Despite being outplayed by the visitors for the majority of the game, Singapore managed to eke out a narrow 1-0 victory to keep their qualification hopes for the 2019 Asian Cup alive. FFT’s Kenneth Tan susses out four talking points from this game…
No Safuwan and Hariss, no party
Regardless of how Bernd Stange or the die-hard Lions fans try to play down this fact, it is obvious that Singapore cannot operate without Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun – two of the finest footballers which the country has produced.
Hariss provides the bite and calming influence in the middle of the park, while Safuwan gives a different dimension to the attack with his knock-downs and surging runs forward.
Zulfahmi Arifin did his best to fill in for Hariss but lacked the tenacity to shackle the quick and nippy Afghans, while captain Shahril Ishak looked off pace and simply did not do enough as the No.10 to support Khairul Amri before he was replaced at half-time.
The returns of Safuwan and Hariss could not come any sooner. Thankfully for Singapore, that will happen against Cambodia on Tuesday.