Football: Coach Stange seeking to end Singapore tenure on a high

National football coach Bernd Stange said he wishes to end the group stage by attaining good results against Afghanistan.
National football coach Bernd Stange said he wishes to end the group stage by attaining good results against Afghanistan.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - National football coach Bernd Stange will be seeking a happy end to his time in charge of the Singapore team when the Lions take on Afghanistan in their final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Singapore have already secured third spot in Group E, which means that they are out of the running to qualify for the World Cup, but they are through to the next round of Asian Cup qualifying.

Afghanistan are fourth in the five-team standings, four points behind the Republic.

The clash in Teheran will be Stange's final game in charge of the Lions since he joined in 2013. The German will not continue as national coach after his contract ends next month.

The 68-year-old said in a statement: "We want to end the group stage by achieving a good result against Afghanistan.

"Both teams will aim to achieve three points on Tuesday and I want to see a big fight from our players to deliver a result.

"It won't be easy to play Afghanistan especially under the current climate conditions but we are raring to go. We are in a good position and we want to continue the positive momentum.

"We know that every single result is important for world ranking, which will give us a good position for the next draw."

The next draw for Asian Cup qualifying is expected to take place on April 7.

Captain Shahril Ishak said: "It has been a good qualifying campaign so far, and we want to end it with a good result. We also want to make sure we do well because our world ranking is important to us. Doing well in this match will boost our ranking, and give us a better draw for the next round of the Asian Cup qualifications next year."