Football: Get it right, Hariss urges Lions

National football captain Hariss Harun enjoying himself in his 6-0 win over Damien Lim in a Fifa 17 game at Kallang Wave Mall. Currently on loan at Home United, he is still hopeful of working something out with his Malaysia Super League club Johor Da
National football captain Hariss Harun enjoying himself in his 6-0 win over Damien Lim in a Fifa 17 game at Kallang Wave Mall. Currently on loan at Home United, he is still hopeful of working something out with his Malaysia Super League club Johor Darul Takzim.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

They still stand a chance despite poor start to qualifiers but have to start winning

National football captain Hariss Harun has called on his team-mates to prove their quality ahead of their crucial Asian Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan on Sept 5.

"It's a very important game for us and we still have a chance (of qualifying), so we have to show how good we are and how much we want this," he said.

Acknowledging Singapore football's recent spate of poor results, Hariss said the team would have to "get it right" in future performances.

The Lions had slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat in their previous Asian Cup qualifying tie against Chinese Taipei last month, a result that sees them at the bottom of Group E with a point from two games. Bahrain lead on four points, the other two teams have three apiece, and the top two advance.

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"We don't like to lose, nobody likes to lose, and all these defeats have been very demoralising," said the Home United midfielder.

"For us in the senior team - we have to get the results. We owe the fans as well for the performances we put in."

The senior Lions are not the only ones to have suffered a wretched run of results recently, however.

The Young Lions were thrashed 7-0 by Australia last Friday in an Asian Football Confederation U-23 championship qualifier, while the U-15s were destroyed 12-0 by their Indonesian counterparts on a training tour last month.

NOWHERE TO HIDE

We don't like to lose, nobody likes to lose, and all these defeats have been very demoralising... For us in the senior team - we have to get the results. We owe the fans as well for the performances we put in.

HARISS HARUN, on the Lions' recent awful run.

The Cubs went on to lose all five of their games at the Asean Football Federation U-15 championships earlier this month, including 0-2 to minnows Laos.

Said Hariss: "I feel for the young boys as well, but at this level they are still learning and should keep working hard."

Hariss was speaking at the sidelines of a Singapore Football Week event yesterday, where he tried his hand at e-football, table football and foosball at the Sports Hub.

The 26-year-old romped to a 6-0 win in video game Fifa 17, using Real Madrid to beat fan Damien Lim's Barcelona side, but will not be making the switch to the virtual pitch any time soon.

"I just play for leisure, for fun. I'm not even the best (at Fifa 17) among the national team," said Hariss.

"Irfan (Fandi) and Yasir (Hanapi) are the two who are very good."

He had less success at foosball, when he partnered Foosball Singapore president Ng Cheng Kai in a 4-5 loss to former Lions goalkeeper Lionel Lewis and local foosball pro Lim Kia Wee.

Defeat rankled Hariss, who said: "I was very bad. You all could see, I'm no good at this."

But he turned serious when asked about his contract situation at Home United, where he is on loan till the end of the season from Malaysian club Johor Darul Takzim.

"I'm still waiting patiently for something to develop," said Hariss.

"In the meantime I'm still at Home and I will continue to give my best for the club."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Get it right, hariss urges Lions'. Print Edition | Subscribe