National Team - Lions ● Jun 07, 2021

Preview: Lions have to do better against Uzbekistan


Tatsuma Yoshida addresses the media ahead of Singapore’s match against Uzbekistan, 6 June 2021 (Photo: Saudi Arabian Football Federation)


RIYADH, 6 JUNE 2021 – The Lions’ return to competitive international football after 18 months did not go well last Thursday as they fell to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Palestine.


The result left Singapore fourth in Group D in their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 campaign, level on seven points with third-placed Palestine with one game in hand.


Tatsuma Yoshida’s charges face second-placed Uzbekistan next tomorrow night (2am, 8 June SGT) and he knows that the team cannot afford a repeat of their previous display at King Fahd International Stadium.


With star striker Eldor Shomurodov – who scored eight times for Genoa in his maiden Serie A season that recently concluded – leading the line, the 86th-ranked team in the FIFA rankings – 73 above Singapore – will be stiff opposition. In the previous meeting between both teams in October 2019, Ikhsan Fandi’s equaliser proved to be a consolation in a 3-1 defeat at the National Stadium.


“We have to change our mindset for the match,” Tatsuma said at the pre-match conference earlier this afternoon at Mrsool Park Stadium. “Everyone knows Uzbekistan is one of the best teams in Asia and we are just challengers; It will be a very tough game, a difficult game but we want to try to do something (positive) and we want to get points.”


Shahdan Sulaiman, 6 June 2021 (Photo: Saudi Arabian Football Federation)


Midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman added: “Of course, it will not be easy playing against a quality team like Uzbekistan but (regardless), we should improve our performance from the previous match.”


Tatsuma called on the Lions to prove their mettle and show their desire in the match.


“The players must be hungry (to do more),” he asserted. “Maybe they have some regrets (about not showing what they can do) in the previous match and I hope to see them show their 100 per cent and full potential (this time).”


The match will be broadcast LIVE on Mediacorp’s Channel 5 and meWATCH platform.


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