'We cannot do this alone' - Singapore captain Shahril Ishak banking on huge fan turnout for final

The Lions and War Elephants looked set to create a milestone in the competition as both will be looking to win a record fourth title

Singapore will face Thailand in their fourth AFF Championship final. The Lions will play the first leg at home on December 19 before travelling to Bangkok for the return leg on December 22.

Following their 1-0 aggregate win over the Philippines, the Lions had to wait 24 hours to find out who their opponents will be. On Thursday night in Bangkok, the hosts overcame Malaysia 2-0 and 3-1 on aggregate. 

The Lions are enjoying a good run in the tournament, coming out as table toppers for Group B with a historic and memorable 3-0 win over Malaysia in their opening match.

Although they failed to overcome Indonesia, they carved out a well-deserved win against Laos to progress to the next stage in style, coming back from two goals down to secure a 4-3 win. 

In the semi-finals, Singapore proved to be the better of the two teams with a 1-0 win over the Philippines, the highest Fifa ranked country left in the semi-finals, where a Khairul Amri scorcher proved to be the decider.

Speaking on the mouth-watering final that awaits his team, Lions’ head coach, Radojko Avramovic said:  “By winning all their group matches and putting in two great performances against Malaysia to get into the finals, Thailand has proven to be a top quality team throughout the tournament.” 

“They have very skillful and proven quality players like Teerasil Dangda and Datsakorn Thonglao and we have to work really hard to restrict their influence on the game.”

“We may have achieved our initial target of reaching the AFF Suzuki Cup Final, but now that we are here, we will do our best for Singapore. However, Thailand is a very good team and it will not be easy against them.”

Although captain Shahril Ishak acknowledged that the War Elephants won’t be an easy opponent, he hopes that the Singapore fans will turn up in full force and give them the morale boost needed for the final: "Playing Thailand is always difficult. So far they are the only unbeaten side in the tournament and if we want to do well against them we need to really work together as a team.”

“I really hope that our fans will continue to give us the tremendous support we received in the semi-finals. I felt great pride in seeing the entire stadium in red and we need the fans again as we cannot do this alone.”

With everything set for the final, the Football Association of Singapore will be announcing ticketing details soon for both HOME (Singapore) and AWAY fans (Thailand).