Football: Lions to play friendlies against Syria and Cambodia in preparation for Suzuki Cup

Lions Faritz Hameed (No. 9) in action during the match between Singapore and Malaysia at the Causeway Challenge at National Stadium on Oct 7, 2016. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Lions Faritz Hameed (No. 9) in action during the match between Singapore and Malaysia at the Causeway Challenge at National Stadium on Oct 7, 2016. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The Singapore national football team have lined up two more friendlies next month in preparation for their Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup campaign.

The Lions, who are ranked an all-time low of world No. 171, will face 96th-ranked Syria in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia on Nov 9 before taking on No. 167 Cambodia four days later at the Bishan Stadium for their final warm-up.

National caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy announced his 28-man squad on Monday (Oct 31) that will travel to Doha, Qatar, for a training camp to prepare for the Nov 19-Dec 17 Suzuki Cup.

Sundram said: "Since taking over the national team, we experimented with different playing formations and styles and also gave opportunities to many players to prove themselves at the international level to be included in the final 23-man squad for the (Suzuki Cup) competition.

"The opponents in our upcoming friendly matches are strong in different aspects and they will provide a good test for our boys."

He has included midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman and forward Shahfiq Ghani in the latest team. Singapore face hosts the Philippines on Nov 19 and have fellow four-time Suzuki Cup winners Thailand and Indonesia in Group A.

Sundram noted: "After five months with the national team, our boys are prepared for the Suzuki Cup. Being placed in the same group as defending champions Thailand, co-host Philippines and Indonesia makes it a tough challenge for us, but we will remain fully focused and we strive to do well in the competition."

National captain Shahril Ishak added: "The FAS (Football Association of Singapore) management, coaches and backroom staff have done their part to prepare us for the tournament and it is now our turn to deliver the results.

"We have a good team of experienced and young players and we are raring to go. We hope our fans will come and support us at Bishan Stadium on Nov 13 and follow us throughout the Suzuki Cup 2016 journey."

Tickets for the Cambodia match go on sale on Friday (Nov 4) from noon. They cost either $4 (concession) or $9 (grandstand) and can be purchased online at globaltickets.sg and AXS machines island wide until 4pm on match day.


Singapore's 28-man squad:

Goalkeeper:
Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Syazwan Buhari, Zaiful Nizam.

Defender:
Baihakki Khaizan, Daniel Bennett , Irfan Fandi, Juma'at Jantan, Madhu Mohana, Afiq Yunos, Faritz Hameed, Hafiz Sujad, Shakir Hamzah, Mustafic Fahrudin.

Midfielder:
Anumanthan Kumar, Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak, Faris Ramli, Izzdin Shafiq , Safuwan Baharudin, Shawal Anuar, Yasir Hanapi, Gabriel Quak, Shahdan Sulaiman.

Forward:
Sahil Suhaimi, Iqbal Hussain, Khairul Amri, Shahfiq Ghani