Akhyar vows to justify Ong’s trust


MANILA • National under-22 years team winger, Muhammad Akhyar Abdul Rashid (picture; centre), wants to redeem the disappointment of exhibiting a poor performance in the match against Myanmar on Monday, when facing the Philippines today.

The Johor Darul Ta’zim team player appeared to be struggling to showcase his best at the Group A opening match of the SEA Games, especially in the second set and was replaced after experiencing muscle cramp.

However, Akhyar was the main factor to help slot in the equaliser. He stole the ball from a Myanmar player and crossed it to Muhammad Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak in the penalty box. The latter headed it into goal, tying the score at 1-1 until the final whistle.

If fielded against the Junior Azkals squad tomorrow, the 19-year-old Jitra-born player promised to redeem the faith of chief coach, Datuk Ong Kim Swee, in him.

“This time I will perform my best for the team and prove something to the coach and repay his faith in me,” he said when met by reporters at the team’s training session at the Rizal Memorial Stadium yesterday.

“It will be quite difficult for me to play against the Philippines because their players are bigger and taller. But, they make several mistakes from the two matches I saw. So, we will use them as best as possible to create goals,” he said.

After the match against the Philippines at 8pm today, Malaysia is set to meet Timor Leste on Dec 2 and Cambodia two days later to complete the group schedule.