Singapore got their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup off to a winning start after Harris Harun scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over 2016 runners-up Indonesia at National Stadium on Friday.

The hosts had the better of the opening stages and almost went in front in the ninth minute, only for goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa to deny Ikshan Fandi when one-on-one, before the forward blazed his follow-up effort wide.

Indonesia then could have broken the deadlock five minutes later when Stefano Lilipaly’s cross was inadvertently headed against his own crossbar by Irfan Fandi as the Singaporeans survived a scare. 

Eight minutes before the interval the home side took the lead when Harris finished from 12 yards after the Indonesian defence had failed to clear Gabriel Quak’s delivery from the right.

And the hosts almost doubled their advantage soon after as Yasir Hanapi headed back for Faris Ramli, who’s header was well saved by Andritany.

Five minutes after the restart Faris came even closer when he ran onto a long pass over the top and chipped the outrushing Andritany, only to see his effort clip the top of the bar on the way over.

Singapore continued to push forward and Faris had yet another attempt on the hour but this time curled wide of the target as the game remained finely balanced.

The visitors fought back in search of an equaliser and Febri Haryadi fired wide from distance midway through the half, before defender Zulfiandi blazed well over as the 2016 runners-up failed to threaten the Singaporean goal.

By now Indonesia were on top, though, and Rizky Rizaldio saw his on-target effort saved by goalkeeper Hassan Sunny after a neat back-heel by striker Beto.

But it was not to be for the Indonesians and their frustration boiled over in the latter stages when Puti Gede Juni Antara was dismissed for a second bookable offenceas Singapore held out for a famous victory.

Singapore will look to maintain their winning start when they travel to the Philippines on Tuesday, while Indonesia will be desperate to get their first points on the board at home to Timor-Leste on the same day.