press conference, Polking described the win as an “important” one after Thailand’s 2-1 loss to China in Bangkok last week. He said that his side took more control of the match in the second half after a first 45 where Singapore caused problems.
“We lost the first game, (so) the only chance to be alive would be to win that game here,” he said.
“We are very, very, very happy to get the points that we need.”
Nishigaya said that his players were “all very disappointed”.
“We’re all very disappointed that we couldn’t produce the result that the fans were expecting and that we wanted,” he said.
“But I have to say the players gave it their all for the full 90 minutes and I’m sure what they’ve learned today will help them to get through the next game.”
When asked if he would still be around for Singapore’s clash with China next year, Nishigaya said that he did not know but is fully committed to the job.
The first two rounds of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifying for the 2026 World Cup also serve as the first two stages of qualifying for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup. The top two teams from each group will move on to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers and also qualify for the Asian Cup. The remaining teams will continue to play qualifying matches, but only for entry into the Asian Cup.
The Lions’ subsequent qualifiers will be played next year. They will meet China at home on Mar 21 and away on Mar 26 before the return fixtures against South Korea and Thailand on Jun 6 and Jun 11 respectively.