Richard Tardy: We're improving, but fixture list killed Singapore's SEA Games chances

Singapore coach Richard Tardy believes fatigue from having to play two big games in three days was the reason for his team’s 2-1 defeat to Malaysia in their SEA Games Group A encounter at Shah Alam Stadium on Wednesday.

Singapore had taken the lead in the first half thanks to a 38th minute Amiruldin Asraf stunner which sailed into the goal off the post, but Malaysia turned the tables with two goals in a dramatic 10-minute spell after the break.

We must play to win the next two games and I will give a chance to players who have not had a chance to play so far

- Richard Tardy

The result has all-but extinguished the Singapore team’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Speaking to the press at the post-match press conference, Tardy said: “The game against Myanmar was very tough and many of my players were tired.

“We disappeared physically for 10 minutes (against Malaysia) and it killed us.”

Tardy conceded the Cubs’ tournament was almost over after just two of their four group matches.

When asked about their chances of progressing to the next round, he had this to say.

Singapore's celebrations against Malaysia proved short lived

“Five per cent. We have to be realistic. The step this time was a bit too high.

“We must play to win the next two games and I will give a chance to players who have not had a chance to play so far.”

Despite the disappointing results, Tardy finished the press conference on an optimistic note.

“We are disappointed but we must be positive,” he said. “If you compare the performance of the team in Yangon (at the AFC Under-23 Qualifiers) with how the team played here, you will see that there has been a great improvement.

“We are not that far off. Most of these players will play in the next SEA Games and they will learn and improve and we can challenge in 2019.“

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FFT