Khairul Amri, Izwan Mahbud back for Singapore Asian Cup qualifier

Singapore have named a 24-man squad to face Qatar in a friendly in Doha on Thursday before the crucial 2019 Asian Cup qualifier away to Turkmenistan on Oct. 10.

Coach V. Sundramoorthy has called up a couple of new faces in the form of Rusyaidi Salime and Shannon Stephen.

Rusyaidi has been a consistent performer for the Garena Young Lions in the S.League and at August's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The 19-year-old recently struck a scorcher of a free kick against Hougang United in a 2-1 defeat for the local developmental outfit.

As for Stephen, his first appearance of the season only came in mid-September, but he made an immediate impact by scoring two, and assisting one, on his Tampines Rovers debut to inspire a 4-0 thrashing of Garena Young Lions.

Meanwhile, veteran forward Khairul Amri is back in the squad after recovering from the injury that saw him carried off early in the 1-1 home draw against Turkmenistan on Sept. 5.

The 32-year-old may be lacking in match fitness though, having missed the last four matches Tampines.

Club teammate and goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud has also returned after missing the last selection, but is expected to be a backup to No. 1 Hassan Sunny, of Home United.

With main left wing-back Shakir Hamzah out for the rest of the year due to a tear of his hip joint, Warriors' Ho Wai Loon could be in line for his debut for the Lions.

Second son of Singapore legendary forward Fandi Ahmad, Ikhsan Fandi has also been retained in the squad after making his debut in August's 1-1 friendly draw against Hong Kong.

Singapore desperately need a win against Turkmenistan in Ashgabat to revive their hopes of making the 2019 Asian Cup in U.A.E.

The Lions are bottom of Group E, with two points from three matches. Bahrain and Turkmenistan occupy the two qualifying spots, with seven and four points, respectively.

Singapore squad vs. Qatar and Turkmenistan

Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny (Home United), Izwan Mahbud (Tampines Rovers), Zaiful Nizam (Balestier Khalsa)

Defenders: Shannon Stephen, Daniel Bennett, Mustafic Fahrudin, Madhu Mohana (Tampines Rovers), Emmeric Ong, Ho Wai Loon (Warriors FC), Faritz Hameed (Geylang International), Rusyaidi Salime (Garena Young Lions), Irfan Fandi (Home)

Midfielders: Hariss Harun, Izzdin Shafiq, Faris Ramli (Home United), Hafiz Sujad, Shahdan Sulaiman (Tampines), Zulfahmi Arifin (Hougang United), Safuwan Baharudin, Yasir Hanapi (PDRM FA), Shahril Ishak (Warriors)

Forwards: Khairul Amri, Fazrul Nawaz (Tampines), Ikhsan Fandi (Young Lions)