We should go to the SEA Games: Sundram

International Friendly: Philippines U-16 vs Singapore U-16.

They drew 1-1 with South-east Asia (SEA) Games silver-medallists Indonesia in Solo last week and, on Thursday night, the Singapore Under-23s defeated the Philippines 1-0.

Coach V Sundramoorthy believes the two results prove his men deserve to get a ticket for the 2013 SEA Games, which will be held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, from Dec 11 to 22.

Despite the bulk of the squad coming from the LionsXII side that are currently leading the Malaysian Super League (MSL), the selectors at the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) have already stated the Under-23s will need to show results if they are to get the nod for the SEA Games.

Speaking to The New Paper after the 1-0 win at Hougang Stadium Thursday night, Sundram said the objectives of the two friendly matches had been met.

Said the 47-year-old: "This team came together for just a few days. The Philippines, with some naturalised players, were no pushovers. It's up to the SNOC, but I think we've done enough to qualify for the SEA Games. When players like Khairul Nizam and Shahfiq Ghani are back fully fit, hopefully they will give us more firepower."

After a lengthy lay-off due to a serious knee injury, striker Nizam returned to the LionsXII line-up on May 27, scoring in a 3-1 win over PKNS at the Jalan Besar Stadium in his 2013 MSL debut.

Talented forward Shahfiq is recovering from a fractured metatarsal.

With players like Singapore midfield star Hariss Harun and defender Safuwan Baharudin in the squad, there is a belief in the local football fraternity that the Under-23s could win the Republic's first football gold at the SEA Games this year.

The Singapore Under-23s won a bronze at the 2009 Games in Vientaine, Laos, but were knocked out in the opening group stage two years ago in Indonesia, when Malaysia retained the title.

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