10 players to watch

AFF SUZUKI CUP 2020

SINGAPORE

Ikhsan Fandi, 22, striker

Strong in the air and adept with both feet, Ikhsan shoulders not just expectations as a son of legendary Lions striker Fandi Ahmad, but also the goalscoring responsibilities of the team.

THAILAND

Teerasil Dangda, 33, striker

One of just two centurions entering this tournament, Teerasil is three goals away from toppling former Singapore striker Noh Alam Shah's 17-goal record at the AFF Suzuki Cup.

PHILIPPINES

Jefferson Tabinas, 23, defender

Born in Japan to a Ghanaian father and Filipino mother, Tabinas had hopes of making Japan's squad for Tokyo 2020. When that ship sailed, he accepted the Azkals' call-up for the World Cup qualifiers in June, and shone in a 2-0 loss to China.

MYANMAR

Maung Maung Lwin, 26, midfielder

A winger with an eye for goal, Maung has 38 caps, the second-most international caps in the Myanmar squad behind right-back David Htan's 68.

TIMOR LESTE

Paulo Gali, 16, forward

He was listed as a 22-year-old during the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and caught in the eye of an age fraud storm when he later featured in youth tournaments after being cleared by MRI tests.

CAMBODIA

Chan Vathanaka, 27, striker

The explosive attacker scored 55 goals for club and country in 2015 and earned a loan move to J3 League's Fujieda MYFC in 2017. Vathanaka is three goals away from Hok Sochetra's Cambodian record of 20 international goals.

VIETNAM

Nguyen Quang Hai, 24, midfielder

Named MVP after helping Vietnam win the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, Quang Hai led his country to the 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals, where they were beaten by champions Japan.

Evan Dimas, 26, midfielder

Inspired by a four-month stint with Spanish clubs Llagostera and Espanyol in 2016, as well as idol Andres Iniesta, Evan has an eye for the killer pass and the technical ability to execute it.

INDONESIA

MALAYSIA

Dion Cools, 25, right-back

Born in Sarawak, full back Cools moved to his father’s native Belgium as a young child and earned 28 youth caps for them. He is the only player in the AFF Suzuki Cup to have featured in the Champions League.

Billy Ketkeophomphone, 31
forward

Conferred an honorary Laotian citizenship at the Embassy of Laos in Paris on Nov 25, Ketkeophomphone can finally represent the birthplace of his parents, who fled to France as refugees in the 1980s.

LAOS

TEXT: DAVID LEE

PHOTOS: ST FILE, AFP, REUTERS, FACEBOOK.