Singapore hoping to draw fans back

Singapore assistant coach V. Sundramoorthy has called on his charges to draw the crowds back by delivering quality performances on the pitch.

Football News: Singapore

The Lions are still searching for the first win of their 2014 World Cup qualifying third round campaign after they were comprehensively beaten by China 4-0 on Tuesday night, making it five losses from five Group A qualifiers.

But perhaps more embarassing was the fact that the Singapore crowd was outnumbered by the Chinese fans at the Jalan Besar Stadium, making it seem almost like an away game for the Lions.

Dwindling attendances have plagued Singaporean football in recent years, but rather than blame the fans for a lack of passion, Sundramoorthy has called on the Lions to regain the crowd's attention by producing quality on the pitch.

"There were more Chinese fans than Singapore fans tonight [Tuesday]," Sundramoorthy said at the post-match press conference.

"In the future, we must perform and deliver results to bring back the fans."

Plenty of Singapore's on-field problems were exposed by a surprisingly incisive China side on Tuesday, with left-back Zeng Cheng scoring the goal of the night when he picked up the ball in his own half and ran past the entire opposition defence, before slotting past a hapless Lionel Lewis.

Sundramoorthy feels his players could have done better on that occasion, but felt the turning point of the match game when Aleksandar Duric hit the post with the score 1-0 in China's favour.

"They were down to ten men and [still] they attacked. We should have dealt better with the four-on-one situation for [Zeng's first goal].

"We didn't take our chances. If Duric didn't hit the post, it would have been 1-1. Anything could have happened [from there].

Nonetheless, Sundramoorthy believes there is plenty for the Lions to look forward to, especially after the campaign saw the blooding of youngsters like Izwan Mahbud, Safuwan Baharudin, Firdaus Idros and Hafiz Rahim.

"We have exposed many players in this campaign and we will look into bringing more into the team in the future.

Singapore's last qualifier is an away trip to Iraq, who have already qualified for the next stage after beating Jordan 3-1 in Tuesday's other Group A match.

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