March 26, 2008 / 3:28 PM / 12 years ago

Soccer-Singapore ease to qualifying win over Lebanon

SINGAPORE, March 26 (Reuters) - Singapore comfortably beat Lebanon 2-0 to pick up the first three points of their Asian World Cup third round qualifying campaign on Wednesday.

The city-state’s 37-year-old striker Aleksander Duric, who scored twice on his debut in the 3-1 second stage aggregate victory over Tajikistan, opened the scoring in the seventh minute after capitalising on some poor Lebanese defending.

Midfielder Fazrul Nawaz then doubled the home side’s advantage, effectively sealing the game after 24 minutes.

Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic praised Bosnian-born Duric, who was called-up to the national squad late last year after becoming a Singapore citizen.

“He was running hard in the first half and then in the second half he was playing more in midfield, I think he has done really well for us,” Avramovic told reporters.

Lebanon’s coach Emile Rustom, who was missing four first-team players including Cologne midfielder Roda Antar, bemoaned his selection problems.

“It was expected. Lebanon were missing four key players, you can imagine Singapore without four players,” he said.

Singapore move to second in Group 4, level on points with Saudi Arabia whom they lost to in February and three points behind leaders Uzbekistan. Lebanon remain bottom without a point. (Reporting by Luke Pachymuthu; Editing by Padraic Halpin)

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