| SINGAPORE (2 Jan 2010) – Singapore will have to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat to Oman if they hope to be a challenge to Iran in the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers on Wednesday.
The Lions, who had held the side from the Middle East to a scoreless draw a few days earlier at the same venue, fell to a Fawzi Basher opener in the 15th minute before Yaqoob Abdull Kareem added the second goal five minutes later.
Husain Ali then added goal No. 3 in the 34th minute as Osama Hadid then made sure of Oman’s advantage with the fourth goal on 69 minute.
Singapore’s only goal of the game came off Indra Sahdan Daud in the 76th minute.
“It is a little disturbing that we could not even make two crosses in,” said Singapore head coach Radojko Avramovic.
“It would seem that for some of the players they were just waiting for something to happen.”
Singapore are on second in Group E of the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers with six points – just a point behind leaders Iran.
Thailand are third with five points while Jordan are at the bottom with four points.
In the meantime, Malaysia are concerned with the injuries suffered by two of their stalwarts – midfielder Mohd Amri Yahyah and defender Mohd Sabre Mat Abu.
The Malaysians will be taking on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their final Group C encounter of the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers in Dubai on 6 January 2010.
”I will make the decision on the line-up as late as possible as this will give me the chance to assess the other players as well who are carrying niggling injuries,” said Malaysian head coach K. Rajagobal.
But while Malaysia are already out of contention for a place in the final rounds of the 2011 Asian Cup which will be held in Qatar, Rajagobal said that he will still put in the best possible eleven against the UAE to make sure that they are as competitive as possible.
“At the very least, it will help in the further development of the national squad,” added Rajagobal.