SINGAPORE - The odds are heavily stacked against the Lions but national football coach V. Sundram Moorthy is not giving up the quest for Asian Cup qualification.
Singapore need to beat Group E leaders Bahrain at the National Stadium next Tuesday and Chinese Taipei (away on March 27 next year) but other results must also go their way. They will be hoping the Taiwanese hold Turkmenistan and the Central Asians lose to Bahrain on these two match days.
In preparation for the match against the Bahrainis, the Lions will spar with Lebanon at the National Stadium on Thursday (Nov 9) night.
Sundram said: "We still have a slim chance. We will go out there to try to beat Bahrain. From what I have observed during training, the players are all motivated to play for the national team.
"Performances have improved although the results have not. But if we keep working hard and playing like that, eventually the results will come."
Singapore are bottom of Group E with two points from four games while Bahrain lead the standings with seven points, ahead of Turkmenistan on goal difference while Chinese Taipei have six points.
Sundram will be comforted that during the group's opening game, the Lions (ranked 173rd in the world) defended stoutly to hold 125th-ranked Bahrain to a 0-0 draw in Manama.
Lebanon's head coach Miodrag Radulovic, whose team are ranked 100th and are leaders in Group B, is not underestimating the Lions.
The Montenegrin said: "The Singapore team have a chance of qualifying. It is good for the coach (Sundram) to try to mix his team, to try some new players. I don't think he will play his full team against us but each game you can learn some good things."