Singapore plan games vs. Myanmar, Chinese Taipei before Argentina

Singapore will play Chinese Taipei at Jalan Besar Stadium in their crucial AFC Asian Cup Group E qualifier on June 10, and will face Myanmar behind closed doors four days earlier.

The Chinese Taipei game was originally arranged for June 13, but both teams have agreed to shift to it three days earlier to allow Singapore to play against two-time World Cup winners Argentina on that day. The glamour friendly at the Singapore National Stadium is part of the 125th anniversary celebrations Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

Jalan Besar is being used for the Asian Cup qualifier because the National Stadium is scheduled to host a Scotland versus Italy rugby international on the same day.

"The opportunity to face Argentina was something we wanted to give our fans, as well as our national team players, so we are grateful to Chinese Taipei for agreeing to the switch," Singapore coach V. Sundramoorthy said.

"Unfortunately, the National Stadium is not available on the new date, but we will continue to look for all available opportunities to play more football matches at the Singapore Sports Hub to allow more Singaporeans to support the national team, and bring back the Kallang Roar."

Singapore are on course in their bid to qualify for the Asian Cup for the first time -- they were hosts in 1984 -- after achieving a disciplined 0-0 draw away to Bahrain in Riffa on March 28.

Turkmenistan lead Group E with three points. Bahrain and Singapore are on a point apiece, while Chinese Taipei are bottom with zero.

The top two in the group will qualify for the 24-team tournament held in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

It was also confirmed that Myanmar will be the Lions' opponents in a closed-door friendly at Jalan Besar Stadium on June 6 to tune up for the two more important games.

National player Hariss Harun made 8 year old Ryan's day this morning! Ryan, who dreams of being a footballer, got to meet and interview Hariss as part of the upcoming Singapore Book Fair activities.

A post shared by FAS (@fasingapore) on

The nations faced off twice in friendly matches in 2016, with Singapore winning 2-1 at Jalan Besar in March and 1-0 at Thuwanna YTC Stadium in Yangon three months later.

"The friendly against Myanmar will be a good opportunity for us to fine-tune our tactics before playing against Chinese Taipei four days later," said Sundram.

"We're pleased that both matches will be played at Jalan Besar Stadium, because we are familiar with the surface -- hopefully this will give us an advantage, especially against Chinese Taipei. We're looking forward to the games in June, as we work towards our aim of qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup."

Sundram is expected to announce the Lions' squad for the three matches and commence centralised training this week.