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Football: Singapore get tough draw for Asiad, face fancied Oman

The Straits Times | Terence Ong | Sunday, Aug 24, 2014

They may have avoided the big guns like hosts South Korea and powerhouses Japan but the Singapore Under-23 football team still have a challenging task ahead of them at next month's Asian Games.

Yesterday, the U-23s were drawn in Group C alongside Oman, Palestine and Tajikistan - all sides ranked higher than them - at the draw in host city Incheon, South Korea.

Also, the Football Association of Singapore has confirmed that national coach Bernd Stange will lead the team while Courts Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar will assist the German.

It is part of a plan to nurture the 39-year-old as the coach of the team to compete at the 2015 SEA Games.

According to Fifa's world rankings, Oman (67th) are the highest-ranked team in the group, followed by Palestine (82nd) and Tajikistan (120th). Singapore are currently rated 152nd in the world.

Describing his players as "raring to go", Stange, 66, is unfazed by the task ahead of him, saying: "This is a challenging draw and Oman are the favourites to go through.

"Taking part in a tournament like the Asian Games is important for the long-term development of our younger players.

"We aim to perform well in every game and, hopefully, do enough to progress to the next round."

TERENCE ONG


This article was first published on Aug 22, 2014.
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