Singapore bid to keep Asian Cup hopes alive

The Lions are at home to Jordan and anything but victory will likely spell the end of their quest to qualify for the 2015 tournament in Australia

Singapore will take on Jordan on Tuesday night in the first of two crucial games to determine whether they can make it to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia.

Bottom of Group A with four games played, the equation is simple for the Lions. They have to beat Jordan and then group leaders Oman in their last game, which should then see them qualify by virtue of being the best third-placed side if Jordan beat Syria in their last game.

Bernd Stange led his men to a stunning 2-1 victory against Syria back in October last year in his first competitive game in charge. That remains the only points they have garnered in this campaign, and their task will not be made easier against the Jordanians.

For one, the Lions only started training on Sunday, a mere two days before the clash at Jalan Besar Stadium. Thirteen LionsXII players have been named in the 21-man squad, with all of them having been involved one day earlier in the 2-1 loss against Pahang FA in the FA Cup. 

Furthermore, first-choice goalkeeper Hassan Sunny will not be available as he is with the Courts Young Lions team on their training tour in Turkey. Striker Sahil Suhaimi misses out for the same reason, LionsXII forward Shahfiq Ghani has not been deemed fit and Home United's Indra Sahdan is still recovering from a broken leg.

Key players like captain Shahril Ishak, Hariss Harun, Safuwan Baharudin, Baihakki Khaizan and Khairul Amri will be expected to start. Qiu Li and Shahdan Sulaiman could be included as well, while it remains to be seen who Stange opts for on the flanks.  

For Jordan, their task is straightforward. Victory will see them join Oman in qualifying for the tournament proper, while even a draw should be enough to guarantee progression basd on goal difference. They will be confident of getting a result having beaten Singapore 4-0 in the first group game a year ago, although they have failed to score in their last two group matches.