Football: Lions striker search still on

Football: Lions striker search still on
"This is why I called up some players who may come as a surprise, such as (Khairul) Nizam (left) and Iqbal (Hussain, right), even if people are laughing at us," coach Bernd Stange said, 

SINGAPORE - The top scoring local in the S-League is still Aleksandar Duric, who turns 43 next year.

The evergreen Tampines Rovers striker, so far overlooked by new national football coach Bernd Stange, has scored seven goals in 16 league games.

Foreign players dominate the S-League goalscoring charts. Albirex Niigata's Kazuki Sakamoto, Geylang International's Jozef Kaplan, Tanjong Pagar's Monsef Zerka and Woodlands Wellington's Moon Soon Ho have scored nine goals apiece.

The top 22 players on that list include only three Singaporeans - national strikers Qiu Li and Khairul Amri with six goals, and Yasir Hanapi with four.

After Tuesday's national team training session, Stange agreed that the dearth of prolific strikers is something he is actively looking to address.

"This is why I called up some players who may come as a surprise, such as (Khairul) Nizam and Iqbal (Hussain), even if people are laughing at us," said the 65-year-old German.

"We have a situation and we will try our best to find solutions. We will continue to look for strikers."

Both Nizam and Iqbal, who play for the LionsXII and Courts Young Lions respectively, have just one goal each to their names this season.

But they can take heart from LionsXII forward Shahfiq Ghani, who scored no more than three goals in each of his three previous seasons with CYL, but burst into prominence with five key goals in the Malaysian Super League.

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