Singapore, July 23: Singapore stormed to a three-goal first-half lead and held on to defeat Malaysia 5-3 on Saturday in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying match.
Malaysia drew first blood in the first minute, when striker Safee Sali took advantage of confusion in Singapore's defense to poke in one of his two goals.
But Singapore took control with four successive goals, the last two coming in the final three minutes of the first half.
Malaysia battled back in the second period, scoring in the 68th and 69th minutes. But 40-year-old Singapore forward Aleksandar Duric sealed the victory with his second goal of the game in the 80th minute.
The return leg will be played in Malaysia on Thursday. AP