Zaiful: Fight to be Singapore’s No.1 still fierce

Izwan and Zaiful Singapore

Hassan Sunny may not be with the Singapore squad as they prepare to face Cambodia, but competition is still stiff among the other goalkeepers called up… 

Goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam has never had a better chance to start in goal for Singapore.

The Lions will play Cambodia on Thursday and first-choice custodian Hassan Sunny has not been called up due to his club obligations, while Izwan Mahbud is with the squad but only recently returned from injury.

If anything, it seemed Zaiful would be the obvious choice to start the game for the Lions.

But according to the 29-year-old, this will not be the case as V.Sundramoorthy has also called up the untested duo of Syazwan Buhari and Khairulhin Khalid.

Zaiful hopes to start for Singapore against Cambodia

Both young goalkeepers have been performing well in the S.League and Zaiful believes he has seen enough in training to know he cannot take his spot in the squad for granted.

“Hassan may not be here but it’s still the same,” Zaiful told FourFourTwo. “It’s not easy because everyone is working hard and wants to impress for the chance to play.

“I feel Syazwan and Khai are giving me and Izwan a tough fight so it’s not easy.”

After suffering a 3-0 defeat to Vietnam in their last international game, Singapore are under pressure to deliver a better performance and result.

While coach Sundram claims that results are not that important at the moment, against ASEAN minnows Cambodia, nothing but a big win would be accepted by the fans.

Zaiful welcomed such expectations, believing it would drive the team to do well.

“There is pressure but it’s good to have pressure,” he said.

“Actually that makes us better, it pushes us harder instead of us being in the comfort zone and not pushing, having this pressure is better than none.”

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo