Singapore geared up for Chinese Taipei test, Argentina friendly not a priority: Daniel Bennett

Lions face Argentina in friendly on 13 June, three days after their Asian Cup qualifier against Chinese Taipei.

Singapore football team
Lions face Argentina on 13 June, three days after Chinese Taipei game Reuters

Singapore defender Daniel Bennett says the Lions are not thinking about the upcoming friendly game against Argentina, but are focussed on sealing a positive result in their AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifier against Chinese Taipei at home on 10 June.

V Sundram Moorthy's side will face Lionel Messi and Co. three days after their clash against Chinese Taipei at the National Stadium. Despite playing against a star-studded Argentina line-up that also has Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Mascherano among others, Singapore are not fretting over the game.

Notably, the Lions got their AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign off to a good start after they held higher-ranked Bahrain in their tournament-opening away game in March. The 157th ranked side are now sitting at the second spot in Group E behind leaders Turkmenistan, with five more games to play in the double-legged round robin qualifying stage.

"Argentina game is like a showcase, it is not serious. Now we are preparing for qualification for a major tournament. It is a big chance for us to qualify for a tournament we have never qualified for before," Bennett said, as quoted by The Straits Times.

"Previously, we had our chances, we almost made it but we did not. So this time, we are really focused on getting there."

The Lions started their training at the Amara Hotel from yesterday in a bid to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time since 1984, when they earned an automatic berth as hosts.

Coach Sundram had said he is happy with the S.League performances of his attackers, who according to him can help the team produce the right results on Saturday.

Notably, Singapore also play a closed-door friendly against Myanmar in tune-up to the qualifying clash on Tuesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The 51-year-old tactician also echoed his defender's thoughts, saying the focus was always on the Chinese Taipei match and not the Argentina friendly.

"The Chinese Taipei game is most important for us, not the Argentina game, not the Myanmar game," Sundram added.

"The Argentina game is a different ball game. The boys will be playing against their idols and they are self-motivated for that game."