Lions to face Lebanon and Bahrain

The Lions face a testing time with matches against Lebanon and Bahrain lined up for next month at the National Stadium.

The tie against world No. 100 Lebanon on Nov 9 is an international friendly and will serve as a warm-up for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier against the Bahrainis five days later, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced yesterday.

The Lions are ranked 173rd, the country's lowest position ever, and are coming off a last-minute 2-1 defeat at Turkmenistan earlier this month that all but ended their hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup.

Singapore are bottom of Group E with two points from four games. World No. 125 Bahrain, who were held at home to a 0-0 draw by the Lions in the March opener, are top with seven points and ahead of Turkmenistan on goal difference.

The top two teams qualify for the 2019 showpiece in the United Arab Emirates. The Lebanese are top of Group B with 10 points and travel to face Hong Kong on Nov 14 seeking a win to confirm their qualification.

The Lions have a solid record against Lebanon, winning their last two games 2-0 and 2-1 in 2008 as part of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Asian qualifiers.

FAS president Lim Kia Tong said: "The national team's performances have been improving, although the results might not have gone their way. They need the fans' strong, consistent and vociferous support, because that will determine the outcome of the battle.

"I look forward to seeing the (National) Stadium filled with passionate supporters. Let's reinvigorate the Kallang Roar and inspire the Lions to victory. We must stand for the Lions as a nation."

Tickets for both matches will go on sale from Monday on www.sportshubtix.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2017, with the headline 'Lions to face Lebanon and Bahrain'. Print Edition | Subscribe