SEA Games Football: Malaysia drawn in same group as 16-time champs Thailand

by BERNAMA / pic credit: FAM

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s Under-23 (U-23) football squad will meet 16-time champions Thailand after the two countries were drawn in Group B for the Hanoi SEA Games next month.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) in a Facebook post today said the team led by Australian-born coach Brad Maloney were also drawn in the same group as Cambodia, Singapore and Laos in the football competition which will run from May 6 to 22 at the biennial games.

Malaysia’s path will not be an easy one as they will be up against Thailand on May 7 followed by Laos (May 11), Singapore (May 14) and will complete the group stage against Cambodia on May 16.

All Group B matches will take place at the Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh.

Today’s draw also saw the defending champions and Vietnam in Group A together with Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Timor Leste.

Only the top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals which will take place on May 19 while the final will be held on May 22.

The national U-23 squad previously under the guidance of Datuk Ong Kim Swee failed to get past the group stage in the 2019 edition in the Philippines after he (Kim Swee) managed to lead the national team to the silver medal in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur.

The last time Malaysia won the ‘mother of all medals’ was in the 2011 edition in Indonesia when Kim Swee was also in charge of the team.

Meanwhile, the national men’s futsal squad were drawn in fifth position in the round-robin league format with Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.

The national women’s futsal squad were drawn in third position in the same type of format with Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia.

The Hanoi SEA Games will officially open on May 12 and end on May 23.