Saifullah hoping for Young Lions’ boost against Bahrain


Singapore under-19s will take on their Bahrain counterparts twice this week and Saifullah is hoping they can earn a credible result after suffering defeats last time out… 

Singapore under-19 midfielder Saifullah Akbar is gunning for a better performance against Bahrain when they play on August 31 and September 3 at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

The two sides previously met in Bahrain in June, where the Young Lions fell to 2-0 and 3-0 losses.

This time around the under-19 squad has been bolstered with the call-ups of several capable youngsters, with Garena Young Lions stars Joshua Pereira and Hami Syahin joining their ranks from the under-21 side.

Goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad too will link up with team, as will Under-21 International Challenge Cup standout Amiruldin Asraf.

The call-ups of these players have encouraged Saifullah and he believes the Young Lions can pull off a credible result against their Middle-Eastern counterparts.

“Mentally I feel confident and really positive about the game as we've got the five Young Lions players with us that didn't go to Bahrain,” Saifullah told FourFourTwo. “So that only makes the squad stronger in all aspects.

“I am really looking forward to the games and all my thoughts right now are more positives than negatives.”

The 18-year-old, who has been seeing more first-team game time of late at Tampines Rovers, also wants to bring his experience from the S.League to the international stage.

Saifullah Akabr

Saifullah has scored a few goals for Tampines this term

“I don't feel like I have anything to prove as that will add unnecessary pressure, I'll just play my best and try to apply what I've learnt and my experience playing in the first team,” he added.

Against Bahrain, Saifullah is confident Singapore can surprise them.

But he insisted they need to cut out any silly mistakes and put away the chances that come their way – something the Singapore side failed to do in their last match-up.

“From the previous game, our own mistakes led us to the defeats. So by now I'm sure that we've learnt from the mistakes and we will try not to commit the same ones tomorrow,” he asserted.

“Also we created chances but we didn't finish them previously. In tomorrow’s game, we’ve got to finish the chances or we might end up with the same defeats if we're not very careful in defending.”

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FFT