National Team - Lions ● Jun 13, 2022
Lions take on Myanmar in final Asian Cup Qualifier
Ryhan Stewart fends off Iqram Rifqi during training, 12 June 2022
BISHKEK, 13 JUNE 2022 – The Singapore Men’s National Team will conclude their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup™ 2023 Qualifiers Final Round campaign tomorrow evening against Myanmar.
Defeats to Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan in the first two Group F matches have ruled the Lions out of contention to qualify for next year’s tournament, but Takayuki Nishigaya’s men want victory in their final match to end on a good note.
Nishigaya has been satisfied with the team’s efforts despite the past two results but wants them to now get the three points to go along with another good display at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Tuesday.
“Even though we performed well, we could not get the results, so in the next game we have to get the three points,” he told the media earlier today. “We have to try to win the game with maximum effort. Of course, we are disappointed in terms of the results (and not qualifying). But based on the performances, I am not worried about the confidence levels of the players.”
Takayuki Nishigaya converses with Faris Ramli during training, 10 June 2022
Forward Faris Ramli added: “We do not want to go back empty-handed and we want to do it for ourselves, for the fans and also for Coach. We just need to get ourselves back together in training and show that we are a good team (against Myanmar). We lost these last two games by fine margins… we have to make sure that we attack as a team, we defend as a team and score as a team.”
The Lions displayed their ability to carve out opportunities in front of goal in their last two matches and will have to be more clinical in order to take victory against Myanmar, who are six places above Singapore in the FIFA rankings at 152nd.
Antoine Hey’s side sit bottom of the group after 4-0 and 2-0 defeats to Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan respectively, but Nishigaya is not taking them lightly and noted that they have “good players” in attack and centre midfield. The Japanese will also have to deal with the absence of centre-backs Irfan Fandi and Safuwan Baharudin; the former is suspended after receiving a yellow card in each of the first two matches, while the latter has returned home to attend to an urgent family matter.
Taufik Suparno carries the ball during training, 12 June 2022
“I have some options (for selection) and who I choose will depend on the players’ condition and our strategies,” Nishigaya said. “Overall, our performances have been okay but of course, we have to improve the quality (of our attacking) in the box.”
The match kicks off at 6.30pm, Singapore time and will be streamed LIVE on the FAS’ YouTube channel.