Singapore striker Aleksandar Duric: I want to finish on a high note

The 42-year-old, who will draw the curtains on his playing career after the AFF Suzuki Cup final, is in a confident mood ahead of the first leg against Thailand on Wednesday.
By Teng Kiat

Having played in the previous two editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2008 and 2010, Singapore striker Aleksandar Duric is hopeful that the 2012 tournament will be third time lucky for him.

The 42-year-old, who will end his playing career after the Cup, appeared to be in a confident mood when Singapore spoke to him after the national team’s training at Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday evening.

“Of course I am confident! We are in the final [and] we have achieved what we wanted to [do],” he said.

“This is my first final, but my third Suzuki Cup. I played in 2008 and 2010, and these are my last two games for [the] national team, so I am happy to be in [the] final.”

The Tampines Rovers forward also proclaimed that winning the trophy would be the “best ending” to his 12-year-long career in Singapore.

“Of course I’d like to finish on a high note – [it is] not just [about] being in the final, but also to win this final, so I am looking forward to both games, especially since this will be my last for Singapore before I retire,” Duric pointed out.

The Bosnian-born player went on to say that it had not been an easy task to reach the final, before adding that it was important for the team to get a positive result during the first leg on Wednesday.

“We [will] play against [a] good team [in] Thailand, but we play [this] first game at home so we want to give [a] good impression and try to get a good result - it is important to get some goals,” Duric said.

“We are looking forward to this game, all of us.”

The veteran of 51 caps and 24 international goals did admit that Lady Luck could play a big part in determining which team ends up tops.

“In a final, you never know… the team that converts the chances and keeps calm will win the game,” Duric said.

“Of course, luck is always there [and] I think the team with [the] better luck will win, so I hope I will be on this lucky one [team]!”