Singapore to play Myanmar in SEA Games opener
The Singapore Under-22 football team will get a shot at redemption when they kick off their SEA Games campaign in Kuala Lumpur next month.
While the football tournament schedule has yet to be officially released, The New Paper understands that Richard Tardy's squad will play their first Group A match against Myanmar at the Selayang Stadium on Aug 14.
Revenge will be on Singapore's mind, after Myanmar beat them 2-0 in Yangon eight days ago, in an AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying match.
After Myanmar, Singapore will play hosts Malaysia at the 55,000-capacity Shah Alam Stadium on Aug 16, before taking on Laos at the UM Arena Stadium on Aug 18.
Their last game will be against Brunei at the UiTM Stadium on Aug 23.
The top two teams from Group A will advance to the semi-finals, which will be played on Aug 26 at either Shah Alam or Selayang.
Group B is made up of Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Timor Leste.
The final, scheduled for Aug 29, will take place at either Shah Alam or the Bukit Jalil Stadium.
Singapore U-22 skipper Shahrin Saberin said that the team are determined to make up for last week's disappointing AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
Aside from the Myanmar defeat, Singapore were also thumped 7-0 by Australia. They beat Brunei 4-1 in their final match.
Said defender Shahrin: "The SEA Games is a chance for us to prove a point, especially since our first game is against Myanmar, like it was in the AFC qualifiers.
"In that game, the match was really intense, but the pitch was terrible and waterlogged.
"Another difference is that there won't be as big a crowd (in KL), which made a difference to them.
"We have to try and forget (the AFC qualifiers) and shut it out from our minds as we approach the SEA Games.
"Some people say we need two wins or six points to go through to the semi-finals, but we don't want to think like that.
"We just want to take it a game at a time, and target three points in every game we play."