Lions can do better
Fans feel Sundram's men must improve to do well in Suzuki Cup
This was a game Singapore dominated and should have won.
A combination of poor finishing, bad luck and inspired goalkeeping cost the Lions victory against arch-rivals Malaysia in the Causeway Challenge at the National Stadium yesterday.
Although many fans in the 24,928-strong crowd thought it was a decent performance from the national team, they feel that they still need to show improvement if they want to do well in next month's AFF Suzuki Cup.
Abdul Hafiz, 32, a transmission operator, said: "The Lions played pretty well. They were probably a bit more reserved because of the upcoming Suzuki Cup.
"Maybe that's why it appeared like they didn't go all out.
"I hope they do well for the Suzuki Cup.
"But, as we all know, teams like Philippines and Thailand have been improving tremendously."
Singapore are in Group A of the Suzuki Cup, along with Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The tournament, regarded as South-east Asia's most prestigious, starts next month.
Student Danial Syafiq, 17, thought that the Lions faded badly in the final 10 minutes.
He was also worried by the team's failure to take the many chances that came their way.
GIVE YOUNGSTERS A CHANCE
He said: "They have to improve a lot and change their tactics for the Suzuki Cup.
"They should grab their opportunities especially since they had so many."
Sheik Heakal, 31, a civil servant, urged Singapore coach V Sundramoorthy to give the youngsters a chance to prove themselves.
He said: "Maybe we need Irfan Fandi to play.
"Everyone was waiting for him to come on. Sundram needs to let the youngsters play more and prove themselves.
"That could help them at the Suzuki Cup."
It appeared Irfan, the 19-year-old son of Singapore icon Fandi Ahmad, has quite a few fans in the stands.
Fauzie Laily, 31, an actor, is one of them.
He said: "Whenever we face our Causeway rivals, Malaysia, everyone still makes an effort to come together.
"They should let the younger players play more often though.
"Everyone was looking forward to see Irfan Fandi play."
But some fans were also impressed by Singapore's performance.
"The Lions played extremely well, in my opinion," said Kelwyn Vaz, 41, an IT consultant, who was watching a Singapore match at the National Stadium with his family for the first time.
"They missed a couple of chances, but Malaysia also had a very strong goalkeeper. You've got to give it to them.
"But it was easily a game the Lions could have won."