Ahmad Syihan good for first choice – Azmin Azram

KUALA LUMPUR – Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed is the best choice as the number one goalkeeper of the national squad in the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup in December and the 2023 Asian Cup.

This followed the outstanding performance demonstrated by the Negeri Sembilan FC (NSFC) player during the matches against Thailand and Tajikistan in the King’s Cup tournament in Chiang Mai, Thailand recently when he assisted Harimau Malaya under head coach Kim Pan Gon to emerge as runners-up.

Former national goalkeeper coach, Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz said the 26-year-old player had reciprocated the trust given by Pan Gon when guarding the goal well and proved his capability.

“For me, it was the best performance, especially in the game against Thailand. If we looked back there were four point-blank occasions in which he saved the day for the team.

“I hope he would continue with his form … it is such a refreshing turn for the national squad,” said Azmin when contacted by Bernama here.

At the same time, Azmin Azram said he was not denying the capability of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) experienced goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias who was fielded more often at the goal.

He said in terms of international action experience, Mohd Farizal clearly has more exposure but based on his current form, Ahmad Syihan appeared to be faster than any other goalkeeper in the country.

“I am not saying that Farizal did not play well, the reason for choosing Syihan could be that he is young, and mature and has the physical built.

“But he (Ahmad Syihan) needs to remember that there are other competitors such as Muhammad Rahadiazli Rahalim (Terengganu FC) and Kalamullah Al-Hafiz Mat Rowi (PJ City FC) who have the similar physical advantage with international experience as the deciding factor,” he said.

In the two matches in Chiang Mai, Ahmad Syihan who was in the first eleven to garner his third international outing after becoming the first choice in the 4-1 win over Bangladesh in the 2023 Asia Cup Qualifiers here in June. – Bernama