Aide delighted by Khairul showing

Singapore assistant coach Aide Iskandar was very happy with striker Khairul Amri's showing in the team's 2-0 win over India on Tuesday.

Singapore vs India: Khairul Amri, Aleksandar Duric
Abhishek Mehrotra

By Abhishek Mehrotra

Khairul, who came on as a substitute for the injured Shi Jiayi five minutes before the break, scored with his first touch and then set up Fazrul Nawaz four minutes after the restart to ensure Singapore began their AFF Suzuki Cup preparations on a positive note.

"It was good to see Kahirul Amri getting on the scoresheet and also assisting in the second goal," said Aide.

In recent times, Singapore have been heavily reliant on Aleksandar Duric for goals and Aide admitted it was nice to see other players finally getting on the scoresheet.

"It is always pleasing to see different players scoring - not always relying on Alex," he said. 

'No disrespect to Alex, I think he did well today [Tuesday]. But I think it's good for the boys in terms of confidence - especially for Khairul Amri. It's been a long time since I've seen him play like this.

"Fazrul as well. It has been a long awaited goal for Singapore."

Although the home side initially struggled to get into the game, they settled somewhat after the first goal and dominated large periods of the match after the interval. In the end, Aide could look back on a number of positives, including a clean sheet.

"It wasn't the best first-half we had, but we did better in the second half. It was also good to see two young boys making their debuts - Fazli [Ayob] and Firdaus Kasman. 

"It's pleasing not to concede. Shaiful [left-back Shaiful Esah] had a superb performance. Safuwan [Bahruddin], Baihakki [Khaizan] and also Irwan [Shah] when he came in [were good]. We took off Juma'at [right-back Juma'at Jantan] as a precaution since he's returning from a hamstring injury. They did well."

One interesting development during the game was the deployment of midfielder Hariss Harun in a more advanced role than normal. 

When asked if this was done keeping the upcoming Suzuki Cup in mind, Aide said: Raddy [head coach Radojko Avramovic] is trying to push Hariss up front because he has the potential to go forward and score goals. This is something we're experimenting with. I thought he did well, but was a bit unlucky not to get any scoring chances."

The only note of concern was the injury to Jiayi, which the assistant coach said would be assessed after a trip to the hospital.

Singapore will play Philippines and Pakistan before the Suzuki Cup group stages begin on November 24.

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