FootballLatest NewsNews

Singapore Goalkeeper Saves China’s World Cup Dreams

A dramatic turn of events in Group C of Asian World Cup qualifying saw China progress to the next round, thanks in part to a stellar performance by Singapore’s goalkeeper, Hassan Sunny.

Following a 1-0 defeat to South Korea, China faced elimination if Thailand defeated Singapore by a three-goal margin in Bangkok. While Thailand did win 3-1, Sunny’s impressive 11 saves ensured the victory wasn’t convincing enough. China, with a superior head-to-head record against Thailand, booked their place in the next round alongside group winners South Korea.

Sunny’s heroics made him an unlikely internet star in China. A video clip of him saying “Thank you, China” after the match garnered over 130 million views on Weibo, China’s popular social media platform. Fans showered him with praise, with some calling him the “national team’s 12th man” and others likening his performance to that of a “god.”

The 40-year-old Singaporean, who recently ventured into the restaurant business, has been inundated with promises of support from Chinese fans. Many vowed to visit his restaurant on their next trip to Singapore.

While Sunny’s heroics played a crucial role, some fans pointed out that Thailand’s profligacy in front of goal also aided China’s qualification. Jokes circulated online about Thai attacker Jaroensak Wonggorn, who missed a clear chance in injury time with no defenders around him.

18 teams will compete in the third round of Asian qualifying from September, aiming to secure a spot in the 2026 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

(Source: AFP)

Related Articles

Back to top button