SOS Cup: Cerina and Wahyudi to start as Amin plots to take down Selangor

Hougang United centre-backs Igor Cerina and Wahyudi Wahid are the men tasked to mark out the threat of Selangor hitman Paulo Rangel tonight.

To date, the Brazilian has hit 16 goals in all competitions for the Red Giants this season.

While acknowledging the 29-year-old’s qualities, Singapore Selection coach Amin Nasir believes the familiarity amongst his backline will give his side the edge against the Selangor Selection in the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup tonight.

“For me, definitely Rangel’s the best striker in Malaysia,” he told FourFourTwo on the eve of the game.

“He’s been scoring and is quite deadly in front of goal. Thus I am trying my best to put players who’ve played together (to cope with his threat).

“When I called up Fadhil (Salim), naturally I was going to get Igor and Wahyudi. The understanding and communication should be there for the three of them.”

With Selangor possessing a couple of speed merchants in Andik Vermansyah and S Kunanlan, Geylang International skipper Ridhuan Muhammad will be handed a start at right midfield.

Meanwhile Sufian Anuar will pair up with Geison Moura upfront.

“Ridhuan’s speed is an asset for any team,” explained Amin.

“When it comes to playing opponents which you do not know too much about, a lot boils down to speed. Also he’s an experienced player who had faced big crowds in Indonesia before which comes in handy.”

“Sufian’s also an experienced player upfront. If not I can put Leo (Leonel Felice) as the target man. Hopefully it works.”

It has not been the smoothest of preparations for Amin going into this game.

Firstly clubs like Warriors FC, Balestier Khalsa and Tanjong Pagar United cited their reasons for not releasing their players for this game, forcing the Hougang United gaffer to call up a number of LionsXII players.

“It’s definitely a pity that we could not get most of the clubs,” said the former Singapore international who just turned 48 on Thursday.

“For Warriors, I wanted to get (Tom) Beattie and (Nicolas) Velez but the coach (Alex Weaver) didn’t allow them to come. Balestier pulled out because they had a thin squad while Tanjong Pagar went for a friendly game in Larkin.

“I personally called some of the players and they were so eager to come. However I’ve to respect the clubs. I’ve discussed with (S.League CEO) Lim Chin and he supported by allowing me to get some experienced players from LionsXII.”

Then, torrential downpour on Friday evening meant the pre-match training session at the Stadium Shah Alam was instead shifted to a park near their hotel in which they are residing in.

However Amin remains unfazed of the task ahead of him.

“Now that we’re here, that means we mean business,” he said bullishly.

“It’s definitely going to be tough since the Selangor players have played together for so long, but it’s possible.”

Probable Starting XI:  Fadhil Salim (GK, captain); Faizal Amir, Igor Cerina, Wahyudi Wahid, Hafiz Sujad; Ridhuan Muhammad, Aqhari Abdullah, Shunsuke Nakatake, Hafiz Nor; Sufian Anuar, Geison Moura.

*The game between the Selangor Selection and the Singapore Selection will kick off at 9pm at Stadium Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur.