Article: Singapore vs Iran Jan 2010

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    Article: Singapore vs Iran Jan 2010



    Meet your Persian Love Today
    sports Tuesday January 5, 2010 29 TODAY>>
    Singapore need to believe, just like the class of ‘84 did
    Asian Cup Grp E qualifier
    Singapore v Iran
    Tomorrow, National Stadium
    Shamir Osman
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].sg

    SINGAPORE
    — Few gave the Lions a chance 26 years ago when Singapore hosted Iran during the 1984 Asian Cup finals here. Not more than 2,000 turned up at the National Stadium that December night, there would be no Kallang Roar to fire up the Singapore football team as most local fans felt a massacre was on the cards against one of the powerhouses of Asia.


    But fuelled by an impressive performance by goalkeeper David Lee, and a stellar turn by defender-turned midfielder Razali Saad — who scored the equalizer — Hussein Aljunied’s charges ground out a famous 1-1 draw. It is the only time Singapore got a point in four matches against Iran. Some of the heroes from that match says belief drove them on back then, and it is a vital ingredient if the current generation of Lions want to come away from tomorrow’s crucial Group E Asian Cup qualifier against Iran with a positive result.


    The top two nations from the four-team group qualify for the finals in Doha next year. Singapore are second in the four-team group, a point behind leaders Iran, but Thailand and Jordan, who meet in Bangkok tomorrow, are still in the mix ahead of the penultimate round of matches. The Lions, who have never qualified for the finals — they were hosts in 1984 — know they at least need a draw against the Iranians to hold them in good stead for their final match away to Jordan on March 3. While Lee and Saad grabbed much of the headlines after the draw all those years ago, Terry Pathmanathan, who shone in midfield in the match, believed the attitude of the team going into the game did them a world of good.


    Speaking to MediaCorp yesterday, Pathmanathan said: “The most important thing was to start the game on level terms, psychologically. No one gave us a chance, but we were determined to show what we were capable of, and we competed like it was anybody’s game, even though they were clearly the superior side.” Some two-and-a-half decades later, Pathmanathan’s sentiments were echoed by Mustafic Fahrudin.

    Like the former Singapore skipper, Fahrudin operates at the heart of Singapore’s engine room, and he said: “We are not afraid of Iran, we are not afraid of anyone. Of course we respect them, they are a great team, but we also have belief in ourselves. There is no fear in this team, we will just go out and play and try to get a result.”

    Fahrudin hopes Tampines Rovers goalkeeper Hassan Sunny will be able to do what Lee did 26 years ago. Hassan, 25, knows he will be in for a busy night, and said: “It’s all about determination and hard work, and we have put in a lot of that in the last few days. I will give 100 per cent for sure and nothing is impossible in football. I think we can get a good result.”

    Former coach Aljunied revealed that his pre-match peptalk was all about attitude, confidence and determination, and today’s Lions have apparently received the same message from coach Radojko Avramovic. Said defender Precious Emuejeraye: “We have to give Iran respect, but this is our home ground, we don’t have to be scared of anyone. We lost 4-1 to Oman in the friendly last week, but we can bounce back. I believe we can do it.”


    Last edited by maij; 01-05-2010 at 10:28 AM.



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    Fulham’s Teymourian ready to silence Lions

    Fulham’s Teymourian ready to silence Lions

    Andranik Teymourian (picture) has had little to shout about of late as far as football goes. The Iran midfielder is currently out of favour at English Premiership side Fulham, and his country won’t be at this year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

    It is why qualification for the 2011 Asian Cup finals in Qatar is an absolute- must for one of the giants of the continent. After a shock 1-0 loss to Jordan in November, the three-time Asian champions need a win in their penultimate match in Group E against second-placed Singapore at the National Stadium tomorrow to secure their place in Doha next year.

    “What can we do? We’ve got to cheer up and just keep working,” said Teymourian, after the Iranians’ training session at Bishan Stadium yesterday. Former Bolton Wanderers and Barnsley winger Teymourian, who plays as a holding midfielder for his country, has plenty to prove. He hopes his performances against Singapore and Thailand — Iran’s final Group E qualifier is at home on March 3 — will go some way to convincing Fulham manager Roy Hodgson that he can do the job.

    “I’ve got a good relationship with Roy, but unfortunately I have not got a chance to show what I can do in the first XI,” he said. “That’s the boss’ decision. I spoke with him, and he told me it’s because the first XI are doing well, that’s why he doesn’t want to change it.”

    With ageing stalwarts Ali Karimi and Mehdi Mahdavikia missing from the squad here, Teymourian is expected to make Iran’s engine room tick against the Lions. “He is one of our best players, bringing a certain level of energy, intensity and commitment to our team,” said Iran coach Afshin Ghotbi.

    “He’ll start and I assure you he will be one of the best players on the pitch.”

    Tan Yo -Hinn






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