Football: Lions to play Afghanistan to prepare for Asian Cup qualifier with Bahrain

SINGAPORE - The Singapore national football team will play an international friendly against Afghanistan in Qatar on March 23, in preparation for their opening Group E match against Bahrain in 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers on March 28.

Singapore head coach V. Sundramoorthy has called up a 23-man squad to play the two matches, with the uncapped Ho Wai Loon of Warriors FC also training with the squad on standby to travel should there be any injuries. The average age of the 24 players is 27.25.

Said Sundram: "We are all looking forward to beginning this final qualification round for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

"Bahrain will be favourites, but we are able to compete with them. The friendly against Afghanistan, who have players in European leagues, will be excellent preparation for the team."

"This is a balanced squad - with a good mix of experience and youth. We are preparing well and are determined to do our best to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2019."

Fixtures - Match 23: Afghanistan v Singapore (at Al-Wakrah Sports Complex, Doha). March 28: Bahrain v Singapore (at Bahrain National Stadium)

Singapore squad - Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Zaiful Nizam Abdullah. Defenders: Daniel Bennett, Ho Wai Loon, Irfan Fandi, Juma'at Jantan, Madhu Mohana, Faritz Hameed, Hafiz Sujad, Nazrul Nazari, Shakir Hamzah. Midfielders: Fahrudic Mustafic, Safirul Sulaiman, M. Anumanthan, Hariss Harun, Faris Ramli, Izzdin Shafiq, Safuwan Baharudin, Shawal Anuar, Yasir Hanapi. Forwards: Kharul Amri, Shahril Ishak, Khairul Nizam.