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Played
September 9, 2013 5:30 PM SGT
Stadium Darulmakmur — Kuantan
Referee:‬ Win Htut‎
 
 

Syazwan out, Neezam to start for Singapore U23

The custodian, who was deputising for injured first-choice Izwan Mahbud at the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia, has to return back to Singapore due to National Service issues

By Teng Kiat and Falah Abdullah

Courts Young Lions goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari
Stanford Sng
Third-choice goalkeeper Neezam Aziz will step into the firing line for the Singapore Under-23s when they take on a Thailand Selection side in their Merdeka Cup game tomorrow.

The LionsXII reserve stopper will fill in for Courts Young Lions number one Syazwan Buhari, who played in their opening 1-0 defeat to Malaysia U23 on Saturday. Syazwan put in a fine performance, which included a penalty save, and came in for praise by coach V. Sundramoorthy after the match.

However, the 20-year-old Syazwan has to return back to Singapore due to National Service issues, which leaves Neezam as the only custodian in the squad following first-choice Izwan Mahbud's prior withdrawal due to injury.

This was explained by assistant coach K. Balagumaran at the pre-match press conference earlier this morning, where he also talked about their upcoming opponents.

"Knowing Thailand, they are technically a good team," he remarked.

"Whether it's [their] youth [players] or not, they are a strong team.

"This tournament would be a good platform to select our SEA Games squad [as] it gives our fringe players exposure."

Meanwhile, Thailand coach Klairung Threejagsang warned his side to be wary of the Young Lions.

"Due to the result of the first game, Singapore will surely attack us from the start," he said.

"We will apply [a] counter-attacking football [strategy].

"We will [also] have to keep a close eye on [midfielder] Zulfahmi Ariffin, he is the dangerman."

The Thais drew 1-1 with Myanmar and will play Singapore at 5.30pm Monday evening in their second group match.


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