Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Homesport singaporeSingapore confirm 24-man squad for World Cup qualifiers against South Korea, Thailand

Singapore confirm 24-man squad for World Cup qualifiers against South Korea, Thailand

SINGAPORE: Singapore coach Takayuki Nishigaya on Wednesday (Nov 8) named his squad for the Lions’ upcoming 2026 World Cup and 2027 Asian Cup qualifiers against South Korea and Thailand.

Defender Safuwan Baharudin and forward Ikhsan Fandi, who have not played for the national team since 2022, were among the players included in the 24-man squad for the second-round qualifiers.

“Safuwan Baharudin makes a very much welcomed return to the national team fold after being cleared by the local medical team to play competitively after sustaining a concussion injury last year,” the Football Association of Singapore said in a media release.

“Ikhsan Fandi is also back in the team after being out for the better part of 10 months since suffering a knee injury during the international friendly against Maldives in December 2022.”

Ikhsan’s older brother Irfan is also rejoining the side along with his Thai club BG Pathum teammate Ryhan Stewart.

Nishigaya said that he was happy to see more options at his disposal.

“We missed having Ikhsan upfront during the Round 1 qualifying games hence it is a major boost to have him back in the team again, but we will need to be cautious by easing him back into the team,” he said in a statement.

“Safuwan is a seasoned veteran and having him back in defence along with Irfan, their combined years of international experience will prove to be useful.”

Related:

Singapore get 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign underway with 2-1 win over Guam

Singapore advances to second round of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification after seeing off Guam

The Lions progressed to the second round of qualifying after beating Guam 3-1 over two legs, but they will face opponents of a different calibre in the coming weeks and months.

While Guam are in 203rd place in FIFA’s men’s ranking, 155th-ranked Singapore now have to contend with Thailand in 112th, China in 79th and South Korea in 24th. 

“Our opponents in Round 2 are of a higher level than us and we will need to fight together as a team more than ever before if we are to get a positive result against them,” Nishigaya said.

“However, we must play without fear regardless of the opponent that stands before us.”

Singapore will face South Korea in Seoul on Nov 16 before returning home to play Thailand on Nov 21.

The first two rounds of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifying for the 2026 World Cup are also the first two stages of qualifying for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

Related:

FAS releases 10 recommendations to improve Singapore football's performance at SEA Games

IN FOCUS: Fixing Singapore football – are there lessons from the successes of other sports?

Nishigaya called on fans to show their support in Singapore’s opening home fixture.

“Our first home game against Thailand is crucial in ensuring that we get off to a good start,” he said.

“Home support can be a massive motivating factor and I am looking forward to seeing our fans create a lively atmosphere at the Singapore National Stadium in two weeks’ time.”

The Lions’ subsequent qualifiers will be played next year. They will meet China at home on Mar 21 and away on Mar 26 before the return fixtures against South Korea and Thailand on Jun 6 and Jun 11 respectively.

SINGAPORE MEN’S SQUAD FOR NOVEMBER 2023

Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Syazwan Buhari, Zharfan Rohaizad

Defenders: Amirul Adli, Anumanthan Mohan Kumar, Jacob Mahler, Irfan Fandi, Safuwan Baharudin, Ryhan Stewart, Lionel Tan, Christopher van Huizen, Zulqarnaen Suzliman

Midfielders: Adam Swandi, Hami Syahin, Hariss Harun, Shah Shahiran, Shahdan Sulaiman, Song Ui-young, Zulfahmi Arifin

Forwards: Daniel Goh, Hafiz Nor, Ikhsan Fandi, Ilhan Fandi, Shawal Anuar

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular