For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"It'll be SEA Games!" as Coach Stange declared his priority after 2-1 win over Syria

Khairul Amri (19) gave Lions the lead in 61st
It is obvious that Singapore national team coach Bernd Stange will be heavily involved in the preparation for the upcoming SEA Games with the remaining matches in ongoing Asian Cup qualifiers are served as tuning up process.

Naming seven players with Games eligibility in the starting lineup in their 2-1 win over Syria, therefore, came no surprise when he mentioned earlier the "first test" to prove his "passing-and-dominating" theory will be in the biennial regional meet.

Shafiq Ghani (center) helping out in defence

Safuwan Baharudin (21) kept things tidy at back

That notion was confirmed right immediately after the Lions' victory at the Jalan Besar Stadium on the night that saw Khairul Amri and Gabriel Quak put their names on the scoresheet against the Middle-Easterners.

"It'll be the SEA Games," said the 65-year-old coach in reply to the first question fielded by the media in the post-match press conference.

"We have to be realistic, as now we don't have the strength to qualify for the Asian Cup in Australia at this present moment and I'm still on the lookout for younger players to play the kind of football I want to, like I said before it takes time and it's a long process." reiterated the German on his current priority.

Gabriel Quak (7) scored instantly after came on

With that focus in Coach Stange's sight, it also signalled the end of the international careers of long-time Lions stalwarts of Aleksandar Duric, Daniel Bennett and Fahrudin Mustic when he declared:"It's over now!", although he stressed that he could not field Qiu Li, another veteran tonight due to injury.

Moving on to the match, the former Belarus coach is pleased with what he saw this evening.

Said Coach Stange:"It's a very good result to beat Syria and it was a hard fight that I saw a little bit of that attitude that was missing during our match again China but I still feel the gap for us to play that level of football."

The Lions showing appreciation to supporters

Meanwhile, the Syrian coach Anas Makhlouf lamented those missing chances his team would have scored during the game.

Said the 40-year-old former striker:"It's a pity for us, as they (Singapore) had their chances and scored two goals whereas we did have our chances that we couldn't score which I think it's a problem for us to look into."

"When we were already two-nil down, I tried to push my strikers forwards but it was already too late and it is a very bad result for us that we need to work harder now." concluded the man who only has four days to prepare this game.

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