Irfan poised to lead Young Lions attack against Myanmar
With his family watching from the stands, Irfan was a rare bright spark for the Singapore U23s as they laboured to a 1-0 win over the Philippines U23s on Monday.
As the Young Lions approach their second Southeast Asian Games Group B match against Myanmar tomorrow, the 17-year-old starlet could be handed a starting role up front.
The eldest son of Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad was heartened to see his entire family, sans Ikhsan who has returned to CD Universidad Católica, witness him live in action.
“I felt very honoured to have my whole family watching and just gave everything for them,” he said.
“After the game, I saw them and felt very good because I put my all on the pitch.
“My dad told me I played a really good game, so I should keep a level head and continue to work hard.”
Singapore U23 head coach Aide Iskandar hinted that Irfan was likely to get his chance sooner rather than later.
Although the powerful forward failed to find the back of the net, his ability to create chances and position himself into good scoring positions have put him in the forefront of the coaches’ tactical plans.
“Irfan has been doing well and working hard,” Aide said.
“Because he has so much expectations on his shoulders, we must actually ensure that he is able to contribute when he steps onto the pitch.”
Over 7,000 fans watched on as the Young Lions missed one chance after another as they failed to add to Sheikh Abdul Hadi’s first-half opener on Monday.
Irfan admitted he and his team would need to improve their finishing if the Young Lions are to stand a chance against group leaders Myanmar, who thumped their Indonesian opponents 4-2 on Tuesday night.
“I try and concentrate on my game, focus on what my coaches have to say and try to apply them,” he said.
“The finishing had been poor in the last game, so we are going to work even harder to improve on that.”
Photo: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee/ Action Images via Reuters