Singapore National Team Coach Tatsuma Yoshida named his 23-strong squad to face Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan in their third and fourth Group D matches of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 campaign next month.
The Japanese has made two changes from the squad that drew with Yemen and beat Palestine in their opening two matches earlier this month.
Firdaus Kasman had been handed his first call-up since March 2016 and the Geylang International midfielder has the opportunity to add to his seven caps, having last played for the Lions in June 2015 as a substitute in a 0-0 away draw against Japan in World Cup qualifying.
Hougang United winger Farhan Zulkifli is the other new face in the squad, having been handed his maiden call-up; the 16-year-old is one of three uncapped players in the team.
Tatsuma said: “Both Firdaus and Farhan have performed well on a consistent basis in the Singapore Premier League this season, and have kept up their form over the past month.
“Geylang have done well of late and Firdaus has played a key part from central midfield; he is a hard worker, has good passing attributes and adds balance to the team. Farhan is a young boy and his inclusion might surprise some people, but he has featured regularly for Hougang’s first team; of course, he still has room to improve.”
The Lions will play Jordan in an international ‘A’ friendly in Amman on 5 October as preparation for the match against Saudi Arabia on 10 October in Buraidah, before returning home to face Uzbekistan at the National Stadium on 15 October.
Tatsuma said: “We will use the game against Jordan to fine-tune our ideas ahead of the Saudi Arabia match, as well as get used to the time difference and weather conditions there.
“Saudi Arabia is the highest-ranked team in our group, strong both technically and physically, but we always aim to get a result when we play. We want to try to bring back the three points. We go with no fear and a challenger’s mentality.”
The match against Saudi Arabia will be broadcast LIVE online on Mediacorp’s Toggle platform at toggle.sg.
The Lions depart Singapore in the morning on 3 October and arrive back on the morning of 12 October.
🇸🇬 Two new faces in Tatsuma's 23-strong Lions squad to play Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan next month in the World Cup qualifiers! 👀 #ONESTRONG Read more ➡️ bit.ly/lionsoct #AsianQualifiers 6/10 - Jordan 🇯🇴 (A) 12am SGT ('A' Friendly) 11/10 - Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 (A) 1am 15/10 - Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 (H) 7.45pm