Harimau Malaya aims to turn the tables against Thailand


MALAYSIA will play their hearts out against Thailand in the Group G match of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Qualifying Round today as Harimau Malaya aim to turn the tables.

After having bagged only three points out of three matches, as well as criticisms on the players selection, national head coach Tan Cheng Hoe (third from left) is keen to take Malaysia back on track by preparing his team well ahead of the clash.

Thailand is no stranger to Tan and the 51-year-old coach acknowledged a win against the “War Elephants” at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium would improve their chance to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup final round.

“This is another opportunity for us to play a better team and a better approach with World Cup coach in charge so definitely we have to come out with a positive approach also,” he said at the pre-match press conference at the National Stadium Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Malaysia currently stands in the fourth place with three points in Group G, and four points behind group leader, Thailand, who are level on seven points with Vietnam.

Malaysia began their campaign with a 3-2 victory over Indonesia in Jakarta last September, before losing 1-2 to the United Arab Emirates in Bukit Jalil and 0-1 to Vietnam in Hanoi last month.

Since then, Tan emphasised that he always strives to improve the performance of the national team. “Lately, there are a lot of negative sayings about our goalkeeper and strike force. As a coach I always wanted to improve the team not only focusing on one particular position but as the whole team,” he added.

Malaysia beat Thailand 2-2 in aggregate to advance to the final of the 2018 AFF Championship and the last time Malaysia recorded a win against the world ranked 109 was in the return leg final of the 2014 AFF Championship. Malaysia won 3-2 in Bukit Jalil.