AFF Suzuki Cup: Lions draw Thailand in opening group stage

Singapore national footballers at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Singapore national footballers at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup. (PHOTO: Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore have been given a decent draw for the group stage of the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup, as they will face Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and the winner of the qualifying tie between Timor Leste and Brunei in Group A.

In the virtual official draw held on Tuesday (21 September), Group B will consist of defending champions Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.

The Suzuki Cup – which was postponed several times from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will be held from 5 December to 1 January at a centralised venue, to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

In the previous edition in 2018, Singapore were drawn in the group stage with Thailand, the Philippines and Timor Leste, together with Indonesia.

Under then-coach Fandi Ahmad, they beat Indonesia (1-0) and Timor Leste (6-1) but lost to the Philippines (0-1) and Thailand (0-3) to finish third in the group, thus failing to advance into the semi-finals.

The Lions, managed by Japanese coach Tatsuma Yoshida, are ranked 160th in the FIFA world rankings, behind Thailand (122nd), the Philippines (125th) and Myanmar (146th).

They had won the Suzuki Cup four times (1998, 2004, 2007 and 2012), behind only five-time winners Thailand (1996, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016).

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