BRUNEI NO EASY MEAT: AIDE

BRUNEI NO EASY MEAT: AIDE
Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin being put through a shooting practice during training yesterday, as the Young Lions need to boost their goal difference in their SEA Games Group A clash against minnows Brunei tonight.

NAYPYITAW - Whipping boys Brunei are up next for the Young Lions - but from the way the Singaporeans were preparing, it might as well be the SEA Games football final.

For the first time since arriving in Myanmar last week, coach Aide Iskandar barred the media from viewing his training session, held at a decrepit venue on the outskirts of Naypyidaw.

While Singapore reporters enjoyed a kickabout with locals outside the Paung Laung Stadium yesterday, the Republic's gold-medal hopefuls fine-tuned their set-piece deliveries and shooting around the box.

Clearly, the Group A table-toppers, coming off a shock 1-0 win over Vietnam on Tuesday, are not taking it lightly against Brunei.

This, even as tonight's opponents are largely an Under-21 outfit who lost 0-7 to Vietnam and 0-2 to Malaysia earlier this week.

"Brunei have grown from strength to strength and are no easy meat," Aide said at the end of the hour-long training session.

"They have nothing to lose - they may just decide to sit back and counter-attack."

That could spell trouble for Singapore, after well-documented struggles in front of goal in their first two games.

"We have to make our chances count against Brunei," was how winger Faris Ramli aptly put it.

Expect a re-shuffled line-up as forward Shahfiq Ghani is suspended after picking up two yellow cards.

Midfield hardman Izzdin Shafiq is likely to come in to shield the backline. This means that captain Hariss Harun and playmaker Zulfahmi Arifin will be given more freedom to push forward in support of lone frontman Sahil Suhaimi.

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