Time for Lions to step it up at Syria match

Time for Lions to step it up at Syria match

By all accounts, Syria held their own when they drew 1-1 with table-toppers Jordan in their Asian Cup Group A qualifier.

The Syrians are a solid team, and I hope the Lions turn in the kind of performance that will bring cheer to their own fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night when the two sides meet in their Asian Cup qualifier.

Singapore coach Bernd Stange has called for time to implement the modern style of football. Appointed in May, it is still too early to pass judgment over whether the German's attempt at improving the Lions has worked.

But the national team can do with a positive outing on Tuesday to at least indicate they are on the right path.

Last Thursday, Stange's Lions plodded to a 1-0 friendly win over Laos.

Singapore, the reigning ASEAN champions, struggled to break down a Lao side largely made up of under-23 players.

As Singapore fumbled to victory, Thailand beat Bahrain 1-0 and Vietnam pulled one over Qatar, coming from behind to win 2-1.

Malaysia fell 3-1 to the United Arab Emirates. As we build towards hosting the Suzuki Cup next year at the new National Stadium, it is worrying that our closest rivals are testing themselves against the bigger boys and showing form, while we struggle to overcome Laos.

Pre-game, Stange constantly referred to Laos as a team on par with Singapore.

I disagree.

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