Lions in Malaysia: Hariss in the goals for Singapore; Safuwan handed captaincy in Cambodia

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Shahdan Sulaiman, Faris Ramli, Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun are up to both on and off the pitch in Malaysia.

Shahdan Sulaiman – Melaka United

Photos sourced from FAS FB & Shahdan IG

Melaka United’s Shahdan Sulaiman is currently enjoying his end-of-season break.

After jumping straight into Fahrudin Mustafic’s testimonial match,  the 30-year-old midfielder slowed the pace down as he spent an intimate afternoon with his wife at a chic-looking eatery. Shahdan was celebrating his significant other’s birthday.

But aside from that, the Melaka no. 16 cannot be happy with the fact that he was left out of the Singapore national squad for the friendlies against Mongolia and Cambodia this past week.

Despite missing out, Singapore Lions coach Fandi Ahmad has not ruled Shahdan out of his Suzuki Cup squad with the 2012 winner providing an additional option in the playmaking No. 10 role.

Faris Ramli – PKNS FC

Photos sourced from FAS FB & Faris IG

Faris Ramli returned to the pitch in the past week following his comeback from an ankle injury.

The Singapore international winger, who missed out last month against Mauritius and Fiji, appeared as a late substitute in the Lions 2-0 win over Mongolia last Friday for midfielder Iqbal Hussain.

It proved to be the warm-up that 26-year-old Faris needed and he was rewarded with a spot in the starting XI that faced Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

Last night, the PKNS no. 30 started on the left wing and was easily one of the brightest spark in the team with an early chance which drew a foul on the edge of the Kouprey Blue‘s box. The Lions then had all to do as a Ho Wai Loon own goal left them trailing at the break.

Taking the No. 10 role for the second period, Faris showed a willingness to track back and help out with the defensive workload. He did well to fashion a few good chances, but waned as the match went on.

Nonetheless, the 2015 Malaysia FA Cup winner was part of the Lions’ second-half revival as Jacob Mahler and Ikhsan Fandi banged in the goals to ensure that they complete a 2-1 comeback win to remain unbeaten under coach Fandi Ahmad.

The Lions will undertake a two-week training camp in Osaka, Japan next before starting their Suzuki Cup campaign against Indonesia on November 9.

Safuwan Baharudin – Pahang FA

Photos sourced from FAS FB & Safuwan IG

Safuwan Baharudin was back in his traditional centre-back role for the Singapore national side this week as he partnered Irfan Fandi in the heart of the Lions’ defence.

The Pahang FA no. 21 was the very epitome of cool in the 2-0 victory over Mongolia last Friday at the Bishan Stadium in his 80th cap. Safuwan made a number of key interceptions and justified coach Fandi Ahmad’s decision to play him there.

27-year-old Safuwan was then handed the captaincy for the first time last night against Cambodia.

The towering defender led by example from the back, putting on a real captain display despite suffering an early kick to the head and slipping to an own goal by Ho Wai Loon in the first half in Phnom Penh.

In the second half, the Lions dug deep and were rewarded for their attacking play when Jacob Mahler and Ikhsan Fandi found the back of the net as Safuwan kept it tight at the back and even helping out left-back Zulfahmi Arifin out on several occasions in the 2-1 win.

The friendly against Cambodia also provided the 2018 Malaysia FA Cup winner a chance to catch up with former Pahang FA teammate, and Cambodian international, Chan Vathanaka!

Hariss Harun – Johor Darul Ta’zim FC

Photos sourced from FAS & JDT FB

Captain Hariss Harun capped off a combative display with a goal for the Lions as they made out with a 2-0 win over Mongolia last Friday.

At the Bishan Stadium, the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) FC no. 14 dropped deep at times in an attempt to drive the attack and made a few uncharacteristic mistakes as the first half ended goalless.

Then in the second half, Hariss was at the right place at the right time in the 71st minute after slotting home from Safuwan’s header to break the deadlock. Winger Gabriel Quak added a second with a lob with eight minutes left.

And while his Singapore colleagues were busy in Cambodia securing a 2-1 win courtesy of Jacob Mahler and Ikhsan Fandi, 27-year-old Hariss was back with JDT as they prepare to overturn a first-leg deficit against Terengganu FC.

Trailing 1-0, the Singaporean defensive midfielder will be hoping that he retains his goalscoring touch this Saturday at the Larkin Stadium in the Malaysia Cup semi-finals second leg.

But before that, Hariss and his Southern Tigers teammates were chilling out at club owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s son Leo’s first birthday party!


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