Singapore Selection coach V. Sundramoorthy praises team, admits Atletico a class apart

The former Singapore international was happy with his side's showing in their loss to the La Liga team, but acknowledged the gulf in football standards
By Khalis Rifhan

Although the Singapore Selection went down 2-0 to King’s Cup champions Atletico Madrid at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday, former Singapore international V. Sundramoorthy felt that his charges did well against their European counterparts. 

“They have done great and we only had two training sessions, and they [the players] came from [different clubs in] the S.League and LionsXII, and playing against [King’s] Cup champions Atletico Madrid, it is a big exposure for the boys," he pointed out.

“If would have been great if it had been 1-1 or 2-2, but nevertheless we are happy with the way we play and limiting them to only two goals.” 

The LionsXII coach also heaped praise on several of the former Singapore players in his squad, as well as the foreign players who impressed.

“We called up some senior players like Indra [Sahdan] and [Ahmad] Lattif to bring them into action. and overall they played with heart and we even had opportunities to score early in the first [half]," Sundram said.

"[Latiff] even hit the post and we almost caught them out two or three times.

“Indra and Latiff, even though they were missing international football for a long time, they did great and I think [they] definitely put themselves up for selection [for the national team].

“Baihakki [Khaizan] and Safuwan [Baharudin] stood out very well in the heart of defence and Izwan [Mahbud] did great in goal.” 

“In the middle, Isa [Halim] and Farra [Mustafic Fahrudin] ran themselves well and upfront [Monsef] Zerka did great to hold up play, and [Jozef] Kaplan and [Sirina] Camara gave us the crosses into the box."

Sundram acknowledged the difference in the level of footballing standards between both teams as well. 

“They are a team who can keep the ball and pass well," he noted.

"They have good technique and a good feel of the ball [and good] movement and as for us, we need to be [more] compact.

“There will be times of lapses of concentration, and [that is when] they [Atletico] created their chances. Their strong area is [in] the build-up play, especially in the middle of the park.”