Singapore National Team Coach Tatsuma Yoshida named his final squad to face Yemen in their fifth Group D fixture of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 campaign later this month on the 19th.
The Japanese tactician has made four changes from the squad that took on Uzbekistan in the previous qualifier in October.
Shakir Hamzah has returned to the squad after recovering from injury, while Home United FC full-back Iqram Rifqi has been handed his maiden senior call-up.
Warriors FC attacker Sahil Suhaimi comes back into the Lions fold three years after his last international appearance as a substitute in a home friendly against Cambodia in November 2016; the 27-year-old was called up for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship that year but did not feature at the tournament. His club-mate Khairul Nizam will join him, having last featured for the Lions in March this year against Oman in the AIRMARINE Cup international friendly tournament.
Tatsuma said: “I have seen Iqram play many times and he has put in good performances on a consistent basis in recent months; I feel that this is a good time for him to show what he can do. As for Sahil, he is an offensive option who is able to change the rhythm and tempo of a game if needed. Nizam is a good alternative to Ikhsan Fandi upfront and he has shown in the Singapore Cup that he is in good physical condition; the same applies to both Iqram and Sahil, and that is a big factor in their selection as well.”
The Lions will play Qatar in an international ‘A’ friendly in Doha on 14 November as part of the build-up towards the game against Yemen five days later in Muharraq, Bahrain – a neutral venue as Yemen are unable to play at home due to an ongoing civil war.
Tatsuma said: “The game against Qatar, who are reigning AFC Asian Cup champions, will be a good experience for us. We are grateful for the Qatar Football Association’s invitation to play their national team and our time in Doha will aid us in acclimating to the time difference and weather.
“Yemen will be a different proposition and I do not expect an easy game. We did well against them in our first match, a 2-2 draw, and they will be wary of us now. But we always want to win and we must try our best to achieve that.”