Singapore vice-captain Hariss Harun has said that the Lions will aim to come up with a positive result against their higher-ranked opposition, Bahrain, in the opening match of their AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers on Tuesday.
The visitors are heading into the match after losing their first match of 2017, a pre-tournament friendly against Afghanistan in neutral venue - Doha - last Friday. There is a lot of pressure on coach V Sundramoorthy as well as he has not come up with positive results since taking over the duties in May last year.
Singapore are expected to make amends for their woeful performances in AFF Suzuki Cup campaign last year as well. After securing only one point and not winning even a single match in the group stages, it was the worst ever Suzuki Cup performance by the four-time champions.
However, with a two-year contract extension in his bag, Sundram will eager to silence the critics and lead the team into their only second Asian Cup finals after 1984. The 163rd-ranked team though have their work cut out against their Group F opponents, starting with the clash against 127th-ranked Bahrain in Riffa later today. Despite losing their game against Afghanistan, Singapore will take a lot of positives from the inspired effort they put on in the second half.
Hariss believes that the team should refrain from making mistakes and that they will give it their best to topple their higher-ranked opposition, against whom they faced defeat last year.
"Our opponents are ranked higher than us, but who knows? Anything can happen in the game. We will approach the game with a positive mindset and hope for a positive result," Hariss said, as quoted by The Straits Times.
"Obviously we hope to win, but a point will be great too.
"They [Bahrain] are more physical and it is a much tougher game. We played them last year, and we know that they keep the ball well and they like to attack us with pace.
"We have got to be compact and to create good scoring opportunities once we have possession. The two goals we conceded in the previous game were mainly because of our own mistakes. We have to put a stop to making errors, and and making it easy for our opponents to get past us."