Both Singapore and Chinese Taipei are reluctant to call themselves the clear favourites for the Asian Cup Group E Asian Cup qualifiers match at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday (10 June).
Singapore head coach V. Sundramoorthy believes that it is “not going to be an easy game against Chinese Taipei”, although Chinese Taipei head coach Kazuo Kuroda feels that his team “is not as good as the Singapore team”.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference at Amara Hotel on Friday (9 June), Sundram said, “We’ve been watching them and they are a good team which is very well-organised.”
“[But] it’s about us – how we will approach the game, which will be played on home ground. With the support of the fans, with the players turning up, we have every chance to win the game.”
Currently, Singapore are second in the four-team group, following their draw against Bahrain in the opening game, while Chinese Taipei are fourth in the group with no points after they lost to Turkmenistan.
A victory for Singapore, ranked 157th in the FIFA rankings, against Chinese Taipei, ranked 160th, will hand them a considerable advantage in terms of qualifying for the Asian Cup. The teams last met in July 2011 at Jalan Besar Stadium, where Singapore won 3-2.
To get that victory, Sundram is imploring his goal-shy charges who have scored just six times in the last 13 international matches to go on the attack.
“We want to get the points, but to do that, we have to try to go out there and score the goals,” Sundram said.
“But we must be careful as well. We cannot open ourselves up too much and get punished on the counter.”
Kuroda said his knowledge of the Singapore team comes from studying videos of them for the past two years, and he placed equal emphasis on scoring and defence.
“For tomorrow’s match, both attack and defence are equally as important. As a coach, I want our players to focus more on defence,” he said.
“But to win, we have to score first.”
When asked if Singapore’s recent lack of goals was something that would give Chinese Taipei an advantage, Kuroda disagreed.
“If the Singapore team is exactly the same as what you have said, then it will really help us. But I feel there is no way Singapore’s attack is that bad,” he said. Kuroda also seemed to imply that Chinese Taipei would have to work harder to get the win.
“Singapore’s ability is for sure definitely better than us in all aspects,” Kuroda said.
Tickets for the Chinese Taipei match is on sale now. Fans may purchase their tickets from Global Tickets (www.globaltickets.sg) or AXS Stations islandwide until 4pm on match day. On-site tickets sales will take place until 5pm Friday, and from 4.30pm onwards Saturday. Tickets are priced at $9 (gallery) and $15 (grandstand). The match kicks off at 9pm.