Malaysia booked their place in the final of the 2017 KL SEA Games football event after edging past Indonesia with a narrow 1-0 scoreline in the semi-final. As host, the success in reaching the final of the event has drawn much attention in the country and the players are fast becoming household names.
One of them is none other than Selangor's Adam Nor Azlin, the centre back with the number 9 on the back of his jersey. Having played numerous positions in the past, it seems Adam has made the centre back role a permanent one.
Deployed in the back three for Datuk Ong Kim Swee's team, Adam alongside Irfan Zakaria and Adib Zainudin achieved their first clean sheet of the tournament in the win over Indonesia. An improving partnership and understanding between the trio that augurs well for the final against Thailand.
Against Indonesia, Adam had to be precise with his tackles on every single one of those occasions, he passed with flying colours. Two particular challenges grabbed all the attention, which came one in each half of the match. Both times, it came against Ezra Walian as Adam chased back to make a challenge inside the box. Both times, he blocked the shot cleanly without conceding a foul.
Adam's best attribute is his strong desire to win as well as his reading of the match. To be able to time his challenges to perfection is not only talent but is fast becoming an art form. Adib may be the captain but Adam's leadership has played an integral part of Malaysia's path to the final.
Adam will be required to put his body on the line again for his country, for at least another 90 more minutes in Tuesday's final and the Selangor-born player will be going into the match with brimming confidence after an astute performance against Indonesia.