Not an immediate replacement for the injured Hariss Harun, the LionsXII man has relished his late introduction to the starting XI for Singapore in the Suzuki Cup
|By Khalis Rifhan
The attention is usually given to either the strikers for their number of goals scored or the goalkeepers for their stupendous save or goals conceded in a game.
But not many realise the importance of the players who toil away between the defenders and the attacking third. Creating a fortified zone in the centre of midfield with Mustafic Fahrudin, Isa Halim is undoubtedly one of the unsung heroes in the Lions camp since his introduction against Laos.
Isa was not a regular starter in coach Radojko ‘Raddy’ Avramovic's lineup but the LionsXII midfielder waited patiently in the queue before seizing the chance when called upon.
Speaking to Goal.com Singapore after Singapore’s win over Philippines in the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final, Isa had reasons to smile and reminded himself to constantly give his all for the Lions.
“I was all geared up to prove myself actually because I was not an automatic choice for the Lions but then it comes to a stage where I am able to prove a point,” said the hardworking midfielder.
“I think I did well in the past two games and I need to keep my two feet on the ground and of course look forward to the final and perform at my best again.”
When asked about the pressure mounted by the Philippines in the latter stages of the game, Isa said: “They improved a lot, especially in the second half, and they tried to pump the long balls forward. But we stood firm and managed to overcome them and here we are now, going to the final.”
The Lions will be playing their first leg final at Jalan Besar Stadium on December 19 and travelling away for the return leg on December 22.