I was going to take my eyes away from politics for a while and looking for some other interesting news, when I was alerted by this news.
For SEA Games 2011 football event, Malaysia is drawn with Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. As BERNAMA reported, the draw was telecasted live by Indonesia’s Studio 4 RCTI.
For this campaign, Malaysia will play and attempt to defend the gold medal that they won 2 years ago with the games scheduled as follow:
- vs Singapore (November 9)
- vs Thailand (November 11)
- vs Cambodia (November 15)
- vs Indonesia (November 17)
My view? Looking at the sequence of matches, the dates and the gap between big matches, it will be very tough for Malaysian U-23 for this campaign. With high hopes to see Malaysia retaining the gold medal, this will certainly added more unnecessary pressure to the team.
In overview, I put the first two games critical to our chances. Perhaps playing Singapore on the first match is not that bad, but playing Thailand 2 days later can be vital to determine our chances to qualify for next round. If we manage to beat Singapore, then the pressure will be lesser of when we face Thailand 2 days after. Yet still, the fitness of our players will be tested big time. One can imagine if we lose to Singapore in the first game, extra pressure awaits in the Thailand game.
For me, Indonesian game is a lost cause. By that time, perhaps, it is clear to see who are about to qualify from the group stage. If not, Malaysia will be in big trouble and having enormous pressure from Malaysian and Indonesian fans.
Whatever it is, the Malaysian team have less than a month to prepare for the SEA games and defend the gold medal they won two years ago. Although the fixtures and the dates are not ideal, the boys have to prepare their very best.
As for me, of course I do hope Malaysia retain the gold medal. However, by looking at the schedule and the teams drawn together with Malaysia, I just wish Malaysia to perform well. In the event we lose, I hope the boys have shown their best performance and it should be due to the strength of the opponent team, not because our own clumsy and foolishness.
All the best to Malaysian team.
Question on the street: Can Malaysia qualify from group stage? Have your say.