Malaysia has incentives to beat Singapore in AFF

The Football Association of Malaysia has announced a RM 550,000 (almost US$160,000) cash prize for the Malaysian team if they win the ASEAN Football Federation Championship. FAM general secretary Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad announced the incentive package prior to Malaysia clashing with defending champions Singapore in the first leg of the semifinals at the Shah Alam Stadium. “The ball is now at their feet. It is a good deal and I believe if they put their hearts and minds to it they can achieve it,” he said as quoted by AFCMedia. Each player is expected to receive about RM20,000 if the team clinches the title.

Malaysia coach Norizan Bakar has urged his team to silence their critics when they meet Singapore. "The qualifiers and the semi-finals are a different ball game, like comparing a league match to a knockout game," he said, as quoted by PA. "The team is not going to look back any more. Everybody knows we have the chance and we might as well take it because we don't know when the next chance will come," he said.

"We still have good teams in the semi-finals and let's hope that the things around the football, like the weather, will give us a chance to have a good game," said Singaporean coach Raddy Avramovic, who steered Singapore to the title two years ago. "From our side everything is in place. I would like it if the weather was good tomorrow because it will allow both teams to play well. We are used to the rain, and it's the same for Malaysia, but I don't think that in those conditions you can have a quality game. Other factors decide the game in these conditions."

UPDATE (23 Jan)

Singapore and Malaysia played a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their ASEAN Football Federation Championship semifinals.

UPDATE (27 Jan)

Defending champions Singapore advanced to the final of the AFF Championship after defeating arch-rivals Malaysia in a tense penalty shootout at the National Stadium on Saturday. With the aggregate score tied at 2-2 after extra time, the match went to the shootout with Singapore goalkeeper Lionel Lewis emerging as the hero, stopping Khyril Muhymeen's weak attempt to give the home side a 5-4 victory. Singapore will meet the winners of the second semi-final between Thailand and Vietnam with the first leg of the final in the Lion City on Wednesday 31 Jan