In a few days time, our national team will once again try to prove out that we deserve to be one of the best in South East Asian region. Our first match will be against Laos on the 6th December 2008. Two other matches will be followed by against Vietnam (8th December) and last group match against Thailand on 10th of December 2008.
Early of November ’08, I’ve given a review on Malaysian football rankings and my comments still stands. Being not such a negative critics and hoping national pride will be lifted after few years in shadows, I do hope that we will triumph in AFF Suzuki Cup (formerly known as Tiger Cup). We have good history in this competition and do hope will be a slingshot for us to rise even higher after this tourney.
Last Thursday (technically Wednesday, since the article went out a day after), KJ has given a firm statement that there is no reason for our national team not to get the Cup to our country. In accordance to that statement, now I believe, any outcome of this tournament will be credited to him.
If on Tuesday’s news (25th November 2008) Zaquan admitted that mental weakness is the reason why Malaysian team was not performing, I would say a home draw against Singapore yesterday should somehow build up our team’s confidence ahead of the tournament. For readers info, Singapore is ranked 136, which not far above from our current rankings. Which means, it was a good draw.
On paper, we seem to have a good chance of qualifying to the semis, provided that we are second better by FIFA rankings in group B of AFF Suzuki Cup. The ranks and progress of group B teams are as below taken from FIFA.com:
If we can secure two wins before playing host team, Thailand in Phuket, we will have nothing to worry. Just being wary, seems Vietnam also drew 0-0 against Singapore before we played against Singapore, so Malaysian team should not be complacent. To set on the record, we lose to Vietnamese in the Pestabola Merdeka 2008. I do hope we will qualify to the semis and pray for the success of Malaysian team to win AFF Suzuki Cup. As posted in harimaumalaya.com, Kedah claimed to be 150 in world club rankings, we do hope Malaysia will improve significantly in the world standings after this. Win this tourney, win gold medal in SEA games next year (wow, it has been 20 years next year since we won gold medal for football) and achieve good results against Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, certainly, I will have no point to argue that positive changes have been done in Malaysian football.
And I believe, after that happens, the stadium for Malaysian matches will be filled with lots of fans. Well, right now, I’m off to watch Chelsea v Arsenal. Haha!
Hopes on the street – Malaysian football will prosper year in year out. 🙂