Amri doubtful to face Taiwan, but Sundram is still feeling adventurous

Singapore head coach V.Sundramoorthy revealed lead striker Khairul Amri is in doubt for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Taiwan on Saturday, but insisted he will still set his team out to attack.

The Lions began their Asian Cup qualifying campaign with a confidence booster after holding Bahrain — arguably the strongest team in Group E — to a 0-0 draw away from home back in March.

Singapore are now looking to earn the maximum three points at home as they bid to qualify for the Asian Cup for the first time.

Singapore’s only participation in the tournament was in 1984, when they hosted the competition. 

While Sundram is well known for his conservative style of play, especially at the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup where the Lions only scored one goal in three games, the Dazzler asserted his side will be going on the offensive this time, even if Amri fails to be match-fit in time.

“As you know, Chinese Taipei is not going to be an easy game. We’ve been watching them, a good team, very well organised,” Sundram said at the pre-match press conference.

“But it’s about us, how we will approach the game … we want to get the points. We will try to go out there and score goals. It’s our home ground, we will go to attack but we must be careful."

Hariss is demanding the team turns up at home

Singapore will be playing their first FIFA ‘A’ international match at Jalan Besar Stadium in over a year, but vice-captain Hariss Harun believes the team will have no difficulty facing Taiwan there.

“The boys are feeling really positive, especially with our first result (against) Bahrain, it was good for our morale,” Hariss said. “We go into this game with a lot of confidence.

Taiwan head coach Kazuo Kuroda admitted he was wary of the Lions, although he knew little of them

"It is very important for us (to get three points), especially playing at home.

“Almost every player has played sufficiently on this pitch, be it with the S.League or national team. We are used to the pitch. I hope the fans come in numbers and give us a good atmosphere.”

In the other camp, Taiwan head coach Kazuo Kuroda admitted he was wary of the Lions, although he knew little of them.

“We only watched one to two years ago footage of Singapore’s game so we only know a little bit,” Kuroda said through a translator.

“Our Taiwan team is not as good as the Singapore team. We want to learn from the Singapore team as well and play a game. We will try to do our best.”

Kuroda doesn't believe the Lions are toothless

The Japanese also expressed disbelief at local reporters’ suggestion that the Lions had problems scoring goals.

This despite the statistic that Singapore have only scored six goals in 13 games since Sundram took over.

“If the Singapore team is exactly the same as what you have said, then it will really help us,” Kuroda added.

“But I feel there is no way Singapore’s attack is that bad. Singapore’s ability is for sure definitely better than us in all aspects.

“For tomorrow’s match, we have to score first. Both attack and defence will be important. As a coach, I want our players to look out in defence, we need to look out for every Singapore player.”

Tickets for the match are on sale, priced at $3 for concession tickets and $9 for adults. They are available from Global Tickets’ website (http://www.globaltickets.sg) and AXS Stations islandwide until 4.00pm on matchday. 

On-site ticket sales will take place one day before matchday from 10.00am to 5.00pm at the Jalan Besar Stadium (North Gate), subject to availability. Ticket sales will resume on matchday from 4.30pm onwards at Jalan Besar Stadium (North Gate), subject to availability.