Singapore unfazed by PH AzkalsBy Cedelf P. Tupas |Philippine Daily Inquirer
SINGAPORE may have injury concerns on some of its key players ahead of its AFF Suzuki Cup home-and-away semifinal duel with the Philippines, but the Lions won’t be lacking in motivation as they seek to return to the finals for the first time since 2007.
The Lions finished on top of Group B by pulling off two wins, including a scintillating 4-3 victory over Laos in their final match to snatch top spot and forge a meeting with a familiar foe in the Azkals, who clinched the No. 2 spot in Group A after wins over Vietnam and Myanmar.
The Azkals host the first leg on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with the second leg set on Dec. 12 at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
But while the Azkals are still hoping to get some of their players back from club commitments overseas, including Angel Guirado, Dennis Cagara and Jerry Lucena, the Lions are just aiming to have all their players healthy.
Singapore could miss leftback Shaiful Esah and striker Khairul Amri due to injury in the first leg of the semifinals, according to coach Radojko Avramovic.
“We have to recover fast and prepare well against the Philippines,” said Avramovic after the win against Laos.
Thailand will dispute the other finals berth with Malaysia starting Sunday at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.