Last year, they were too weak, and had slumped 0-6. After 12 months, they gave Vietnamese a run for their money, not letting them score at all in the second game of Group A that finally ended 0-0 at the Hang Day Stadium.
Part of the blame goes to the host strikers wasting many a chance, while some attempts were resisted well by the defenders.
Vietnamese forwards needed 10 minutes to check out Singapore’s line-up before they unleashed their attacks from two wings.
Ha Duc Chinh and Ho Minh Di had three opportunities as they received perfect passes from teammates but failed to score.
The hosts gradually went on to dominate the match, trying to find a way to Singapore’s goal mouth. However, even when Singapore was forced to play with their substitute goalkeeper Ahmad Fadly after Muhammad Zhafran was sidelined because of injury, the Vietnamese could not score.
Chinh missed his chance at a shot just 5m far from the net. Later, Trần Thành broke into the penalty area but his kick could only find Fadly.
Thành again wasted an opportunity towards the end when his tap struck the right pole.
Tong Anh Ty was given a ball in the additional time but his header went wide.
Vietnam and Singapore shared the second position in Group A after the first round matches. East Timor were on top after they defeated the Philippines 2-1 in a game earlier in the day.
Midfielder Gaudencio Armindo Monteiro gave Timor the best of a start when he fired on a rebound just 10 minutes before striker Henrique Wilson Da Cruz Martins added the second goal in the 37th minute.
The Philippines tried to fight back and finally pulled off a goal in the 75th minute through Jordan Jarvis from the edge of the Timor box.
The Group B matched will take place today. Defending champions Thailand will play Laos at Hang Day. Myanmar will see Indonesia and title favourite Australia will meet Cambodia. The two latter games will be played at the Vietnam Football Federation’s Youth Training Centre. Doors are open to all spectators, free of charge.