Stange delighted with consecutive Singapore wins
Bernd Stange was a satisfied man after witnessing his Lions romp to a 5-1 win over Brunei Darussalam at Jurong East Stadium on Saturday, their largest victory in his two-year stint.
The German felt two consecutive friendly wins, including a 2-1 away win in Bangladesh last Sunday, served as the ideal platform for Singapore to face Cambodia and then Japan away in their upcoming joint World Cup-Asian Cup qualifiers.
“We take confidence from the last two games and all our 22 players are ready for the qualifiers,” he said at the post-match press conference.
“We had chances to score eight or nine goals, and everyone got to see how well we moved the ball around the pitch.”
Despite the big win over a side shorn of their best players from S.League side DPMM FC, Stange admitted there were a few areas his side could do better in ahead of the qualifiers.
One particular concern centred around communication in defence, as a mix-up between LionsXII players Izwan Mahbud and Madhu Mohana allowed Mui’z Sisa to sneak the visitors’ only goal of the match.
“There are a few things we need to improve for the qualifiers, such as building attacks starting from the goalkeeper,” said the Lions boss. “Instead of long goal kicks, we ought to try and play from the back.
“But it doesn’t always work out as we saw what happened when the goalkeeper and defender clashed over who should be getting the ball first.”
Brunei head coach Mike Wong was pleased to see the Singapore players he had nurtured in various capacities with the Football Association of Singapore, even though he was sitting on the opposite bench.
“It was nice to play these players, but the only difference between Singapore and us is they play professionally and their decision making is much better,” said the Singaporean.
“It all comes down to the small details, so it was a good opportunity for our boys to gauge how they stand in preparing for international football.”
The former Geylang International head coach also cautioned the Lions not to take their opening qualifier against Cambodia for granted.
“It will be dangerous to think they can walk over Cambodia, because those players are willing to put up a fight,” Wong warned.
The Cambodians held Myanmar to a goal-less draw in their final pre-qualifying tune-up in Thailand on Friday.
Image credit: Syukry Mirza/Football Association of Singapore