Two-goal hero Ikhsan Fandi ready for tougher tests after Singapore's strong start

After inspiring Singapore to an opening 3-0 win over Myanmar at AFF Suzuki Cup 2020, two-goal hero Ikhsan Fandi believes the result will give them confidence for further tests that lie ahead.

Despite the added weight of expectations as the host nation, the Lions produced a strong display to kick off their Group A campaign in style at the National Stadium on Sunday, with Ikhsan bagging a clinical brace after Safuwan Baharudin had headed them into the lead -- with all three goals coming in the first half.

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Nonetheless, Singapore still have plenty of work to do if they are to advance to the semifinals with a match against Philippines on the horizon on Wednesday, while they will also face record five-time champions Thailand in their final group game on Dec. 18.

"It's always good to start with a win," said Ikhsan, when asked by ESPN what the result would do for the belief within the team.

"Still we can do better and do more to score more goals. But of course, this result brings confidence to the team that will definitely pass on to the next game.

"Right now, we just need to recover and get ready for that one."

While Ikhsan was arguably Singapore's standout player against Myanmar, coach Tatsuma Yoshida opted against lavishing excessive praise of his striker while stressing that there will still areas for them to improve in.

"The boys were a bit nervous, which is always the case for the first match," explained the Japanese. "But we got the three points and that's the most important thing.

"I'm proud of their performance. The fighting spirit was fantastic but we can be better and we have to improve."

Meanwhile, Myanmar coach Antoine Hey was left to bemoan his side's defensive lapses as they struggled to cope with the pace of the game having been severely deprived of match action given their domestic league has not been active since last October.

"We knew our players would have this lack of match practice," said Hey.

"They didn't have the rhythm that you would normally have. When we had possession, we actually played good football."