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Lions Ready to Face Tigers


Aleksndar Duric celebrating after scoring his second goal of the night. (Photo: SSC) 


Last night’s 3-2 win over Chinese Taipei, will surely boost the morale of the Lions as they prepare themselves for the all-important clash against causeway rivals Malaysia.

 

Come 23rd July, Singapore will host Malaysia in the first leg of the second round 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier for Asia and judging by last night’s performance, the players seemed pumped and ready to do battle.

 

The Lions played with hunger and determination, closing down every inch of space. There were no long hopeful punts down the field, no individualism and more importantly, Singapore made every pass count.

 

Performances aside, Singapore was also given another boost as national skipper Shahril Ishak has now been cleared by Fifa to represent Singapore. He wasted no time and reminded us just how good he is.

 

After robbing Chinese Taipei midfielder Chan Che Yuan of the ball, Shahril started the move for the first goal as he cut infield before cleverly spreading the play to Hariss Harun.

 

The 20-year old then laid on an extremely inviting cross for Duric to tap in the opener.

 

Duric was there again; restoring Singapore’s lead in the 54th minute after Lo Chih-an gave Taiwan the equaliser two minutes after the restart.

 

Showing a glimpse of speed that belied his age, Duric blazed through the Taiwan defence before calmly stroking the ball past Wei Sheng-hsin.

 

Despite the Lions’ brilliance in the offensive department, their defensive colleagues almost undid their good work upfront. In the 62nd minute, the Lions rearguard misjudged a cross to allow substitute Hiang Shi-lu to stab home the equaliser.

 

But showing the mental strength and determination that was missing in the Suzuki Cup, Singapore found a late winner through substitute Fazrul Nawaz.

 

While national coach Raddy Avramovic acknowledged he was disappointed with the defence, he did feel that there was more positives found in their first ‘A’ international match in seven months.

 

Taiwan coach Lee Tae-ho was also equally impressed by Singapore’s performance and has also tipped us to better our causeway rivals.

 

The match between Singapore and Malaysia will be played at the Jalan Besar stadium on 23 July at 7.25pm. The match will be broadcasted ‘live’ on MediaCorp’s Channel 5.