Malaysia host Singapore tonight in World Cup Asia Qualifier

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Leading 5-3 from the first leg of the second round in 2014 World Cup Asia Qualifier, the Singapore will face Malaysia again on 28 July Thursday night.

And the Lions have vowed to repeat Saturday’s performance.

Malaysia must win by two clear goals to go through to the third round for the first time ever. Get the latest live score results of Malaysia vs Singapore.

“On the field we promise you that we will fight with everything that we have for Singapore,” said Lions’ skipper Shahril Ishak.

“We want to make it happen at the match but we hope that fans support the team no matter what the result.”

“After what happened at the AFF Suzuki Cup last year, we want to win the fans back,” said forward Fazrul Nawaz at the pre-match press conference, when he was asked if the Lions had a message for the nation.

The Suzuki Cup was the final blow in a poor year for Singapore football and a placid showing by the Lions saw Singapore fail to clear the group stages.

Bukit Jalil will be packed with 85,000 fans willing their respective countries to victory in this Causeway derby, with many still trying to get their hands on tickets.

But neither the Malaysia camp nor anyone in the Singapore side would admit to feeling the pressure of a tie of such importance.

Malaysia coach K. Rajagobal has to mastermind a two-goal comeback if his team are to get past Singapore into the next round of the qualifiers, but he insists his team is not feeling any heat.

“We have to win, we have no other choice … but I don’t think the pressure’s on us. There just needs to be better intensity and more urgency,” said the 55-year-old.

Even Avramovic would not be drawn in. He refused to pick out players who would be key in this fixture, saying instead that everyone needs to play their part.

“Every player must show concentration, even those who don’t start the game are important, only then we can succeed,” said the Serb.

“Just forget the crowd,” said Fandi, 49, who also turned out for Kuala Lumpur (1986-1990) and Pahang (1991-1992) during the Malaysia Cup days. If they can stay focused and disciplined, and frustrate the Malaysians for the first 20, 25 minutes, they should be alright … And don’t forget, Malaysia will be under a lot of pressure from their own fans because they must score, or they are out.”

Former midfield maestro Malek Awab, 50, added: “They must be strong mentally, and hit on the counter-attack because Malaysia will be attacking furiously. But I’m confident they will be alright, as some of them have experience playing in places like Senayan.”

It remains uncertain if national coach Radojko Avramovic will risk Lewis, 28, who is recovering from a groin injury, or stick with Izwan Mahbud, 21, who will be making only his third senior appearance.

But former national goalkeeper David Lee believes Lewis’ experience can be a key factor.

“Singapore need to beef up their defence, and an experienced goalkeeper like Lionel will help,” said Lee, now a freelance goalkeeping coach with the Singapore Sports School.

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