National Team - Lionesses ● Apr 10, 2022
Lionesses look forward to Papua New Guinea test
Lionesses at a training session, 8 April 2022.
SINGAPORE, 10 APRIL 2022 – The Singapore Women’s National Team are in for a challenge when they face one of Oceania’s greatest, Papua New Guinea, in their final fixture of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Tri-Nations Series 2022 (Women’s).
Ranked 49th by FIFA rankings and second in the Oceania Football Confederation, the visitors are five-time Pacific Games champions. The Lionesses, ranked 135th, will take on the Lakatois at Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday, 11 April with kick-off scheduled at 8.30pm due to the fasting month.
In the face of strong opposition, Coach Stephen Ng stayed calm and said, “It will be a good international match experience for us. We are looking to apply our tactics and transitions, and they will be good opponents to practice on… and test out what we have. Regardless of the scoreline, I will mostly look at the players’ level of performance and whether they can execute what we have worked on, when under pressure.”
The Lionesses edged Seychelles 6-2 last Monday with a confident display and several dynamic linkups between forward pair Danelle Tan and Stephanie Dominguez, and midfielders Putri Syaliza and Farhanah Ruhaizat.
“The approach will still be the same for us; we always look at games as preparation not for the specific game itself,” said Ng. “We are working on the Southeast Asian Games, so the play will (differ) in our variation of attacks but at the same time, they need to find a good balance to not open up space for our opponents to hit us.”
Singapore hosted Papua New Guinea seven years ago in back-to-back friendly matches at the Queenstown Stadium. The Singapore Selection squad then consisted of several current Lionesses, such as goalkeepers Noor Kusumawati, Beatrice Tan and midfielder Ho Hui Xin.
The first encounter ended in a goal-less draw, but the Papua New Guineans returned two days later to win 5-0. Kusumawati recalled that the Papuans back then were “physically strong” and “always hungry for the ball”, who posed a strong defence line.
Captain Ernie Sulastri shared that regardless of the test ahead, the camp is in good spirits. “It was a good win for us last Monday, and a good booster for us to keep us motivated and train harder as a team,” she said. “We tasted our first win in an international match after four years, and for many of the younger ones, it was their first win for Singapore ever.
Captain Ernie Sulastri at a training session, 8 April 2022.
“We will also remain focused on our journey, which is the Southeast Asian Games. Tomorrow will be a test on how secure we are as a team, attacking and defending together as one unit. The team has a good mixture of young and experienced, and more so with the overseas-based players returning. We have great chemistry together because Coach has emphasized a lot on teamwork, and you can see it on the pitch that we’re united when we face an opponent.”
Tickets for the match against Papua New Guinea can be purchased at fas.org.sg/tickets, and the ticketing booth at Jalan Besar Stadium on matchday. The match will also be streamed LIVE on the FAS Facebook page.