National Team - Lionesses ● Sep 23, 2021
Lionesses ready to face Indonesia in opener of Asian Cup qualifying
Head Coach Stephen Ng at the pre-match press conference, 22 September 2021. (Photo: Tajikistan Football Federation)
DUSHANBE, 23 SEPTEMBER 2021 – The Lionesses will begin Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 qualifying campaign tomorrow night when they take on Indonesia in the first of two Group C encounters.
The overall winner, to be determined either by points or by a superior goal difference, will qualify for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 next year. In the event that both teams cannot be separated by the preceding two tiebreakers, a penalty shootout will be used to determine the qualifier. Both matches will be broadcasted live on the FAS Facebook and Youtube page, at 6pm (9pm SGT).
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The Lionesses may be ranked 130th in the FIFA World Rankings, 34 places below 96th-ranked Indonesia, but head coach Stephen Ng believes that his charges are capable of holding their own.
At the pre-match press conference yesterday, Ng said: “Our team is well-prepared. We have a new generation of players (among the senior veterans) who are all looking forward to doing their best.”
When asked about the withdrawal of Iraq and DPR Korea from Group C, Ng said: “It is both good and bad for us. The bad is that we have lesser games to play. The good, that we only have one obstacle, which is Indonesia. We respect their team but are also confident of our own abilities.
“Indonesia is a seasoned campaigner that have participated in the AFF Women’s Championship and the Southeast Asian Games. But we have come in with a game plan and we will work hard towards getting the result.”
Captain Ernie Sulastri, 22 September 2021. (Photo: Tajikistan Football Federation)
The team has been preparing arduously, added Captain Ernie Sulastri, Singapore’s highest-capped player. She said: “Despite the pandemic, coach Stephen came up with a structured training plan that allowed us to (prepare) ourselves first in groups of two, to eight and then in full. We believe in his process, and we trust in his game plan. The philosophy (of the team) is also important. There is emphasis on team bonding, playing as a team and fighting hard together.”
Singapore have met Indonesia four times, drawing twice and losing the other two. The most recent encounter at the 2018 AFF Women’s Championship ended in a goal-less draw. The Lionesses last participated in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2003 but have yet to qualify since the qualification tournament was introduced in 2006.