Bala unclear over reason for Sundram's dismissal

The Singapore Under-23 assistant coach was not sure what led to the red card for his head coach in their Merdeka Cup defeat to Thailand Selection, which saw them crash out
With about 10 minutes left on the clock as his side trailed 1-0 to a Thailand Selection side, Singapore Under-23 coach V. Sundramoorthy found himself banished to the stands.

The red card compounded their misery as his team failed to find a way back into the game, eventually losing to Pakorn Parmpak's 34th-minute goal to crash out of the Merdeka Cup on Monday evening.

The defeat was Singapore's second consecutive one following a loss by the same scoreline to Malaysia on Saturday, leaving them bottom of a four-man group that also includes Myanmar.

It is understood that Sundram was dismissed due to persistent complaining, as he watched his toothless side fail to get a result in an insipid performance, but assistant K. Balagumaran claimed after the game that he had no idea why the red card was shown.

"I don't know what actually happened to coach Sundram," he said, before praising their opponents.

"Thailand were technically very good as I said before. We were quite unlucky to concede the goal [but] I think Thailand did well.
"We see this tournament as a chance for those players who did not have a chance [to play much] in the Malaysian Super League [with the LionsXII."
Bala also reckoned third-choice goalkeeper Neezam Aziz fared alright, although it was "apparent" that he needs more playing time.

Thailand coach Klairung Threejagsang revealed that he adapted different tactics from their opening 1-1 draw with Myanmar to slow down their game in order to cope with Singapore, and said he was looking forward to their next game.

We'll be without several players for the vital match against Malaysia due to suspensions, but we'll do our best," he vowed.
"We know very well about Malaysia's style. This next game will be fun. We need three points in the next match but we'll be more careful in the next game."

Klairung will hope to have Pakorn available after the match-winner suffered an injury, while Singapore will face Myanmar knowing that they are out of the running for a spot in the final.