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Japanese Media Talks About Singapore Football & Izwan

As much as we do not want to make it sound that Singapore football is not ambitious, a draw against Asia powerhouse, Japan in the World Cup Qualifying Round on Tuesday, is certainly worth a

As much as we do not want to make it sound that Singapore football is not ambitious, a draw against Asia powerhouse, Japan in the World Cup Qualifying Round on Tuesday, is certainly worth a celebration. LionsXII’s Goalkeeper, Izwan Mahbud was excellent in between the goal for Singapore which greatly contributed to the commendable result achieved at Saitama. And since Tuesday’s night, videos of him saving near 20 shots on target has became an instant hit on various social media platforms.


Speculations of him moving abroad should be starting soon although we hope that it would be real.We have been hearing so much about the hard fought 1-point earned against the Japanese, many football fans in Singapore have been actively discussing about the custodian’s performance. So what does the Japanese media really think of the game? What do they really think of Izwan? Are they equally impressed with Singapore’s defensive tactic against Japan? Let’s hear from them.



“That goalkeeper of Singapore’s left us with the deepest impression. He (Izwan) shows good reflexes and concentration. Japan didn’t really play that badly but just that Singapore’s goalkeeper was good. And for Singapore, overall their players fought hard. They were not afraid of Japan. They were organized and played as a team. Of course, in our next match against Singapore, we will aim to win by a big margin like 3-0, 5-0!” – Show Sugimoto, Y’s Sports Inc.



“Japanese fans did not expect this. Very good defense, organized, disciplined, cautious and calm. Be it in the middle of the pitch or the flanks, Singapore did not give us the space at all. Singapore demonstrated even better defense at the set-pieces. Japan did have some shots on target but most of them were done under the pressure by the Singapore team. Of course, our team has to work on their finishing in front of goal.” – Hideto Shimizu, Freelance Football Journalist/Yahoo Japan.



“I think Singapore got their tactics right and then Japan’s profligacy and bad luck (post, bar, straight at keeper) a few times meant that it could have been easily 4 or 5-0. But it wasn’t so, Singapore must be congratulated, and Japan needs to work harder to take their chances! Not a tragedy for Japan but let’s not take anything away from Singapore! I believe Japan will be more relaxed away from home. Watch out Singapore!” – Alan Gibson, Jsoccer.com



“That was the only way that Singapore could do – defend against Japan. It’s like the one when we (Japan Olympic Team) won 1-0 against Brazil in Atlanta Olympic 1996. Such a result can make hype up Singapore’s football scene, garnered positive attentions and probably attract more people to be interested in Singapore football. But the next and real challenge for Singapore will be how to maintain such strong performance constantly? That defensive style of Singapore doesn’t work for a Win.” – Kentaro Yomo, Institute for Future Asian Football/Yahoo Japan



“It was an amazing game, for an Italian (like me) loving defensive efforts, I really had a great evening. Singapore played a very compact, well organized and disciplined pressing game with the Midfielders, and held the line well with the Defenders. By doing so, Singapore really reduced the danger of being pulverized by Japan’s superior skill. Hariss Harun proved once again he is a natural born leader, both when it came to football and also when it was only up to yelling at teammates to motivated them! When that wasn’t enough, Izwan really pulled out a moving performance, best goalkeeping performances seen in Japan in years!. These 2 players, could… should… be playing in J.League, really! And Safuwan (Baharudin) too!


Well, the real surprise for me was Nazrul Nazari. He too had a fantastic match, and despite the small size, he was never intimidated, and bravely threw himself into the battle for 90+ minutes! With an Ibrahimovic up front, Singapore could have won the game!” – Cesare Polenghi, Football Channel Asia



Co’mon, Singapore, time to move on to the next match and strive for better result! Majulah Singapura!

To read more about Izwan Mahbud, check out his Exclusive Interview with Junpiter Futbol. Click Here.



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Review overview