Shahdan Sulaiman looking good for Suzuki Cup
Khairul Amri dropped into midfield to pick the ball up, moved forward with it and then shaped to shoot.
But instead of letting rip from distance, the Lions forward instead played a slide-rule pass to a teammate making a lung-bursting run through the defence.
Shahdan Sulaiman duly took the ball in his stride, opened up his body and curled a beauty past Singapore No. 1 Hassan Sunny into goal.
It might have just been a training match at the Jurong West Stadium yesterday, but the run and the strike underlined the ability of the 26-year-old midfielder.
The Tampines Rovers star is looking forward to showing what he can do, when the Lions take on Thailand in their opening Suzuki Cup Group B clash at the National Stadium tomorrow night.
"Of course, if I can score goals like that in training, I want to do the same in matches," said Shahdan, with a grin.
"I'm expecting a tough battle in midfield against the Thais, but I won't curb my instincts... I'll play my normal game.
"Having said that, we can't just rely on Hariss (Harun) to do the dirty work in midfield. I'll make sure I'll do my part, too."
While he has not rediscovered the sterling form displayed in the first half of 2012 which saw him elevated to the first 11 of the national team, Shahdan (above) has flourished this year, particularly in the second half of the season, after Tampines signed former New Zealand international defensive midfielder Jake Butler to play alongside him.
Butler's experience and presence in the Stags' midfield liberated Shahdan and allowed him to surge forward and play at his creative best.
It is a formula Lions' midfield general Hariss hopes to replicate at international level.
The 24-year-old Johor Darul Ta'zim star said: "Shahdan has a good engine to get up and down the pitch, and I'm more than happy to do a job behind him and let him do what he does best."
Like Shahdan, Hariss is expecting a tough battle against the Thais in the centre of the park.
Thai captain and defensive midfielder Adul Lahso was part of the 2012 team that lost to the Lions in the Suzuki Cup final, and his partner Charyl Chappuis starred when the War Elephants' Under-23 side knocked Singapore out of the SEA Games last year.
Said Hariss: "Thailand will play a brand of possession-based football, and as usual with Thai teams, they're quick.
"When they lose the ball, they'll try to win it back as quickly as possible.
"They will also try to pull our players out of position with their movements, so we need to be focused and make sure we put in a collective effort and put our teamwork to good use.
"We might have to do a lot of running off the ball, which can be tiring.
"But we're up for it."