It could have been a much worse scoreline for the Lions in Saudi Arabia…….
The Lions entered the match top of their group with four points and were in good spirits, alas, Saudi proved a step too high for them to climb. Coach Tatsuma Yoshida went for a more defensive approach – deploying a 5-4-1 formation – but failed to pay dividends.
Indeed the home side was rampant in attack, which wasn’t surprising given that they were playing on home soil and their status. Singapore’s backline usually so reliable struggled to deal with the intricate play of Saudi’s forwards.
Veteran Baihakki Khaizan and Safuwan Baharudin were shockingly off the pace and failed to provide any form of stability. Moreover, it wasn’t just the defenders who were having a torrid time as the Lions’ attackers were also having a bad day.
Starved of possession Ikhsan Fandi and Faris Ramli seemed devoid of any inspiration and when they had the ball – the cutting edge was missing nor the sharpness – it was apparent fatigue had crept in from all the chasing.
It will be back to the drawing board for Tatsuma as the Lions will hope to roar agains Uzbekistan next week at home on the 15th of October.