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Not a concern even as Duric scored double

"He's only 42, he's better than Zizou!"
Two goals from the man who just celebrated his 42nd birthday days ago may have brought some cheers to national coach Raddy Avramovic, who made no secret of his frustration of the lengthy win-less streak prior to this game against Hong Kong at “Wild Wild West” - Jurong West Stadium.

However, both goals from Aleksandar Duric had yet again cast a worrying sign for the Singapore national team in preparation for the year end's AFF Suzuki Cup, if they still largely dependent on the service from man who is going to call it a day next year.

When prompted the question if it a worrying factor, coach Raddy did not give a define answer during the post match press conference.

Coach Raddy (with right hand under chin) is not worry
“To me, it's important to have someone who is able to hold the ball in the opponents' half and the plan was to take Duric out at half time, but I changed my mind.

“And it's not a concern as there are players like Qiu Li who can keep the ball and making some good passes.” said the Serb coach who is generally pleased with his team's performance, while felt more goals could have been scored against the visitors.

Home Utd's Qiu Li (11) is still much in coach Raddy's plan
Meanwhile, the two-goal hero of the night shared his thoughts on the game following his coach's assessment.

“We played well in the first half and it's a good mixture of experienced and young players, this game is special for us with the confidence gained from it that I hope it will get the mood right in our preparing of the Suzuki Cup.” said Duric, who celebrated his birthday last Sunday.

Nazrul Nazari (2) marked his Lions debut against HK
The 2-0 win also marked the international debut for the players like Tampines Rovers' Jufri Taha, who started the game on the right-back position in the first 45 with Courts Young Lions duo of Nazrul Ahmad Nazari and Shafiq Ghani came onto in the second half.

While Hong Kong's coach Ernest Merrick singled out Tampines Rovers' Fahrudin Mustafic as the key man of the match in his post-match assessment with the media.

Hong Kong's coach Ernest Merrick shares his thought after game
Said the former Melbourne Victory coach:”Overall, it was a fair result that I think the number 15 (Mustafic) played a creative midfield role tonight with the Singapore defence looked solid, it is a much competitive side as compared to the team we played against in Hong Kong in June.”



  1. Despite the win, Coach Raddy felt there're rooms for improvement like example he mentioned Shahdan Sulaiman, who was deployed in the wing position, which he felt the Lions XII star can do much better.

    Coach Raddy also lauded the performance by Jufri Taha though he explained he took him out at half time to allow players like Nazrul and Shafiq to come onto the game.

  2. Undoubtly, many feedback online after the game were relatively concern over the lack of depth in the striking department after Duric's double.

    While the Lions were domainance in the first half in play, a much conservative approach was adapted in the second with efforts to push Khairul Amri through upfront, although Juma'at Jantan and Nazrul gave a decent account for themselves by pushing the right flank.

  3. in my opinion Ernest Merrick is doing such a good job as a coach and I hope they can give him the time he need to form a better and more competitive team


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