|By Khalis Rifhan
A mainstay in the Singapore defence, Baihakki Khaizan spoke to Goal.com Singapore ahead of the Lions' AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal against Philippines this Saturday.
Baihakki said that he is confident the previous two losses against the Azkal will give the team an added motivation when the two sides meet at the Rizal Memorial stadium.
“We can use that as a positive point also, losing to them in both games but looking at the statistics of those matches and the chances that we have created [we should have won],” said the towering defender.
“We might not have brought our scoring boots then but we started well [in the AFF Suzuki Cup] and scored a lot of goals. Hopefully we are able to maintain the good run.”
But Baihaikki knows that the onus is on the Lions to show what they are capable of, adding: “Seriously, it’s a matter of us [stepping up] now. They can play nice football to whatever but end of the day, if we use our strength, we can overcome them.”
The Lions can expect to play in front of a capacity Rizal Memorial Stadium filled with loyal fans of the Azkal, but Baihakki feels that it won’t affect the team as they are mentally prepared for the game.
“It is a big thing to them, their football and league are becoming more professional and they want to take football seriously, like their main sport which is basketball,” said Baihakki.
“We have to [stay focused], if not after we have made it this far, it is pointless.
“They have the home advantage but for us, we need to maintain that standard and record which we have. I think not only myself, but the team is raring to go and give our best.
“Let’s take the challenge. We are up for it and let’s not waste this.”
Singapore will take on the Philippines in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final on December 8 at the Rizal Memorial stadium in Manila. The game will be shown ‘LIVE’ on Mediacorp Channel 5 at 7.55pm.