Singapore coach tweaks squad for S. Arabia, Uzbekistan games
Singapore coach Tatsuma Yoshida has made two changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Yemen and beat Palestine 2-1 in the World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.
Coming into his 23-man squad for next month's matches against Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan are Geylang International midfielder Firdaus Kasman, whose last call-up was in March 2016, and Hougang United's 16-year-old winger Farhan Zulkifli, who was handed his maiden call-up.
Farhan Zulkifli is one of three uncapped players in the team, along with defender Darren Teh and goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad.
Yoshida said: "Both Firdaus and Farhan have performed well on a consistent basis in the Singapore Premier League this season, and have kept up their form over the past month.
"Geylang have done well of late and Firdaus has played a key part from central midfield; he is a hard worker, has good passing attributes and adds balance to the team.
"Farhan is a young boy and his inclusion might surprise some people, but he has featured regularly for Hougang's first team; of course, he still has room to improve."
The Lions will play Jordan in an international friendly in Amman on Oct 5 in preparation for the clash against the Saudis in Buraidah five days later.
They will then return to face Uzbekistan at the National Stadium on Oct 15, after Brazil's friendlies against Senegal (Oct 10) and Nigeria (Oct 13) at the same venue.
Yoshida said: "We will use the game against Jordan to fine-tune our ideas ahead of the Saudi Arabia match, as well as get used to the time difference and weather conditions there.
"Saudi Arabia are the highest-ranked team in our group, strong both technically and physically, but we always aim to get a result when we play.
"We want to try to bring back the three points. We go with no fear and a challenger's mentality."
Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Zharfan Rohaizad.
Defenders: Amirul Adli, Baihakki Khaizan, Darren Teh, Irfan Fandi, Nazrul Nazari, Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, Zulqarnaen Suzliman.
Midfielders: Farhan Zulkifli, Firdaus Kasman, Hami Syahin, Hariss Harun, Shahdan Sulaiman, Yasir Hanapi.
Forwards: Faris Ramli, Fareez Farhan, Gabriel Quak, Hazzuwan Halim, Ikhsan Fandi, Shawal Anuar.