On Tuesday (Oct. 15), it was announced that Singapore's Young Lions had been drawn with defending champions Thailand in Group B for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games men's football tournament.
The rest of the teams in Group B are as follows.
Tough draw for Singapore
Besides Thailand, Singapore will also face other Southeast Asian powerhouses with the likes of Vietnam and Indonesia.
Laos and Brunei are also part of Group B.
The official group draw was released live on Facebook via a live stream by SEA Games.The 30th SEA Games will be held from Nov 30. to Dec. 11 2019 at various locations across the Philippines.
The last time Singapore won a medal at the SEA Games was in 2013, earning a bronze medal in Myanmar.
Singapore failed to progress from the group stages at the previous two SEA Games.
Potential Ben Davis matchup
An intriguing possibility that the draw provides is a Singapore and Thailand matchup with Ben Davis in it.
On Sep. 28, The Football Association of Thailand announced on its website that National Service defaulter and Fulham footballer Benjamin Davis was called up for Thailand's provisional SEA Games squad.
So this means that Davis could possibly be facing Singapore at the SEA Games provided he makes the cut.
Sorry for hurting Singapore
Speaking to CNA recently, Davis apologised for the controversy he caused amongst Singaporeans due to his decision to default NS.
“I’d just be sorry that I hurt your feelings. I didn’t mean to.
It is what it is. There’s always going to be one side and another side. It’s life.”
That being said, Davis' former teammates apparently have nothing against his decision.
In the same CNA article:
"They’re actually happy for me. They support me. They’re not mad or anything but when we play against each other we’ll see what happens,"
Mentally & physically prepared
According to CNA, under-22 national team head coach Fandi Ahmad agreed that Singapore's group is not easy but will be a "good motivation" for the Young Lions.
He noted that Thailand and Vietnam have both qualified for the AFC Under-23 Championship next year, but assures that Singapore will be "mentally and physically prepared" for the tough fight ahead.
Top photos via Football Association of Singapore & Thailand National Football Team's Facebook Page.