Photo Credit: tnp.sg
We will have to see more on the Singaporean side ahead in the Sea Games against their upcoming opponents. Take a look at our latest Singaporean football news preview before the interesting fixtures ahead of their journey to SEA Games. Sundram Moorthy as Laos national football team coach will be facing Singaporean national football team coach Fandi Ahmad and this event will be considered as 13th times on the record. Back from the good old days, these coaches were gone from a lethal duo on the pitch and to contenders on the touchline in football squad. The upcoming matchup tomorrow at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila Philippines will show the newest segment in the inseparable connection of two of Singapore’s footballing sons, Fandi Ahmad and Sundram Moorthy, this will be the 1st time to encounter each other in an international stage.
Ahmad’s Young Lions squad will kick off their SEA Games competition against Moorthy’s Laos in the upcoming 13th meeting between the pair as coaches of national teams. Actually, there is nothing new about this event because it’s only the newest encounters in a duo of footballing careers that have commonly twine together. As footballers, European pioneers Sundram and Fandi already know the weight of handling the hopes of a nation, as they obtained three SEA Games silvers back then. As respected coaches, they have considered similarities in terms of honing the Young Lions against well-experienced rivals in the domestic league. These great footballers created a name for themselves across the causeway, achieving silverware in Malaysian club football with LionsXII, obtaining themselves time in charge of the senior national football team. On this upcoming interesting reunion tomorrow, Moorthy emphasized his close connection with his former Lions striker duo, however, he stacked the pressure on him, stating that Ahmad’s squad are crowds’ favorite within their Group B opening game. Coach Moorthy stated:
“Every game is special, not just this game against Singapore, we are the underdogs, surely. They (Singapore) have invested a lot of resources into the squad and they started their preparations long ago, so the pressure is more on them. We want to start with a positive performance…. This is the youth level, so anything is possible. If it is your day, it is your day.”
Sundram, 54-year-old, who has been a national coach of Laos for only more than a year, here are some of his records. He works with regional minnows Laos, the team currently positioned in 188th within FIFA rankings and earned admiration previously, as he leads their youths to the Asian Football Confederation or AFC Under-19 Championship in Uzbekistan next year, currently unbeaten from a group that featured regional heavyweights Australia. And four of the members of that team have made the trip to SEA Games in the Philippines. While Moorthy is widely seen as a more sensible coach, Ahmad – who already known as more on offensive strategy – stated he is in doubt on how his old Lions teammate will figure out his squad.
Fandi, 57-year-old, showcased Moorthy’s achievements with the U-19s as a sign the 54-year-old could expect more on his sleeve. The Young Lions coach stated:
“We must expect the unexpected. We don’t know whether he will sit back or he will attack. But the results of the U-19s mean he has something up his sleeve, so we have to be wary. He is tactically (good) and they have some good players from the U-19s, but the majority of his players are 21-22. Whoever we play, we have to be wary, whether it’s Brunei and Laos or Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.”
“We need to stay focused. We must win the first game to give us a window of (qualifying for) the semi-finals. If we lose our first game, it’s always a hard mountain to climb.”
Still, coach Ahmad maybe undecided of how Moorthy will perform on tomorrow’s game, and the Laos coach has the advantage of knowing all about the Young Lions.