National Team - Lions ● Mar 22, 2019

Lions have nothing to lose against Oman, says Nazri


KUALA LUMPUR, 22 MARCH 2019 – Singapore head coach Nazri Nasir has urged the Lions to believe that they are capable of springing a surprise against Oman in the final of the AIRMARINE Cup 2019 tomorrow night.

Morale in the camp is good following a 1-0 victory over hosts Malaysia at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Wednesday night, which was Nazri’s first game in charge of the national team.

The former Singapore captain will face a stiffer assignment against the Reds, who swatted aside Afghanistan in a 5-0 win to reach this stage. Oman are ranked 90th in the FIFA rankings, 75 rungs above Singapore and have won their last seven encounters against the Lions.

Nazri acknowledged the “tough” nature of the task awaiting his side but has challenged the Lions to prove themselves once more and pull off a shock.

“There is nothing to be afraid of and nothing to lose,” he told  “We are in the final and it’s only one game; anything can happen. I want us to just go out there and show the same character and attitude (as they did against Malaysia).

“As long as the players do the job I want them to do, I am confident of getting a result. The players have to believe in themselves, that they can cause an upset.”

There will be “three or four” changes to the side as fresh legs are needed for the game, but Nazri was adamant that the approach will not differ.

“I want to show the players that I believe and trust them,” he said. “That when they are selected to start, I know they will do the job… I want them to give whatever they have.

“The style of play will be the same… I want them to be confident.”

His counterpart Erwin Koeman, also taking charge of only his second game at Oman’s helm, is not taking Singapore lightly but warned that they would not hold back.

“Of course, we are looking forward to the final tomorrow evening,” the Dutchman said at the pre-match press conference earlier today. “I think we will play against a good opponent because if you win 1-0 against the home team, then I think you’ve done very well.

“They have several good players upfront and in midfield; they are a dangerous opponent for us. I think it will be a tough game tomorrow but of course, we are here to win the game.”

The match kicks off at 8.45pm tomorrow night and will be shown LIVE on SingTel’s Mio Sports Ch 111.