Singapore U-16 coach Ryo Shigaki: The gap between us and Thailand was obvious

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Head coach Ryo Shigaki admitted that Singapore were not on the same level as Thailand after losing to them in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U-16 Championship on Friday.

The Thais were missing some of the players due to mass food poisoning but still etched out a 3-1 win over the young cubs in Group B on Friday.

This was Singapore’s second defeat of the tournament after they went down 2-1 to Laos in their opening fixture this week.

“The gap between us and Thailand was obvious,” Shigaki said. “We lost to them (the same Thai side) twice before this but I am glad that the players were not defensive but tried to match their opponents.”

While Shigaki applauded his opponents’ strong play, Thai U-16 coach Thongchai Rungreang wasn’t pleased with his boys’ efforts despite the win.

“We made some changes to the lineup, some rotation but it was obvious that it was not working,” he said.

“We need to work on the tempo of the team. The players need to know when to do the change-ups.”

The result meant that Thailand are now through to the semifinals while Singapore still have a mathematical chance of joining them.

Shigaki’s men will need maximum points against Malaysia and Brunei if they are to keep their hopes alive.

5 August

Malaysia vs Singapore

Laos vs Thailand

7 August

Laos vs Malaysia

Singapore vs Brunei