Jul 18, 2015 at 11am UK at ​Singapore National Stadium
Singha All Star XISingha All Star XI
StokeStoke City
FT(HT: 0-1)
Sidwell (7'), Arnautovic (72')

Live Commentary: Singha All Star XI 0-2 Stoke City - as it happened

Mark Hughes, manager of Stoke City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City at Loftus Road on September 20, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole provides live text coverage of Stoke City's pre-season friendly against a Singha All Star XI side in the Far East.

Stoke City rounded off their tour of the Far East with a well-earned 2-0 victory over a Singapore All Star XI side.

Steve Sidwell opened the scoring for the Potters early on at the National Stadium, before Marko Arnautovic added a second 18 minutes from time.

Singha had chances of their own, most notably Safuwan Baharudin's one-on-one in the first half, but they were unable to capitalise as the chance to finish third in the Premier League Asia Trophy slipped by.

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of the action below.

10.30amHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League Asia Trophy clash between Stoke City and Singha All Star XI.

10.32amThe Potters are left battling it out for third place this morning, having been edged out on penalties by Stoke City earlier this week. Singha, meanwhile, were beaten heavily by Arsenal in their last outing, so they will be looking for redemption in this third-place playoff.

10.33amRight, kickoff at the National Stadium in Singapore is less than 30 minutes away now, so let's get straight into things by taking a look at some team news.


STARTING XI: Given; Bardsley, Cameron, Wollscheid, Muniesa; Whelan; Odemwingie, Sidwell, van Ginkel, Arnautovic; Crouch

SUBS: Butland, Haugaard, Ireland, Joselu, Wilson, Adam, Diouf, Teixeira, Moha, Shenton

10.37amA strong looking starting lineup named by Stoke boss Mark Hughes, then, with what is very close to his strongest selection of players for this final outing in the Far East. Today will provide us with the chance to run the rule over the Potters' latest recruits, including Shay Given between the sticks who is selected over Jack Butland.

10.39amThere is also a place in the starting lineup for Chelsea loanee Marko van Ginkel - an exciting midfield prospect who could prove to be a real star in the top flight next season. As widely expected due to his media duties this week, Peter Crouch is selected to lead the line for the Premier League outfit, with Marko Arnautovic among those to provide support in attack.

10.41amStoke arrived at the ground around an hour ago, with kickoff now fast approaching in Singapore:

10.43amSo plenty of players to look out for in terms of the visiting side, then, but what about their opponents? Well Singha failed to truly trouble Arsenal in their meeting earlier this week, falling 4-0 to a Chuba Akpom inspired Gunners. They will be eager to make a mark this morning, though, against a Stoke side who themselves struggled to get off the mark in Wednesday's opening fixtures.

10.45amOf course, this trip to the Far East, which comes very early on in pre-season, is all about one thing - fitness. That's not to say Mark Hughes will be happy to see his side lose, but a good run-out is what is needed at this stage. A meeting with Wrexham awaits in midweek as Stoke make a return to British shores, before fixtures against Brentford, Koln, and Porto ahead of their August 9 opener.

10.47amI mentioned Van Ginkel a little earlier, who may be granted an hour or so, but there is no place in the squad for Glen Johnson. Mark Hughes has been speaking to reporters this morning, confirming that this outing comes a little too soon for the ex-Liverpool full-back.

10.49amWhile this fixture is indeed a friendly, it does have just the slightest sense of competitiveness to it with three Premier League teams involved. The tournament was first staged in this part of the world back in 2003, and it has been held biennially ever since with great success.

10.51amChelsea were the first team to lift the trophy 12 years ago, while Bolton Wanderers, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur and most recently Manchester City have also prevailed. This year's event is being held in Singapore for this first time, giving fans in this part of the world the chance to see their heroes (and Peter Crouch) up close.

10.53amIncidentally, Sports Mole will be providing live text coverage of this afternoon's final between Arsenal and Everton. Kickoff in that one is scheduled for about 1.30pm, but right now all attention turns to Stoke's clash against Singha All Star XI.

10.55amShay Given and Marko van Ginkel - two of five changes from last time out - make their first Stoke starts this morning:

10.57amSingapore have made one change to their side, by the way, which comes about through injury. These players are halfway through their domestic campaign, so fitness wise they should be more than a few notches above their opponents.

10.59amPREDICTION: Stoke played out a rather bland goalless draw with Everton in their opening Premier League Asia Trophy outing, but I'm expecting far more entertainment in this one. Fitness is the key, of course, but following their first run-out on Wednesday, I'll back the Potters to claim a 2-0 win.

1 minKICKOFF! Stoke City, in their new away strip, get us underway at the Singapore National Stadium.

3 minSingha have started the better here, playing their way superbly through Stoke's midfield. A free kick from range is swung into the box, but the Potters clear away with relative ease in the end.

5 minA confident start for Singha culminates in a shot from distance flying high over the bar. They have clearly taken some confidence from their first outing against Arsenal, meaning Stoke have a real game on their hands here.

6 minArnautovic, lively against Everton earlier this week, produces an enticing cross which is just about cleared away by the home side.


8 minSingha started brightly, but it is the Premier League side who take an early lead through Steve Sidwell. Having cleared away that Arnautovic cross, a corner came into the box and Crouch jumped highest to head goalwards where Sidwell was waiting stab home.

10 minThat will do Mark Hughes's men the world of good following their goalless showing against Everton. The question now is whether they can push on and bag a couple more in the same way Arsenal did. Singha will certainly not make it easy.

12 minOdemwingie attempted to use his pace to get in on goal, but in the end a ball over the top was just about out of reach. Stoke pressing well at the moment to ensure that the ball remains in the opposition side's half.

14 minThe Stoke players are already sweating, which is what this is all about I guess. They still have many more fixtures to come before their first league outing against Liverpool, so the fitness levels will only improve between now and then.

15 minA promising spell for the home side, which is pretty much their first since the opening stages, comes to nothing in the end. It did get the supporters out of their seats, though, so more of that is required if they are to trouble their English opponents.

17 minSHOT! Odemwingie is looking to get involved in the game, firing away a shot from the edge of the box which was dragged well wide in the end. Stoke are back on top now, with Van Ginkel beginning to show glimmers of what he is capable of.

19 minNot a great deal happening out on the field at the moment in truth. Stoke's only chance ended with Sidwell stabbing home from close range, while Singha have shown the odd glimmer of hope in attack without troubling Shay Given between the sticks.

21 minThis 55,000-seater stadium is not quite full yet, but we can expect that to change prior to Arsenal's clash later today:

23 minA decent chance for Stoke, as Odemiwngie's nicely floated back-post cross is controlled by Arnautovic. The Austrian's return cross was plucked out of the air by Mahbud, however, with the opportunity ultimately coming to nothing.

25 minSAVE! Given is tested for the first time on what is his first start for the club, but it was the simplest of stops. Amri picked up the ball about 30 yards from goal, before taking a few touches and firing away. The effort lacked any real pace, though, meaning the Irishman was easily behind it to collect down low.

27 minFollowing a quick water break, the play has slowed down somewhat. Still 1-0 thanks to Sidwell's early strike at the Singapore National Stadium.

30 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Well Arnautovic was in absolute acres of space, so it was surprising not to see the flag go up initially. But as soon as he tucked the ball past Mahbud with a smart finish, the flag did indeed go up on the far side.

32 minStoke are certainly on top now, and they perhaps would have had a second had Crouch played his cards right. He played a big part in the opener, but this time the Englishman looked to loop the ball into the net rather than pick out a teammate, with the ball floating over the bar.

34 minStoke's defence, minus Ryan Shawcross this morning, have not truly been tested yet in truth. It's been a better workout in midfield and attack, where the Potters continue to plug away in search of a second.

36 minInterestingly, and perhaps under instruction from his manager, Given refuses to punt the ball long when under pressure and instead plays it out to a teammate. Singha continued to press, and when the ball went back to the Irishman he had little choice but to hoof it. Now that is the City we know and love.

38 minStoke showing signs of tiredness as half time draws nearer, which provides the perfect chance for Singha All Star XI to mount a counter-attack. They've shown no signs of doing so, though, as the Potters just continue to easily knock the ball around.

40 minSingha's best piece of play in a while, which sees Amri play the ball through to Camara on the left. The Frenchman had a chance to take on his man, but he instead opted to go for an early cross which Given handled with ease.

42 minSome very sloppy play creeping into City's game now, perhaps understandably. Half time will be welcome for the Potters right now - it's just a shame Singha haven't moved up a gear to take advantage.

43 minThe home side clearly took my last comment into consideration, having put together a fine attacking move. It culminated in a cross coming in from the right-hand side, which disappointingly swung into the side-netting.

44 minSHOT! Amri has stood out for the hosts so far, trying his luck from range on a couple of occasions. This strike was also wayward, yet it had Given scrambling across his goal a little. Singha are now on top for the first time, which is down to their improved fitness levels.

45+1 minStoke have managed to see out that little wave of pressure to preserve their narrow lead. Half time is now just 30 seconds or so away.

45+2 minCHANCE! Singha's best opening of the tournament to date falls to the feet of Baharudin. The midfielder timed his run well to latch on to the ball and find himself one-on-one with Given, but he opted to loft it over the outrushing keeper and inch wide of goal. What a chance!


11.51amSo Stoke City take a slender 1-0 advantage into the break, which for 40 minutes or so was just about deserved. Singha, as expected, grew into things more and more as the half elapsed, though, and kept their best chance by far until the last kick off the opening 45 minutes.

11.53amThe only goal of the half came via Sidwell in the seventh minutes. The midfielder took advantage of Crouch's knockdown to divert the ball goalwards from close range for City's first goal of pre-season.

11.55amWithout creating a great deal of openings, Stoke still remained relatively on top, with Arnautovic thinking he had added a second only for the offside flag to go up. The Potters tired more and more, seeing the odd mistake creep into their game, and that allowed Singha to pounce.

11.57amAmri, probably the hosts' liveliest player, shot narrowly wide five minutes from the interval, before Baharudin squandered a glorious one-on-one chance at the death. It all means that we have plenty to play for in the second 45, which will get underway shortly.

12pmA quick reminder that Arsenal vs. Everton follows soon after the conclusion of this contest in Singapore:

46 minRESTART! We are back underway at the National Stadium. Stoke have made two changes at the break, bringing on Charlie Adam and Mame Diouf in place of Whelan and Crouch.

48 minFresh legs for Stoke, then, which could be enough to see them wrestle back control until the hour mark. It's been a stop-start opening couple of minutes to the half so far.

50 minSulaiman opts to try his luck from distance with an unsuccessful attempt, when he had better-placed options elsewhere. Promising signs for the Asian side, nonetheless, as Stoke hold on to their 1-0 advantage.

52 minHowler of the day comes via Odemwingie, who has just swung a cross around 10 yards out of reach of his nearest teammate. He hasn't been able to grow into this one in all honesty.

53 minSAVE! Fantastic chance for Stoke - their best by far since taking the lead - which Diouf fails to take. The replacement forward raced through on goal and had plenty of time to think about what he was going to do, but in the end he struck the ball right at Mahbud who stayed big.

55 minVan Ginkel has got himself into a few promising positions, swinging in another cross from wide which was cleared away before reaching a teammate. Hughes will be thinking about his final batch of changes shortly.

57 minMuniesa's clever little flick through to Diouf sees the Senegalese in a decent shooting position for the second time in the space of four minutes, but he can only prod his attempt into the side-netting.

59 minSingha have made a couple of changes already, incidentally, changing both of their wide players. I'm sure City's full-backs will be delighted by that, with 30 minutes still left to play.

62 minSingha XI win a free kick in a decent shooting position, which Baharudin curls a foot or so wide. It's a well-balanced game on the whole, but you'd back the Potters to bag the contest's second goal.

64 minSTOKE CITY SUBS: Steven Ireland and Joselu have been introduced for the final 25 minutes in place of Van Ginkel and goalscorer Sidwell.

66 minThe hosts are certainly not afraid of trying their luck from range, yet Given has barely been tested all game. That said, Singha certainly look far more brighter at this stage than they did in the opening 35 minutes or so of the match.

68 minBardsley works hard to earn a yard or two, but his cross was ultimately disappointing. Adam then attempted to pick out Diouf at the far post from a well-worked short corner, which had just a little too much on it.

70 minThe second-half drinks break is now over and done with. Stoke are still plugging away for a second, but much like in the first half, we could see momentum swing as things progress.


73 minStoke have a second courtesy of Marko Arnautovic's well-taken strike. The Austrian attacker stepped inside his man and simply placed the ball beyond Mahbud from close range to surely secure third place for the Potters.

75 minSAVE! The Premier League club really should have wrapped things up, having wasted a glorious chance for a third goal. Odemwingie raced through on goal but couldn't stick the ball past Mahbud, whose legs came to the rescue.

77 minSAVE! This contest is turning into a replica of the Arsenal game now, as Stoke up the ante and create chance after chance. The latest again falls Odemwingie's way, but he can't divert past Mahbud, who is fast turning into the Nigerian's nemesis.

78 minSTOKE CITY SUB: The Potters have brought on Marc Wilson in place of Marc Muniesa for these closing 10 minutes.

80 minThird place in the Premier League Asia Trophy beckons for the Potters:

81 minSTOKE CITY SUB: Odemwingie, involved heavily over the past 10 minutes or so, leaves the field with Moha coming on in his place.

83 minCHANCE! Steven Ireland is picked out unmarked seven yards from goal, but fires over the bar when attempting to pick out the top-left corner. He really should have done better from that position. Meanwhile, Singha XI have opted to replace their goalkeeper.

85 minThe first task for stand-in goalkeeper Nawaz is to collect a dangerous cross in from the right by Arnautovic. The crowd have increased the volume levels over the past few moments, perhaps in excitement ahead of the Arsenal game, yet the Singha players can't respond with a goal.

87 minThis is around the time the hosts upped things in the first half, taking advantage of Stoke's inferior fitness levels. That doesn't look likely to be the case now, though, as the Potters remain comfortable on the ball heading into the final few minutes.

89 minArnautovic has done well down the right, again seeing a decent cross cut-out at the front post for a corner. The set piece was sung in and headed away from goal at the back post.

90 minAll very straightforward for Stoke as we head into one minute of added time. Adam has just dragged a shot narrowly wide of goal in what is likely to be the last piece of meaningful action.


12.52pmStoke City's tour of the Far East ends on a positive note, as they claim a well-earned 2-0 win over a Singapore Select XI side. Steve Sidwell opened the scoring early on, before Marko Arnautovic rounded things off 18 minutes from time at the National Stadium.

12.54pmIt follows on the back of a goalless draw against Everton just a few days ago, so Mark Hughes will be more than happy with what he has witnessed this week. Stoke now head back to British shores for a friendly against Wrexham, as they up preparations for their Premier League opener against Liverpool in three weeks' time.

12.55pmWell that's all from me, but stick around on Sports Mole because we have live text commentary from the Premier League Asia Trophy final to come in a few minutes' time.

Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes walks to the dugout prior to the Barclays Pemier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium on March 1, 2014
Read Next:
End-of-season report: Stoke City
Related Video
1Leicester CityLeicester31199354312366
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs311710456243261
4Manchester CityMan City30156952322051
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham301311647351250
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd30148838271150
8Stoke CityStoke31137113437-346
11West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom30109113037-739
15Swansea CitySwansea3199133140-936
16Crystal Palace3096153240-833
17Norwich CityNorwich3177173254-2228
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3067172955-2625
20Aston Villa3137212258-3616