Sundram: We can score against Thailand
Sundram acknowledges strength of Kiatisuk's team, but says his men can score
THAILAND v SINGAPORE
(Today, 4pm, Singtel TV Ch 114 & StarHub TV Ch 208)
REPORTING FROM MANILA
Much of the talk in the lead up to today's big AFF Suzuki Cup Group A clash has revolved around whether the Singapore defence can withstand the battering the Thai attackers are expected to unleash on them.
Don't be surprised if the Lions find the Thailand net themselves, though.
V Sundramoorthy's side have been notoriously goal-shy since he assumed the reins of the national team in late May, scoring just four goals in nine international matches.
But Thailand's 4-2 win over Indonesia on Saturday suggested they had a soft underbelly.
Sundram said as much yesterday at the pre-game press conference.
"(Thailand) are the best team in the competition," said the wily 51-year-old.
"But if Indonesia can find a way to score, we (can) do it, too."
Both of Indonesia's goals in the Group A opener were headers that met crosses swung in from the flanks.
In the 53rd minute, Boas Salossa squeezed in between Adison Promrak and Tanaboon Kesarat to meet Rizki Pora's cross from the left and nod the ball home.
Three minutes later, Lerby Eliandry outjumped Adison and planted a header in the exact same corner, but this time the delivery came from Benny Wahyudi on the right.
Judging by Thailand's training session at the Philippine Sports Stadium yesterday, Adison and Tanaboon could well start again for coach Kiatisuk Senamuang as part of a back three.
Even though he is set to keep faith with his defenders, Kiatisuk did express concern over whether they would be able to cope with Singapore's threat at set-pieces.
Indeed, Thai goalkeeper coach Pansa Meesatham devoted a portion of yesterday's session specifically replicating Singapore defender Madhu Mohana's long throw-ins, with another assistant coach standing in front of their first-choice goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan.
Singapore striker Khairul Amri might well be licking his lips at the prospect of going up against the Thai backline.
The 31-year-old has scored three times against Thailand, and all were in Suzuki Cup matches.
His most recent strike came in the last edition of the tournament in 2014, when he climbed highest between - surprise, surprise - Adison and Tanaboon to nod home in a group stage match.
Thailand, however, won 2-1, and Singapore eventually exited the tournament at the group stage.
Amri is not about to dwell in former glories, though, and is only looking ahead.
"Forget about (the previous goals), they mean nothing," said the Lions' main goalscorer, who has netted 11 times in his last 20 international matches.
"Seeing how Indonesia scored twice against them tells us we can do it, too.
"But we have always had the belief we can score.
"If not, we better not even step onto the pitch."
8pm: Indonesia v Philippines