Aide rues lapses and praises young pair

Despite conceding that his team had lost to “the best in Asia”, Singapore Under-23s coach Aide Iskander was not pleased with his charges’ lack of focus in their 8-1 drubbing to the Japan Under-22 side.

The look on Singapore-U23 coach Aide Iskandar’s face was one of sheer disappointment as he rued a “painful defeat” after his side were outplayed and outclassed at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.

“One of the biggest factors (in the match) was the lapses of concentration," said Aide.

"That is something we really need to work on and something we have to correct. We will sit down and analyse as a team and see what the mistakes we could have avoided are and the areas we could have done better in."

Earlier on, Japanese coach Makoto Teguramori said after Japan scored the second goal, the Singapore team looked quieter and demoralised.

"They didn’t come back as aggressively as we expected them to," he remarked.

Coach Aide agreed with his counterpart’s assessment.

“Yes. After the second goal, I could see the boys’ body language," explained Aide.

"It’s good that it happened now because we need to learn and in future games, we cannot just stop there but fight till the 90th minute."

“If we cannot get a result, then we at least have to put up a good performance.”

When pressed for positives from the match, Aide hailed second half substitutes Irfan Fandi and Taufiq Muqminin’s impact. Irfan scored the home side’s solitary goal while Taufiq impressed at the heart of the defence alongside Shakir Hamzah in the second half.

“One player who stood out was Irfan," said Aide. 

"He showed that he can compete against one of the best in Asia. I am glad and happy to see that.”

“I was happy when Taufiq came on in the second half. I thought he added stability to the back. I am happy to have found another gem in defence.” 

Picture courtesy of Football Association of Singapore (FAS)