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AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Singapore heads into AFF Suzuki Cup as underdogs

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Photo: Sport Singapore

Despite winning four out of the last 11 editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup and being the second most successful nation in the history of this competition, Singapore is going into the upcoming edition with the label of underdogs in their group.

Indeed, recent performances on the football pitch by the Lions have been discouraging and far from ideal. It took a 3-2 win over Maldives back in March 2018 at the National Stadium to end a 13-match winless run over a 16-month period.

A lot has changed since then, with Fandi Ahmad taking over from V. Sundram Moorthy as head coach of the national team. Whereas Sundram has shown that defence can be the best form of attack, Fandi has adopted a more adventurous approach since taking over.

The last two international friendlies have been encouraging, with Singapore beating Fiji and Mongolia 2-0 in both the matches. Scoring goals has been a problem of late but there was no such issue in these two friendly games.

The competition will be very different in the group stages of the AFF Suzuki Cup though, with regional footballing giants awaiting in the form of Indonesia and Thailand. Philippines are also on the up and should not be under estimated. Timor-Leste completes the group in which Singapore sits.

The first game against Indonesia on 9 November will no doubt set the stage for this group and the Lions will be hoping to start the competition on a positive note.

Singapore’s goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud said: “Of course Indonesia are a big team, a big footballing country with a lot of talent but I think the advantage for us is that we are playing at home first. Every team will feel that pressure as well but we know it will be a crucial match so we have to make sure that we’re prepared to handle that pressure.”

This tournament will be a good gauge to see what Fandi has done with the national team and how we match up against the very best in the region.

It’s time to hear the lions roar.

Get your tickets to the AFF Suzuki Cup here!

Singapore’s squad for 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup

S/N Name Pos Caps Goals Club
1 Hassan Sunny GK 77 0 Army United FC
2 Izwan Mahbud GK 44 0 Nongbua Pitchaya FC
3 Zaiful Nizam GK 2 0 Balestier Khalsa FC
4 Baihakki Khaizan DF 133 5 Udon Thani FC
5 Faritz Hameed DF 29 0 Home United FC
6 Irfan Fandi DF 17 1 Young Lions
7 Nazrul Nazari DF 27 0 Hougang United FC
8 Safuwan Baharudin DF 81 7 Pahang FA
9 Shakir Hamzah DF 43 2 Home United FC
10 Zulqarnaen Suzliman DF 3 0 Young Lions
11 Adam Swandi MF 7 0 Albirex Niigata FC (S)
12 Hariss Harun MF 86 8 Johor Darul Takzim I FC
13 Izzdin Shafiq MF 33 0 Home United FC
14 M Anumanthan MF 17 0 Home United FC
15 Jacob Mahler MF 2 1 Young Lions
16 Gabriel Quak MF 23 3 Navy FC
17 Yasir Hanapi MF 26 1 Tampines Rovers FC
18 Zulfahmi Arifin MF 36 0 Chonburi FC
19 Faris Ramli FW 43 5 PKNS FC
20 Ikhsan Fandi FW 8 3 Young Lions
21 Iqbal Hussain FW 5 0 Hougang United FC
22 Khairul Amri FW 125 32 Tampines Rovers FC
23 Shahril Ishak FW 137 14 Home United FC



Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena.

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