SINGAPORE – Armed with their ability to take on Japanese giants Gamba Osaka on their Asian Football Confederation (ACL) Champions League debut on Friday, June 25, confidence runs through Tampines Rovers’ veins.
But Singapore Premier League coach Gavin Lee is aware that confidence alone doesn’t win games, and he told the Straits Times that there is still room for his men to succeed. ‘improve despite their gallant spectacle by losing 2-0 to last year’s J-League Finalist.
Lee, whose team claimed 57.9% possession in that game, said: “There were times against Osaka that I really liked as a coach, but we need to create more opportunities. goal and be more decisive in the final third. “
On Monday, the Stags will aim to show off the improvement at Bunyodkor football stadium in Tashkent, where they will meet Thailand’s FA Cup winners and other ACL debutants Chiangrai United.
Stags captain Yasir Hanapi said: “The mentality within the team has changed a bit (since the last game). We have the additional belief that we can achieve something in the games we have here. “
He added that the team was not in Uzbekistan just for numbers and wanted to “show people what a team from Singapore can do and that we can play good football.”
The Stags will have to beware of the Brazilian dangermen from Chiangrai, winger Felipe Amorim and forward Bill, the Beetles’ top scorer. The 36-year-old has scored 51 goals in 83 appearances since joining the club in 2018.
Like Tampines, Chiangrai also gave a good account of themselves on their ACL debut in a 2-1 loss to two-time ACL winner Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Friday.
In a group with Osaka and South Korean champions Jeonbuk, Chiangrai represents the best opportunity for the Deer to collect points.
Lee acknowledged this, noting, âIn the context of who we have in our squad, I would agree that this is the game we should be looking to get points for. But they’re probably going to say the same to About Us For us, we’ll be looking to focus on ourselves and improve ourselves with every game we play in this competition.
“We know they are some of the best, but we are really looking forward to them.”
While Friday was the first time a Singaporean team returned to Asia’s top club competition after more than a decade, the last time a Republic team earned points in the ACL was in April 2010. It was during the time of former S-League champions Singapore Armed Forces FC beat China’s Henan Jianye 2-1.
Yasir wants his team to rise to the challenge.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to win a game here,” he said. âWinning matches at this level is not easy. And it might be a tougher match than the first one because Chiangrai will be really motivated to beat us as they will see that as their best chance too (to get a victory ). We need to make sure that we match that motivation and that we are hungrier than them. “