Aide warns Young Lions against taking wounded Cambodia lightly

Singapore Under-23 coach Aide Iskandar warned it would be dangerous to underestimate their Cambodian opponents in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Monday night.

After a disappointing 2-1 loss against Myanmar last time out, Aide’s charges take on Cambodia in a crucial game which could prove pivotal in deciding who progresses from Group A.

However, the coach was keen to banish the notion that beating Cambodia, who suffered a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Indonesia and enter the upcoming clash with two days less of rest, would be easy.

“It can work both ways,” said Aide at a media session at the team’s base in Days Hotel at Zhongshan Park on Sunday afternoon. “We have the advantage in terms of having more days of rest.

“We should be fresher, but Cambodia are a tricky opponent who sometimes turn up and change the game, so we’re just going to focus on ourselves.

“I just hope the players who play tomorrow perform, and I want them to show they have the fire to get the three points.”

The Young Lions need little warning given they fell to a shock 3-1 defeat to a Cambodian Under-22 side in one of the build-up friendlies to the SEA Games back in March.

11 players who took part in that friendly – including Phanny Y Ratha, Chan Vathanaka and Samoeun Pidor, the scorers that day – have also been named in their Under-23 squad.

And having seen up close what the junior Angkor Warriors are capable of, Aide is now confident of countering their threat.

“What I learnt from that defeat is that we cannot underestimate them,” he said. “They have a couple of good individuals who are dangerous upfront and can score goals, so we have to take care of that.

“At the same time, we need to be very organised and ensure we work on defending at set-pieces.”

The 40-year-old revealed that he would be making a couple of changes to Singapore’s starting line-up for this game, but nevertheless stated the aim of finally opening their scoring account from open play and claiming the three points against Cambodia remained the same.

“We’re definitely going for goals,” he said.

“One thing for sure is that we need to convert our chances. We have been doing a lot of drills on finishing in our training sessions so far, so hopefully the player manage that in the match.”

Image credit: Football Association of Singapore