|By Khalis Rifhan
A mainstay at the heart of Singapore’s midfield, Mustafic Fahrudin is no stranger to hard body-checks and strong tackles from opponents.
The Tampines Rovers player was giving his opposite numbers a tough time as he himself was closely watched by the Philippines players Angel Guirado and Paul Mulders.
“Against Philippines we knew that it’s going to be a physical game and we obviously had one," said Mustafic.
"So we tried and generally I think we did ‘okay’ but we were unlucky. That is how I feel.
“We should have at least scored one goal but in the end we had a draw which is still a good result for us.”
While Mustafic started the AFF Suzuki Cup campaign partnering Hariss Harun, there were changes to the squad midway as Hariss was forced to sit out the remainder of the tournament due to a broken fibula.
But Hariss' replacement, according to Mustafic, was more than capable to fill the gap and they needed no time to understand each other: “Actually the three of us are very similar player and I feel he (Isa Halim) played well in the game.”
“Of course we miss Hariss Harun. He played really well against Malaysia, but like I say, Isa did a good job.”
With the return leg only days away, Mustafic has reason to look forward to it and rally the Lions fans to make their journey down to the stadium and support the national team.
“Today's (first leg) game gave us the confident and if you look back, they (Philippines) didn’t have one clear chance,” he added.
‘We had two or three really good chances, so when we play at home hopefully Jalan Besar will be full.”
“I think we deserved it, after four games, for all Singaporeans to come down and support us. I think it is about time to beat them. So we can progress to the final.”
Singapore will take on the Philippines in the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal on December 12 at the Jalan Besar stadium. Ticket allocations for home fans have already been soldout.