Malaysia determined to break losing streak in AFF opener
YANGON, Nov 18 — Harimau Malaysia are determined to end the losing trend at the opening match of the AFF Suzuki Cup when they meet Cambodia in group B at Thuwunna Stadium here, on Sunday.
Coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee wanted his boys to change the disappointing record of Malaysia in the opening matches in 2010, 2012 and 2014 editions.
Kim Swee is keeping his fingers crossed for a win over Cambodia as it would boost the morale of his squad for the following group encounters.
After meeting Cambodia, the national squad will be facing Vietnam on November 23, and completing the group matches against host, Myanmar on November 26.
“We must make less mistakes but quick in seizing chances to collect full points on Sunday as it would give our players the confidence for two other matches,” Kim Swee said before a training session at the stadium today.
However, he said they would not take it easy against Cambodia as they have just undergone 13 international matches before this.
“If we do not take Cambodia seriously, they might just spring us a surprise,” said Kim Swee.
He also expected his players to forget about transfers in the Malaysia League next season and focus their thoughts fully on the national team to bring honours to Malaysia in the competition.
On the hot weather where temperature exceeded 32°C and the dry pitch, Kim Swee said it should not be a problem as they had played a friendly match against Myanmar which ended in a goalless draw at the venue on May 28.
Defending champions, Thailand, which will be gunning for their fifth title this time, were drawn into group A with Singapore, Indonesia and joint hosts, Philippines from tomorrow until November 25.
Based on the championship format, the top two teams from group A and B will advance into the semi-finals which would be played over two legs on December 3 and 4 and December 7 and 8. — Bernama