Singapore right back Al-Qaasimy Rahman was relieved to have staved off a fierce Myanmar fightback in the six-goal thriller on Wednesday night, and promised to go for a win against Malaysia next.
Raddy Avramovic’s side scored two goals in six second-half minutes to eat into Singapore’s three-goal advantage from the first half, before an unfortunate Khin Muang Lwin own goal 15 minutes from time eventually ended the White Angels’ resistance.
Speaking to FourFourTwo after the game, Al-Qaasimy admitted that the Lions had got lucky.
“The fourth goal gave us real relief,” he said.
“It took away lot of our tension after Myanmar scored the two goals. At half time, we were told them even though we’re 3-0 up, the job is not done and the opponents will come back strongly which they did.
“We were slightly disorganized [for the two goals] but we eventually got our composure back to score another.”
The first half was one of mixed emotions for the Lions, having gone three goals up but also losing Shahdan Sulaiman and Ismadi Mukhtar through injury.
Al-Qaasimy was distraught after witnessing Shahdan’s horrific ankle injury, but had to compose himself when called upon to replace Ismadi minutes later.
“[The substitutes] saw Shahdan’s injury because it was in front of our bench and we were quite disgusted by the sight,” the Courts Young Lions defender said.
“But the game has to go on and when I was substituted in, I just had to focus on my game and go in for all the tackles which I needed to make.”
Marking Myanmar's dangerman Kyi Lin for much of the game, Al-Qaasimy admitted it was a challenging assignment for his Suzuki Cup debut.
“Kyi Lin changed the game in the second half,” he said.
“He’s dubbed Myanmar’s Wayne Rooney; physically strong and technically very good and he really put a lot of pressure on us.
“But I’ve played against him in the Merdeka Cup with the Under-23s last year, so I used that experience to cope. I just had to stay on my feet and be smarter to prevent him from getting crosses in.”
The Lions will now head into the final game against Malaysia on Saturday, knowing that a draw is enough to send them into the semi-finals of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.
However Al-Qaasimy insisted that his side would go for all three points against their arch-rivals.
“We’re not looking for a draw,” the 22-year-old said.
“We want to keep things safe in our hands instead of relying on another game. We want to take three points and take the step forward into the semis.”
Photo: Kamthorn Pornsakulpaisalcomments