KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 – The Harimau Malaya is more than ever determined to succeed against Vietnam on Friday (June 11) to stay afloat in the second round of the Group G  World Cup 2022/Asia Cup 2023 qualifiers in Dubai.
For head coach Tan Cheng Hoe “it is a challenge, not pressure” to deliver against Vietnam.
Vietnam is perched on the top in the group and leads with 11 points after five matches. (Vietnam plays Indonesia later today, at the Zabeel Stadium).
Malaysia lost 4-0 to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday and the defeat plunged Malaysia to fourth place on goal difference although second-placed the UAE and third-placed Thailand have the same points.
Cheng Hoe will turn spy and watch the Vietnam-Indonesian match today to decide on his team against the Vietnamese and some changes are expected in his lineup.
Junior Eldstal is nursing a heel injury (sustained during the UAE match) but Cheng Hoe has not decided on the Thailand-based defender yet.
”There are a couple of days for training and we will see how Junior responds to the medical treatment. We are not rushing into things on deciding the team for the Vietnam match. If there is a plus factor it is the mood of the players now.
“They were down and out after the defeat to the UAE. Certain players were singled out for the defeat and this was demoralising. That is why I have asked them to cut out the social media and stay positive,” said Cheng Hoe from Dubai on Monday.
Cheng Hoe and his coaching staff have a mammoth task for the Vietnam match. It is a must-win match and Cheng Hoe is aware that past results against Vietnam do not favour. But it stops at that. For now, past results will take a back seat for the Harimau Malaya.
Malaysian players need to handle ball possession, speed and work on ball movement. More importantly, the need to execute scoring chances that are created.
With so many ”super coaches” on social media, it went to town over the defeat by the UAE.
Let us not forget that football is a team game and to nail individual players is unfair – not when there are two more matches to go to decide the outcome in the qualifiers. Let us throw our support behind the team.
Demi lencana di dada, Good luck Malaysia!
*(Pic credit to FAM Media)

About The Author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here