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."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lions snapped losing streak just before flight to Manila.


Coach Sundram (in blue jacket) facing the media
To sum up the Singapore National Football Team's final warming up before heading off to Manila this coming Tuesday – to win the game, the feeling is great but to score a goal, it's bonus.

The one-nil win over the visiting Cambodian national team at the Bishan Stadium was indeed a relief to everyone in the Lions setup whose preparation for the biennial regional showpiece – the AFF Suzuki Cup, hasn't been smooth sailing since national caretaker coach V Sundram moorthy took over back in May.

With the most of the participating countries already confirmed their list of 23 for the tournament, the former Lions striker decided to buckle the trend by stated he will only do so when arrived in the Philippines in reply to a query from the media after the game.

“I will only reveal when we are in Philippines,” said Coach Sundram during the post-match press conference on the to-be-finalized squad which is now trimmed to 24 men with one more spot up for grab after delisted the likes of 'keeper Zaiful Nizam, defender Irfan Fandi Ahmad, and forwards Shawal Anuar and Iqbal Hussain Hamid in midweek.

The recent inclusion of both Shahdan Sulaiman and Shahfiq Ghani whom both just recovered from serious injuries would suggested the options are limited for the “Dazzler” who tried a number of available players as he could in recent weeks via training tours to Japan and Bahrain.

Apparently, a number of those who thought would make the cut fallen off the radar as the deadline drew closer with many fans registered their concern via social media questioning the selection criteria of the 51-year-old tactician.

Differed from the flair he was associated during his playing days, Coach Sundram is known these day being someone pragmatic and it was said his inputs helped to engineer the Lions'goal-less draw against Asian powerhouses Japan in last June.

So it came little surprise when he summarized his thoughts last night in Bishan, the one-time FC Basel marksman started off by saying:“A win is a win but friendlies are just friendlies where you can win all the friendlies, however the real test will come when we will play our first game against Philippines.”

“In modern football, there are no pushovers and it is the performance of the day that matters.” he added.

Yasir Hanapi (left) scored the only goal (credit: Playmaker)
On the match that saw Tampines Rovers' Yasir Hanapi scored the only goal in the 70th minute to end the Lions' six-match losing streak in front of the sell-out crowds of 2,946, Coach Sundram opined it was a better display from his team in the second half as compared to the first.

“We came back strongly in the second half where our players dominated the game,” said the former Negri Sembilan coach. “We shown more mobility and getting more crosses into the box, although I felt we are losing the ball too cheaply in the game.”

At the end of the day, Coach Sundram also shown his appreciation to the fans who turned out to show their support.

He said:“I would like to thank the fans who always stand behind us and we will do our best to show what we can achieve.”

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