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We won 4-0 but lack of mobility in passing and movement on-off the ball - cause for concern

Better perspective from here
In their last prep match prior to the regional showdown, the Singapore national team had a run of game against a weak Pakistan side, who their coach admitted the lack of exposure on international level is one of the problems facing the cricket-mad nation in their football development.

Speaking after the 4-0 thumping by the Lions at the "Wild Wild West" (Jurong West), Pakistan's coach Zaviša Milosavljević gave an insight on the football scene in the South Asian nation.

"Politics is not the biggest problem facing Pakistan football." said the Serbian coach when asked if off-the-field circumstances are being the hindrance from moving forward for the game in the country.

"It's poorly organized with a lot of resources not being used.

"And one of the aims is to organize a proper youth system, as we are having players at 16, 17 years old playing at senior level without proper building up, which I think is a sensitive period in players' development." he added

"Also this is our first international game since December 2011 because the national team facing difficulties in travel aboard due to visa issues." citing the reason for the lack of exposure for the Greenshirts on the global front.

"But this game (against Singapore) gave us a lot of exposure and hope to prepare us for the AFC Challenge Cup, as Singapore is good team that is well organized and have a good game system compared to my side." added coach Milosavljević, in paying tribute to the hosting side.

(Top left: coach Milosavljević, bottom L-R: Hariss and coach Wong)
Despite the compliment paid and the massive scorelines, it's not hard to tell the Lions still have much to work on their passing and finishing touches, cited by coach Raddy Avramovic a day before that they need to be more clinical in those areas.

Despite got off to a good start in the second minute through Shi Jiayi's low grounder from inside right, after sliced his way in from outside the box, it wasn't until 30th minute the crowds saw the second goal that a split defence pass by skipper Shahril Ishak found Khairul Amri on the run before finished off from a decent distance away in the penalty area.

It was not to say the Republic was confronted by a stout Pakistani defence led by former EPL player Zesh Rehman, rather the lack of mobility in passing and movement on-off the ball on their part that were not doing them any favour to put up a convincing performance.

Skipper Shahril Ishak (no.17) tussling with Zesh Rehman (Picture credit: FAS)
Nonetheless, the men in red did make effort by playing a more possession game without having to play the much criticised "long ball" upfront when evergreen striker Aleksandar Duric did not start the game till the second period of play.

"It's something positive for us to able to keep the ball better, which we have been working this tactical aspect in the past two weeks." acknowledged Mike Wong, the assistant coach of the Lions, in the post match press conference.

Two more goals scored in the closing stages of the match with Shahril and Duric putting their names on the scoresheet in the 77th and 88th minute respectively.

Sharing his thoughts on the match, vice-skipper Hariss Harun said:"It's good to get off from a good start and we took our chances well came along the way that we hope to carry from here."


  1. The absence of coach Raddy from the post-match presser after the match vs Pakistan, would mean that could be the last time we see making his presence in such occasion as Lions coach on the day before, unless the boys able to qualify for the semis of the Suzuki Cup


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