Tigers desperate to claw way back into contention
Following their opening day embarrassment, the home side must collect all three points to keep their qualification hopes alive
If Datuk K.Rajagopal’s wish to see a Singapore-Malaysia final is to be realised, then his men have got no option but to beat the gutsy Laos side first at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
The Laotians will be without forward Sopha Saysana after his red rage against Indonesia while Vilayout Sayyabounsou is set to miss out because of an injury.
Captain Visay Phaphouvanin is confident of causing another upset. “They might be favourites and have home support, but we surprised Indonesia and we believe can do it again against Malaysia,” he said.
His thoughts were echoed by coach Kokichi Kimura, who added: “We will play with high spirit. Our tactics are flexible; against Indonesia we played good but unfortunately couldn't win. Perhaps in the game against Malaysia we can do our best to win.”
For defending champions Malaysia, Safee Sali could start alone upfront with strike partner Norshahrul Idlan Talaha declared as a doubt for this game.
Safee however, is not affected and said: “I don't care who my strike partner is, I just want to win the game.”
The under pressure Rajagopal warned his charges not to get complacent and promised to make changes to the line-up.
“We have to respect Laos and cannot afford to underestimate them as we need to win this match. I will make changes but let's wait till tomorrow to see.”