Before the tournament started many wrote them off and even their own countrymen didn’t believe in them, but Singapore enter tomorrow’s fixture against Thailand with a chance to qualify for the semi-finals of the AFF Championships.
Fandi Ahmad’s men may have suffered a demoralising defeat against the Philippines but they bounced back in emphatic fashion against Timor Leste. The win was expected but not the number of goals they scored.
Significantly Fandi’s tactical tweak to go with a 4-4-2 system worked wonders as it allowed the team to attack with verve. Ikhsan Fandi ended his goal drought and above all it was a psychological boost for the team.
Now if they are to get the three points against Thailand, Singapore must abandon all fear and show the confidence like they did against Timor Leste and Indonesia. Yes Thailand may be more illustrious and the Rajamangala stadium can be an intimidating place but the War Elephants are not without flaws as shown in their last match against the Azkals.
Singapore and Thailand have had countless battles over the years and there were some sweet memories for the Lions. In 2007 a 22-year-old Khairul Amri scored the late winner in the second leg of the final against the current AFF Champions to help Singapore clinch its third AFF title.
Fandi reiterated numerous times during his pre-match conference that his team can surprise the champions and after watching their recent performances, not many will doubt his words. Singapore’s current squad don’t have much great depth, but what they have is unity and motivation to work for one another and that could be the weapon that takes down Thailand.
Probable formation for Singapore: 4-4-2
Probable Singapore XI: Hassan Sunny, Irfan Fandi, Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Hariss Harun, Gabriel Quak, Izzdin Shafiq, Zulfahmi Arifin, Khairul Amri,Ikhsan Fandi