Satisfied Stange sets sights on Causeway Derby
The Lions grabbed a vital 4-2 win in their AFF Suzuki Cup Group B match, but had to endure a second half onslaught from a plucky Myanmar side.
Two quick-fire goals from Myanmar pegged Singapore back to 3-2, before captain Khin Maung Lwin's own goal 15 minutes from time gave the Lions some breathing space.
Stange however, was pleased with his charges’ performance, particularly in the first half when they dominated.
“It’s a comfortable win,” he said.
“[It was a] clear result. That’s the most important [thing].
“We achieved a win against a strong team from Myanmar even though we saw two totally different halves.
“First half – clear changes for Singapore. Second half, after two very bad injuries, we had to change and I was not able to bring on fresh legs.
“Myanmar dominated the game, scored two goals and it was a critical moment in the game.
“But we bounced back and I think we can be very happy.”
Stange, who by his own admission feels that individual players shouldn’t be singled out as football is a team sport, reserved praise for Hariss Harun, who scored twice in the game.
“Hariss was a leader today,” the 66-year-old said.
“He made a big step and we should not forget he’s only 24 years old. That’s a footballer’s best age and his career starts now.
“He was the best man on the pitch.”
The results from both games put Singapore 2nd in Group B with three points while both Myanmar and Malaysia have only a point each.
While a draw would more or less allow Singapore to qualify for the semi-finals considering they have a better goal difference than Myanmar, Stange is adamant that they need to go for a win.
“You cannot go for a draw,” he said.
“I will not make this mistake that you (the media) want me to.
“We have to recover and find a way to bring a strong team on Saturday. We have Bai (Baihakki Khaizan) suspended so we have to fill the hole, we have broken fibula for Shahdan, he will have surgery tomorrow and he won’t be playing this year anymore.
“We have to focus on recovery now for Saturday’s big clash against Malaysia.”
Photo: Kamthorn Pornsakulpaisal